Govt awards 700 Mhz band to TM, Celcom, Digi, Maxis and Altel

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 2): Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), Celcom Axiata Bhd, and units from Maxis Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd have been given the 700 megahertz (MHz) band of 5G network by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM).

In a Ministerial order by KKMM Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah dated May 15 posted on the official website, the five companies were awarded the 5G spectrum bands between 703MHz to 743MHz, and 758MHz to 798MHz.

This comes as a surprise to many in the industry who were expecting an open tender process to take place.  

In particular, TM was awarded the 718Mhz to  723Mhz band, coupled with the 773Mhz to 778 MHz band as well.

Meanwhile, Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd, a unit of Maxis Bhd, was awarded the 733MHz to 743Mhz range, as well as the 758Mhz to 768Mhz range.

Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of DiGi.Com, was awarded the 703MHz to 713MHz and 758Mhz to 768Mhz spectrum ranges.

Axiata Group Bhd’s unit Celcom Axiata Bhd received the 723MHz to 733MHz range, as well as the 778MHz and 788MHz spectrum range as well.

Altel Communications Sdn Bhd was granted the 713MHz to 718Mhz, and 768MHz to 773MHz ranges.

“The commission (MCMC) will take immediate action under the act and laws on relevant subsidiaries to implement the spectrum assignment to all license holders that have been mentioned in section 4 of this order,” Saifuddin said while adding the granting of such spectrum ranges comes with terms and conditions, and that he reserves the right to change, alter or cancel the order.

In its final report on the roll-out of 5G spectrum networks, the MCMC said that the 700MHz, 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) and 26/28GHz would be identified as pioneer spectrum bands for the implementation of 5G networks in Malaysia.

In particular, the 700MHz and 3.5Ghz networks would be awarded on a tender process, in order to reduce capital expenditure (capex) costs and prevent the duplication of infrastructure when improvements to 4G LTE networks are currently being implemented.

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