A single wholesale network to roll out 5G will help lower costs – Expert

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept. 25): The decision to create a single wholesale network (SWN) for the 5G expansion plan will help reduce network costs as the spectrum is used more efficiently, a telecommunications expert said.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Associate Professor Tharek Abdul Rahman said that if there was a single provider for the application of SWN by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), there would be no duplication of resources and the spectrum could be used by all network operators be used fairly.

“The SWN provider will focus on providing infrastructure for the 5G spectrum, such as building telecom towers, while other network operators can ride the infrastructure and make more efforts to upgrade and improve their retail services,” he said Bernama on Saturday. “Therefore, the rollout of the 5G network becomes more feasible and faster compared to what happened during the 4G implementation, when each operator did things separately and consumers can also benefit more in terms of network services.”

The DNB is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) founded at the beginning of this year owned by the Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for the implementation of the SWN for 5G in Malaysia.

The SPV will be the sole recipient of the 5G spectrum, which consists of 700 megahertz (MHz), 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) and 26/28 GHz together with a wholesale license.

In July 2021, the company awarded the 5G infrastructure contract to Ericsson Malaysia after launching a tender for the 5G network.

According to Tharek, a single provider will have enough resources to provide the spectrum required by network operators for rapid 5G expansion.

“From my point of view, in the current situation it is much better to have an SWN provider who monitors the use of the 5G spectrum, compared to many players, since the available spectrum is limited, especially at 3.5 GHz, a very good example for other countries, if we manage to do it successfully.

“Of course, with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as the regulator, it can play an important role in regulating the quality of service and the user experience,” said Tharek, who is also a commissioner for MCMC.


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