There was fire all the while as the smoke starts to clear, in a shocking revelation the main telecommunication operators in the country Maxis, Celcom, Digi, and U Mobile have issued a joint statement to Member of Parliament Ong Kian Ming in relation to his questions raised in Parliament recently.
In his address, the MP had asked Digital Nasional Berhad the single operator for the nation’s 5G rollout on 15 questions on issues regarding being a monopoly, price control, and why other telcos have yet to sign the agreement. This was responded to by DNB CEO Ralph Marshall with a 21-page statement giving full detail on why an SWN model is the best approach for Malaysia. Ong Kian Ming then addressed the operators and asked for their feedback.
Posting their joint statement on his tweeter feed, the MP questioned the short 20 line answers and asked who was being more transparent?
The statement read that all the MNOs were united on requesting for the government to adopt a Dual Wholesale Network approach instead of what the Ministry of Finance had suggested. In it, they stated that while DNB could operate one model the telco’s with all their experience, resource and expertise could operate the other. They added that they are ready to invest and have all the capabilities, thousands of technical talents, and the supply chain to rollout 5G efficiently in the country.
It is evident that the main operators have not been in favour of the SWN model and hence the hesitancy on the adoption which is slowing down the rollout. Without their buy-in, 5G will be a pipe dream for Malaysians, as combined they manage 90% of mobile users in the country.
The matter has been simmering for months and will now be tabled at the cabinet as mentioned by Communication Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa who announced that ‘this saga has to be end soon”.
While the tug of war among the giants pans out, Malaysians are yet again the victims who were promised 5G by the end 2021 then by January and now will have to wait with no sight of the giga speed dream as advertised.