Digital Nasional reports ‘considerable progress’ in nation’s 5G network rollout
08 Jul 2021
Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) has reported “considerable progress” in the nation’s fifth generation (5G) network and infrastructure rollout, starting with the nationwide engagement of industry participants, including mobile network operators (MNOs) as well as tower and fibre owners.
DNB said along with its strategic partner, Ericsson (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Ericsson), the launch of Malaysia’s 5G network in areas within Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Cyberjaya by December 2021 are on track, with the objective of achieving 80 per cent nationwide population coverage by 2024.
“The financing of network equipment will be sourced from foreign and domestic financial institutions which Ericsson has undertaken to arrange as part of the agreement to supply, deliver, and manage the entire 5G network,” it said in a press statement today.
The technology company, mandated to accelerate Malaysia’s nationwide deployment of its 5G network and ecosystem, noted that the design, build, and maintenance of the 5G network managed by Ericsson is estimated to cost RM11 billion, around RM700 million lower than the total cost of ownership of the next closest bid.
Ericsson’s network equipment, deployment services, and ongoing maintenance and network management cost of RM4 billion was the lowest, it said, adding the balance of about RM7 billion will cover network infrastructure costs from other parties comprising primarily tower rental and fibre leasing over a 10-year period.
DNB said it will also securitise future cash flows from its wholesale business with MNOs via sukuk to finance its other network operating expenditure and meet its obligations to repay financiers when it becomes due.
“More than 60 per cent of the spend on network infrastructure will directly benefit Bumiputera interest in the telecommunications industry and Bumiputera contractors,” it said.