KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 ― The Finance Ministry estimates the total cost of the country's 5G coverage inclusive of network hardware and infrastructure at RM12.5 billion, said Deputy Finance Minister II, Yamani Hafez Musa.

He said the total cost was estimated after Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) expected the need for a further RM1.5 billion for additional telecom fibre over 10 years from Telekom Malaysia (TM) due to the country's lower-than-expected telecom fibre infrastructure.

“The initial estimate of the cost of this 5G Coverage Network was RM11 billion.

“Of the total, RM4 billion was for network hardware and managed services for 10 years by Ericsson, RM6 billion was for network infrastructure costs from other providers, namely for towers, telecommunications fibre, electricity and other costs while a further RM1 billion was for the payment of Apparatus Assignment fees to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission,” he said during a question and answer session in parliament today.

He was responding to a question from Datuk Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar (Independent-Kuala Langat) who wanted to know the suppliers, contractors and companies involved in the implementation of 5G technology and the overall cost for technology transition.

He said that apart from Ericsson which has been appointed as the network hardware supplier, the suppliers, contractors and companies that will be involved in the implementation of the 5G network generally consist of site owners, telecommunication fibre owners and electricity suppliers.

“For implementation under Phase 1A in 2021, the DNB is in negotiations to appoint suppliers, contractors and companies,” he said. ― Bernama