During Tan Sri Annuar Musa’s visit to Celcom headquarters, Celcom CEO Datuk Mohamad Idham Nawawi revealed that Celcom customers may soon be able to experience 5G services as early as next month. He said the company has integrated with more than 1,000 sites around the country.
Idham shared that Celcom is already running 5G trials among their staff in Kuala Lumpur. As quoted by The Vibes, he said “God willing, if there are no hindrances and everything runs smoothly, we can bring our customers on board to try 5G service in September as well.”
Currently, YTL Communications’ Yes 5G remains the only telco to offer commercial 5G services in the country. Back in December 2021, Telekom Malaysia announced that Unifi Mobile customers will be able to experience 5G under DNB’s pilot 5G trial but the plan was postponed indefinitely.
Assuming it is a 5G trial like Yes, Celcom may offer 5G for free on selected postpaid plans at no extra cost. Since Celcom is an Apple telco partner, there’s also the possibility of newer iPhone models finally being able to connect to 5G in Malaysia.
At the moment, none of the major players have signed commercial wholesale agreements with Digital Nasional Berhad, the 5G single wholesale network, due to pricing and transparency concerns. The big four telcos including Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile have jointly voiced out in April that DNB’s 5G access offer will not enable affordable and quality 5G services to the rakyat.
Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul recently said telcos must agree to DNB’s 5G terms by 31st August or risk losing out on 5G access. Prior to this, the negotiations were supposed to conclude by 8th of July, but none of the telcos has actually signed the Reference Access Offer or issued an announcement about taking a stake in DNB.
During his visit to Celcom, Annuar Musa said discussions on DNB’s stake deals are progressing well and the six telcos are expected to sign on 31st August. He added that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will decide on a few terms and he’s confident that all parties can accept them.
DNB is reported to have over 1,000 5G sites and they cover 30% population coverage nationwide. Their 5G network is mainly focused in the Klang Valley, with 90% population coverage in Kuala Lumpur, Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. The currently state-owned 5G single wholesale network has expanded its coverage to Johor Bahru, Ipoh and Ketereh in Kelantan. It aims to achieve 40% 5G population coverage by the end of this year and 80% population coverage by the end of 2024.
- 5G Malaysia: Annuar Musa now says telcos will sign DNB deal by 31 Aug, MCMC to decide on a few terms
- Why can’t your iPhone connect to 5G in Malaysia? YTL Comms CEO explains why
- Tengku Zafrul: Telcos have until 31 Aug to agree to DNB terms or risk losing out on access to 5G
- 5G Malaysia: Has Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile accepted DNB’s 5G access offer?