The government’s move to implement a dual 5G network once the current rollout under Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) has reached 80 per cent coverage is a win-win solution, according to an economist.

Prof Barjoyai Bardai of Universiti Tun Abdul Razak said this move to ‘break’ the 5G single wholesale network (SWN) implementation would enable industry players to venture into the remaining 20 per cent of areas for coverage and attract foreign investor interest.

“By opening up to other players on reaching 80 per cent coverage, it will create opportunities for competition in the market and allow a big company to compete with a smaller one.

“In this matter, the small company will be the basis for comparison because if it can offer efficient service at a low price, the big company will have to follow suit,” he told Bernama today.

According to him, if the 5G market expands in the next three years, the 80 per cent coverage held by DNB is expected to be reduced to 60 per cent.

Yesterday, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the government had decided to implement a dual wholesale network (DWN) once DNB’s 5G rollout had reached 80 per cent of populated areas. He said the DWN system is expected to be implemented in 2024 under Phase Two of the national 5G rollout.

Meanwhile, Emir Research president and chief executive officer Datuk Dr Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff said the DWN mode was the right way forward as there was no compelling reason to rely on a single entity to implement such a big initiative.

“Dependence on a single company will prevent innovation, create dissatisfaction and can increase the risk of corruption and stifle change,” he said.

Asked on the European Union (EU) and the United States’ warning to Malaysia about the risk to national security if it used Huawei equipment for 5G implementation, Rais said public data showed that almost all EU countries including Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Spain deployed Huawei products for their 5G rollouts.

“These are big countries … and the changing geopolitical landscape also demands that Malaysia remain neutral in its technology preferences. And Malaysia as a sovereign nation must do what is best for Malaysia in the long run,” he said on Bernama TV’s ‘The Brief’ programme today.

He said it would not be wise to put all eggs in one basket by depending on only one technology and network.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency