Telekom Malaysia (TM) has issued a statement confirming that it will be conducting 5G trials with Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). Ahead of the commercial 5G launch, Unifi Mobile Postpaid customers with compatible 5G devices will be able to access the service at selected areas in the Klang Valley.
TM has issued the following statement:
Technology and digital connectivity have become a necessity in today’s ecosystem. With the rollout of 5G, it will further advance value creation for consumers, micro-SMEs and corporate businesses.-Telekom Malaysia
TM will be conducting 5G trials with DNB to optimise the services. During this pilot trial, unifi mobile postpaid customers with certified 5G devices will be able to experience 5G services in selected areas within Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya.
We will continue to support the Government’s aspiration to deliver 5G for the nation and accelerate society, businesses and industry’s leap towards a Digital Malaysia.
DNB is a government-owned special purpose vehicle that has been given the mandate to deploy Malaysia’s national 5G network. The 5G spectrum such as 700MHz, 3.5GHz and 26/28GHz will be assigned only to DNB and they will provide 5G access to telcos through a wholesale agreement. At the moment, it appears that none of the telcos has confirmed signing a commercial wholesale agreement with DNB.
As shared during a media briefing by DNB on Friday, it aims to settle the 5G wholesale agreement with telcos by the end of March 2022, however, consumers will be able to experience 5G services by the end of this month. Telcos could only sign after the reference access order (RAO) is finalised. Before a commercial agreement can be reached, it appears that DNB is allowing telcos to offer 5G user trials for selected customers.
Before Singapore launched commercial 5G services, telcos such as StarHub and Singtel had offered free 5G access to selected customers with 5G-compatible devices. It is possible that local telcos including TM, Celcom, Digi, Maxis, U Mobile and YTL might offer a similar free 5G trial this month. We expect TM to reveal more details about its Unifi Mobile 5G user trial soon including plan eligibility, device compatibility, and 5G data quota.
In terms of coverage, DNB aims to have 500 sites in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur by the end of 2021. In 2022, it aims to achieve 40% 5G population coverage with 4,018 sites which will cover Penang, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Perak. By 2024, DNB aims to hit 80% population coverage with over 7,500 sites.