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Malaysia’s 5G Network Fees Will Cost Telcos Less, Says Finance Minister | Technology News

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s finance minister said in parliament on Thursday that the government’s Digital National Berhad (DNB) agency will charge carriers much lower fees for its 5G network than the cost incurred by 4G operators.

DNB, an agency of the Ministry of Finance, is the only 5G spectrum licensee in Malaysia to build and maintain the entire network.

Major mobile phone companies in Malaysia have raised concerns about transparency and pricing issues, Reuters reported this month https://www.reuters.com/technology/exclusive-no-takers-malaysias-5g-plan-major-telcos-balk-over- pricing -2021-11-10, and it has not yet approved use of the government’s 5G network before its rollout scheduled to begin next month.

Finance Minister Zefar Abdulaziz said each telecom operator will pay between 350 million and 400 million ringgit ($82.8-94.6 million) annually for 5G, compared to the billion ringgit that telecoms invest in 4G capital expenditures each year.

Prices are currently awaiting approval from the industry regulator which will “ensure that the price set is fair and based on cost recovery, not to make a profit”.

Under the proposed pricing plan, the carriers said they might pay more than they would if they launched 5G on their own, because the plan did not take into account additional requirements related to issues such as traffic volume and emergency costs.

“I think the carriers will welcome the rates when they are notified of this,” Zefrul said.

The government was aware of the challenges facing a single wholesale network, as in other countries, Zavrul said, adding that steps had been taken to ensure the same mistakes were not made in Malaysia.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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