DNB’s proposed 5G rates for telcos ‘quite expensive’, says industry veteran

06 May 2022 - Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The head of Malaysia’s first internet service provider has voiced concern over Digital Nasional Berhad’s (DNB) proposed 5G network product rates, saying they are “quite expensive”.

Mohamed Awang Lah, the former Jaring CEO, said such high rates, if approved by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), could discourage buy-in from telecommunication companies (telcos).

“The good news is that MCMC has not approved the proposed rates, so it is not final,” he told FMT.

According to a report by tech website SoyaCincau, DNB’s recently published Reference Access Offer (RAO) states that the National 5G Wholesale Network Product rates are charged per gigabits per second (Gbps) on a monthly basis.

The base charge is RM30,000 per Gbps for the usage of 1,200 Gbps per month. For usage above that amount, DNB will charge a discounted rate of RM22,000 per Gbps.

“This RM30,000 per Gbps per month works out to RM30 per Megabits per second (Mbps) per month,” said Mohamed.

“The way I see it, it is very expensive compared to rates set by MCMC under the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP), which is only around RM7 per Mbps per month.”

He questioned the need for two different pricing systems, saying the rates should follow the MSAP, which were “quite fair”.

Previously, Celcom Axiata Berhad, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Berhad and U Mobile Sdn Bhd said they have yet to agree to the terms of the RAO because of unresolved issues.

“The RAO in its current published form will not enable affordable and quality 5G services for the rakyat and businesses in Malaysia, and will impede the acceleration of 5G services and penetration in the country,” the telcos said in a joint statement in April.

Mohamed’s comments come in the wake of reports that only Telekom Malaysia Bhd and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd have agreed to own an equity stake in DNB for the 5G rollout.

Communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa has said telcos that did not take up an equity stake by June 30 will not be part of the rollout.


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