KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today gave the assurance that the transition of the 5G implementation model from a single wholesale network to a dual network will reduce the financial implications for the government on a large scale.
Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, told the Dewan Rakyat that the financial implications could be reduced through the transition because it included the involvement of telecommunication companies which was one of the terms set by the government.
“Setting the terms for all telcos to use the DNB network, existing structures until 80 per cent of the network is completed and ensuring the connectivity to include rural areas.
“If (the terms are) agreed, then after using the same facilities, telcos with very good profits are required to invest to ensure security,” he said when replying to a question from Ampang MP Rodziah Ismail .
Rodziah wanted to know whether the government’s decision to move away from the single wholesale network model would result in losses and increase the 5G prices for consumers.
Anwar said the transition was a difficult decision to make as the government received intense pressure from various parties who wanted to retain the single wholesale network.
He said the Cabinet’s decision was in the interest of national security and the country’s freedom to choose under strict conditions.
The telecommunications companies would fully finance the dual network and the price offered to users must be at a low rate.
He said the dual network transition would also strengthen the role of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) where regulations and laws would be streamlined so that the agency could effectively regulate the telecommunications companies.
The Prime Minister said the government on May 3 agreed to transition to a dual network based on several justifications including increasing competition thus ending the monopoly by DNB.
Anwar also said that the country’s experience with telecommunications companies over the years had not been very encouraging, including network issues and the prices offered.
He added that MCMC would pay attention to the matter, specifically through the strict regulatory framework.
Therefore, the current target of 80 per cent coverage of populated areas is borne jointly by DNB and telecommunications companies, he said.
“Any violation of the terms will automatically lead to contract termination”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is of the opinion that monopolies in any field such as highways and energy should not continue, instead competition should be encouraged in order to guarantee comfort and lower costs to consumers.