KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 2): Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) said Malaysia’s 5G network has achieved almost 50% coverage of populated areas (COPA) with around 3,900 at the end of 2022, surpassing its target of 40%.
In a statement on Monday, DNB said it is now focused on delivering its next target of 80% COPA by the end of 2024 at the latest.
“The network currently reaches some 15 million people today and when fully deployed, it will reach more than 30 million people and businesses.
“State and local councils supported DNB by providing accelerated approvals for deployment. Consequently, DNB was able to recover some shortfalls in setting up sites and achieved a speedier deployment during the last month,” it said.
According to DNB, it has achieved over 90% COPA throughout Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor, as well as around 50% COPA across Johor, Melaka, and Negeri Sembilan.
“All other states are in various stages of deployment and, together with the aforementioned states, are expected to achieve full network deployment in 2024, if not earlier,” it said.
According to DNB’s chief operating officer Nasution Mohamed, it is working closely with its mobile network operator (MNO) partners and device manufacturers to promote and encourage the rapid adoption of 5G across Malaysia in 2023.
"The MNOs have introduced numerous 5G data plans for their customers at very attractive retail prices, so as to encourage adoption of 5G services.”
DNB said almost all the MNOs — Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd, and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd (YES) — have made retail 5G services available to their subscribers, who number over 20 million.
Only Maxis Bhd customers are waiting to access 5G, pending its shareholders’ approval to execute the 5G access agreement with DNB this year, which the telco said it intends to seek in January.
“5G-compatible devices continue to proliferate the market, with approximately 8 million devices already in the hands of end users as of end-2022. Growth is forecast to double this year and exceed 40 million devices by 2030.
“Apple is the latest device manufacturer to issue firmware updates in Malaysia to make iPhones 12 and subsequent models compatible with the 5G network. There are currently 15 device brands with more than 100 5G-compatible devices for all budgets available in the Malaysian market.
“This, coupled with myriad retail 5G data plan offerings from the five Malaysian MNOs will result in accelerated 5G adoption among end users over the next few years,” said DNB.
DNB noted that since the launch of 5G services by the five MNOs, Malaysia’s 5G network has seen an increase of usage by eight times to 253 TB from 32 TB per day, with a peak of around 90,000 concurrent users as at Dec 31, 2022.
“The 5G network is averaging 380 Mbps download speed (which compares favourably with other reported global benchmarks) against the average 4G download speed of 35 Mbps,” it said.