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Four ministries in Malaysia have met to discuss developing a plan for the country's second 5G network. Telcos are expected to finalize their investment in the first network, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), by the end of this month.

By developing an additional 5G network alongside the existing one operated by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), Malaysia aims to improve internet speeds and reliability, making the country more competitive in the global digital economy. This initiative is expected to drive down prices, improve service quality, and promote technological advancements, ultimately benefiting both consumers and businesses.

Additionally, the investment finalization in DNB by the end of this month marks a crucial phase in establishing a strong telecommunications infrastructure. This foundational step is essential for the success of the second network and will support Malaysia's broader goals of economic growth and technological innovation.

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Communications Minister, Fahmi Fadzil, stated in a Facebook post that representatives from the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Digital, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry gathered to talk about their roles in implementing the dual 5G network model.

The Ministry of Communications has been working on launching a second 5G network to compete with DNB since May 2023. The launch is dependent on two conditions: DNB achieving 80% coverage in populated areas, which was achieved last year; and finalizing share subscription agreements (SSAs) signed by major telcos in December 2023. The telcos are still negotiating certain conditions before the SSAs can take effect.

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The importance of DNB achieving 80% coverage in populated areas cannot be overstated, as it ensures that a significant portion of Malaysia's population has access to 5G services. Comprehensive coverage is essential for the successful rollout of advanced technologies such as IoT, smart cities, and AI, which rely on widespread, high-speed internet access. Achieving this coverage demonstrates Malaysia's commitment to creating an inclusive digital infrastructure that supports economic growth and social development.

Finalizing the SSAs is essential for securing the necessary financial and operational commitments from key industry players. The ongoing negotiations over certain conditions highlight the complexity of aligning the interests of various stakeholders, but reaching a consensus is vital for ensuring a coordinated and efficient deployment of the new network. The successful finalization of the SSAs will provide a stable foundation for the second network, fostering competition, driving innovation, and ultimately delivering better services and lower prices for consumers.

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Fahmi mentioned that the telcos have until June 21 to complete the SSAs, after which they can start the formal process of implementing the second network. He expressed optimism that the process will move forward smoothly after the deadline.

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