5G contract awarded to Ericsson via tender, only one telco yet to sign access agreement, says Fahmi

PUTRAJAYA: The contract awarded by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) to Ericsson (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd to roll out the 5G network was done via a tender process, says Fahmi Fadzil.

"The Ericsson contract was given through a tender process. I think that has to be re-emphasised," the Communications and Digital Minister said at a press conference here on Wednesday (May 3).

He said the government would not be involved in commercial considerations for Entity B, which is to be set up after shifting to the dual wholesale network.

"It will not be a government decision on what equipment they (Entity B) chooses, the kind of workers or staff they employ or their corporate structure. The government is not involved in these commercial considerations," he said.

DNB had awarded a contract to Ericsson to be its partner in the roll out of the nationwide 5G network and ecosystem.

ALSO READ: DNB to continue rolling out 5G coverage, says Fahmi

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said in December 2022 that the contract to Ericsson awarded in July 2021 would be re-evaluated to ensure transparency.

DNB had also said that the roll out of the entire 5G network is expected to cost RM16.5bil over the next 10 years.

Ericsson, the network equipment provider for the project, will get RM4bil while the remaining RM7.7bil will go into network infrastructure costs, RM1.2bil for regulatory fees and RM3.6bil for corporate costs.

Fahmi also confirmed that Maxis Bhd is the only telco that has yet to sign the 5G access agreement.

"The ministry, including the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, will hold discussions to ensure that services provided to customers are not affected.

"Five out of the six telcos have signed but we will discuss a few matters with them, including the access agreement," he added.

The other telcos that have signed the access agreement with DNB are Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, YTL Communications Sdn Bhd (YES), U Mobile and Telekom Malaysia Bhd.

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