Annuar: Joint paper on 5G rollout to be presented to Cabinet soon

KUALA LUMPUR: A joint paper will be presented to the Cabinet on the national 5G rollout soon, says Tan Sri Annuar Musa (pic).

"The Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the Finance Ministry were asked to prepare a working paper which will be brought to the Cabinet to allow the Prime Minister to consider the issues raised on the 5G rollout.

"This includes views raised by MPs in Parliament.

"The government does not want to bulldoze the matter but will look at each issue raised by MPs, " the Communications and Multimedia Minister said when wrapping-up his ministerial replies on Budget 2022 at the committee stage in Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Dec 8).

In the meantime, he said that talks between Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) and telecommunication companies will still go ahead with the 5G rollout via the single wholesale network (SWN) concept.

Annuar said the matter would be brought up to the Cabinet as Opposition MPs had raised a valid point over the rollout plan.

"The view raised is whether we want a monopolistic system or one that encourages competition.

"My view is that what was raised by MPs has merit," he added.

However, Annuar stressed that no final decision has been made on the matter.

"The government wants to take an open approach in the matter and revisit the issue without leaning towards a particular direction," he said.

Meanwhile, Annuar dispelled claims by Opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) that there was lack of transparency in awarding the project to Ericsson (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd which will be partners with DNB in developing the nationwide 5G.

"The tender process was not done in secrecy and maybe the Opposition chief may have overlooked the tender process or was not made aware of it," he said.

He noted that an international tender bid was held in April last year involving 14 companies, of which eight were told to submit their expression of intent (EOI) for the project.

Of this, Annuar said that four companies submitted that final offer, of which Ericsson was selected for evaluation in May and June based on their offer.

Besides the best pricing, he said the tender process also took into consideration the technology to be employed by the company and socio-economic returns for the nation.

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