Free 5G networks to go live Dec 15 in parts of KL, Putrajaya, and Cyberjaya

DNB showed several 5G use-cases at the briefing in Putrajaya where its 5G network is live, including virtual reality goggles running on the next gen network. — DNB

Malaysians with certified 5G devices may be able to get a taste of next generation networks by Dec 15, as the network becomes commercially available then.

Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) announced it would be temporarily offering wholesale 5G services at no cost to all telcos integrated into its network, which has coverage in select areas in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.

DNB technology strategy head Dr Mohamed Sulaiman Suhaibuddeen said the offer would run until March 31, 2022.

This meant that existing telco customers could get 5G access if their devices were compatible with the network, and if the telco chose to enable connectivity with the network.

“End users are encouraged to contact their respective service providers to enquire about 5G availability,” he said.

Live testing done at the media briefing held in Putrajaya showed 5G speeds on all networks could go up to 700-800Mbps for downloads and 100-130Mbps for uploads indoors, and hit even higher speeds outdoors, from 850Mbps to 1Gbps for downloads and 100-150Mbps for uploads.

He clarified this offer would apply to telcos even if they had not yet signed up to conduct 5G trials with the government agency.

On Saturday, Telekom Malaysia (TM) became the only telco to confirm it was running a pilot trial to offer 5G to its Unifi mobile postpaid customers using compatible devices.

Reuters had earlier reported that telcos were reluctant to sign long term deals with DNB, raising concerns over transparency and pricing issues.

During a media briefing today, Mohamed Sulaiman assured that DNB’s wholesale 5G service prices would be “significantly lower cost” than their present cost to produce 4G capacity.

This was in line with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz statement that DNB will charge telcos less than 20sen per gigabyte (GB) for 5G service, in comparison to the current incremental cost – between 45 and 55sen – per GB of 4G.

Mohamed Sulaiman added that telcos that entered into the Wholesale Agreement before March 31, 2022 would receive further free access to all additional 5G capacity as sites go live in the period.

DNB is expected to roll out 10% coverage in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur by the end of Dec, with the cumulative site count of 500 sites.

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