DNB Publishes Reference Access Offer, 5G Wholesale To Cost Telcos RM30,000 Per Gbps Monthly

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After months of waiting, Digital Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s 5G Single Wholesale Network, has finalized its Reference Access Offering (RAO) and published it on its website. The document outlines the costs, services, requirements, as well as the conditions for using the 5G network, and also serves as a basis for DNB to conclude business agreements with telecommunications companies.

The RAO also announces national wholesale 5G network product tariffs, which are billed monthly per gigabit per second (Gbps). The monthly basic fee for the 5G usage capacity is RM30,000 per Gbps for use up to 1,200 Gbit/s. DNB charges a volume discount of 26.7% for usage above 1,200 Gbit/s RM22,000 per Gbps.

In the example given, if an access seeker uses 1,500 Gbps monthly for 5G, they will be charged RM 36 million for the first 1,200 Gbps and RM 6.6 million for the following 300 Gbps. In total, that works out to RM42.6 million per month or RM511.2 million per year for 1,500 Gbps capacity. The document also mentions that the plans do not include Universal Service Provision (USP) fees and other applicable taxes.

For the national 5G wholesale in-building network product, DNB charges a flat rate of RM30,000 per Gbps in a monthly billing cycle. The price also excludes the USP and other applicable taxes. Tariffs for the bespoke 5G coverage network and private 5G network were not included and it said they will be agreed with the parties on a case-by-case basis. Pricing is based on a minimum service term defined as 10 years.

The RAO also mentions their Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for their 5G network. These include a data session establishment success rate of greater than 99%, an average user downlink throughput of 100 Mbps, and an average user uplink throughput of 3 Mbps for NSA and 5 Mbps for SA. The KPI also specifies a latency of less than 10 ms from RAN (Radio Access Network) to POI (Point of Interface) and less than 15 ms from UE (User Equipment) to POI.

The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia announced last month that the government has decided to proceed with 5G rollout under the single wholesale network (SWN) model. Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul had told parliament that DNB will offer 5G access at a significantly lower price than what telecom companies are now paying for 4G.

He said DNB will charge telcos less than 20 sens per GB for 5G, which he says is lower than the current cost for telcos to offer 4G on their own network, which is estimated at 45 to 55 sens per GB . Since DNB is the only entity building the network, Tengku Zafrul said each telecom company is expected to pay between RM3.5 billion and RM4.5 billion over a 10-year period, which is less than the RM1 billion that telecom companies pay invest annually in their 4G networks.

All eyes are currently on the Big Four telcos like Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile on whether they will adopt 5G wholesale access with DNB. To ease the transition for telcos, DNB has extended its free 5G network access until June 30, 2022.

You can view the full RAO ​​document on the DNB website.

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