PUTRAJAYA, Jan 30 — The special committee overseeing the implementation of 5G will prepare a Cabinet memorandum soon to discuss and decide whether it is time to allow a second network, as the country’s 5G coverage has reached 80.2 per cent as of December 31.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said a second 5G network will also determine whether it enables more sustainable implementation and provides more opportunities for telecommunications companies to offer better services.

He said the special committee, co-chaired by Communications Ministry secretary-general Datuk Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa and Treasury secretary-general Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican, had met a few weeks ago with several steps expected to be outlined.

“We announced that 5G network coverage reached 80.2 per cent on December 31, and so, not too long from now, we will announce our decision on whether to allow telecommunications companies establish a second network, apart from Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB),” he told the media after the ministry’s monthly assembly here today.


Fahmi said the implementation of 5G is still regulated by the Communications Ministry as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is the regulatory body in the telecommunications sector, involving spectrum and aspects covered in the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Fahmi said the number of 5G subscribers reached eight million accounts as of the end of last year, and this number is expected to increase following the announcement on January 9 that no additional fees or charges will be imposed on users to access the 5G network.

Besides this, Fahmi said he had also suggested to Digital Minister Gobind Singh Deo that focus be given this year to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to explore the need to provide incentives for this group to take advantage of the widely available 5G network.


Separately, Fahmi said the Communications Ministry’s retreat will be held from February 1-3 to formulate priority strategies for this year following the December 12 Cabinet reshuffle, in which the Ministry of Communications and Digital was split into the Communications and Digital ministries respectively.

He said the separation into two distinct ministries aims to provide a specific focus on the development of the country’s digital economy in line with current times.

Fahmi stressed the need for coordination in terms of tasks and functions of all agencies under the Communications Ministry, as it plays a role as a one-stop information centre for the unity government to ensure the dissemination of accurate information and to counter slander.

Meanwhile, on this year’s National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations, Fahmi highlighted the need for additional coordination to gather activities, programmes and efforts from other ministries to ensure that this year’s celebrations were not only spectacular but also filled with meaningful information about the essence of independence.

Besides this, he said the focus for this year is also on improving the approval period of the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal), which is considered outdated.

“The new guidelines would be launched by mid-year to assist the industry, especially concert and performance organisers involving foreign artists, in obtaining clarity about the process,” he said.

Fahmi also said that 2023 was a promising year with achievements such as the launch of seven Rahmah Internet packages, resulting in savings between 22 and 50 per cent compared to market prices, adding that living costs related to the communication sector do not burden the people.

He said the ministry’s focus, through the MCMC this year is to improve internet services in schools and public universities (IPTA) since there are expectations from teachers and students for fast, easy and stable internet services. — Bernama