Malaysia will be switching to the dual wholesale network (DWN) for 5G after the 5G coverage has reached 80% of the country’s populated area. While rumours regarding it have been lingering for quite some time, it is only today that the Cabinet has greenlighted the move and the decision was officially revealed to the public through a media conference by the Communications and Digital Minister, Fahmi Fadzil just moments ago.

For now, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) remained as the sole 5G infrastructure provider for the country. According to Fahmi, the nationwide 5G coverage within the populated area currently stands at 57.8%.

Malaysia 5G Dual Wholesale Network
The general outline of Malaysia’s transition to the 5G dual wholesale network.

Despite the announcement today and the presentation slide above, the rollout journey of Malaysia’s second 5G network is still in the early stages. In fact, nothing has been set in stone yet as there is still no proper deployment timeline or even probable infrastructure partners.

In general, what have been announced today is the finalized national 5G policy that may finally allow all interested parties to move forward. The puzzle pieces that are required to have a working 5G network will only come later on although as you can see in the slide above, things should get a little bit more happening starting from January 2024 onwards

Meanwhile, Fahmi has also briefly touched on the concerns of the United States government and the European Union in regard to the possibility of Malaysia choosing Huawei as the 5G infrastructure provider. Aside from pointing out that the deployment process of the second 5G network is still in its infancy, the minister also said Malaysia have the right as a sovereign government to decide on its own policy without any influence from foreign governments although the Ministry of Communications and Digital is already planning to organize meetups to discuss the concerns from such countries.

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