PUTRAJAYA: Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil (pix) said a meeting between his ministry and the Finance Ministry (MOF) will be held next week to discuss issues involving the 5G network and single wholesale network operator Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB).

He said the matter was raised in this morning’s Cabinet meeting and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has instructed for the meeting to be held to examine, evaluate and make recommendations on steps needed to be taken involving not only DNB but on the implementation of 5G nationwide.

Anwar, in the meeting, wanted both ministries to conduct a technical assessment and examine several aspects to ensure there is no disruption of the (5G) rollout, and also to be expedited if possible, Fahmi told a media conference here today.

Fahmi said that although the implementation of 5G in many countries has been completed, with some even already beginning to talk about 6G, the government needs to look into some issues related to DNB.

He said upon the completion of the meeting, the evaluation period is expected to take several weeks to determine a clear direction for 5G implementation followed by a briefing to the prime minister before it is deliberated by the Cabinet.

On the single wholesale network (SWN) model proposition by DNB, he said few countries executed the rollout of their 5G network via SWN but the decision for it here was made by the previous government.

“We are very concerned of course with the lateness in the rollout (5G) and at the same, we are concerned with the cost. There are other concerns related to that but it will be premature of me to say more on this matter.

“We are starting the process today and we will look into this matter quickly and seriously not only from a technical angle but also legal, ensuring 5G service that the people are waiting for and it will be good for them to have it soon,“ he said.

Fahmi said DNB had continued the development of 5G infrastructure and up to Oct 31, a total of 2,715 5G sites had been completed covering 36 per cent coverage in populated areas.

On whether DNB will be put under his ministry, Ahmad Fahmi said that will be the decision of the Cabinet.

“There are a lot of things to look into, is not an easy matter for us to get through. Give us a bit of time, I am sure by this time next week will have much greater clarity on the policy horizon when it comes to DNB and 5G,“ he said. - Bernama

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