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Breaking Monopoly: Exploring the Future of Malaysia's 5G Landscape and New Tech Partners

Publish date: Mon, 15 May 2023, 01:36 PM
You Never See It Coming...

The Malaysian government, led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, is considering breaking the current 5G monopoly held by Ericsson to open doors to other technology partners. The government is reviewing the implementation of 5G infrastructure and addressing concerns raised by private mobile telecommunication operators. As Malaysia looks to upgrade its technology landscape, the discussion on the future of 5G implementation has become a policy dilemma for the government. In this article, we explore the implications of potentially dismantling the current 5G monopoly and the prospects of introducing new technology partners.

Controversies Surrounding 5G Implementation

The implementation of 5G technology in Malaysia has faced criticism and controversies from the beginning. The previous government under Muhyiddin Yassin established Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) as the single-wholesale network (SWN) provider, limiting private telcos' options to lease 5G spectrum from the entity. Industry analysts argued that Malaysia traditionally awarded spectrum to private telcos, fostering infrastructure-based competition and innovation. Concerns were raised about the lack of consultation with private sector players and the potential limitations of the SWN model.

Exploring Alternatives

To address the concerns and challenges surrounding 5G implementation, the Malaysian government is considering alternative approaches. One option is to allow a second operator, breaking the monopoly and promoting competition. Another possibility is to disband DNB and conduct spectrum auctions to encourage the emergence of multiple networks. Additionally, there are discussions about the outright sale of DNB to local telco players and foreign investors, with the state retaining a golden share for veto rights.

Potential Technology Partners

The lobby for China's Huawei and other players, such as ZTE Corporation, has intensified recently. Huawei, aiming to expand its presence in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, has already established a strategic partnership with Maxis Bhd, Malaysia's largest private mobile operator. However, concerns have been raised about potential diplomatic pitfalls associated with embracing Huawei, given the global scrutiny over its equipment's security vulnerabilities. The opposition from Western countries, particularly the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, raises questions about the balance between technological advancement and national security.

Considerations for the Government

The Malaysian government, under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, faces crucial decisions regarding the future of 5G implementation. Balancing technological partnerships, investment, and cybersecurity concerns will be pivotal in determining the path forward. The government must consider the valid concerns raised by the US and EU regarding Chinese technology vendors while seeking technology and investment from Western countries. Making the final call on 5G implementation will require a thorough assessment of all stakeholders' interests and potential risks.

Ericsson and Intel Collaborate to Drive 5G Innovation in Malaysia

Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson and chipmaker Intel have announced a collaboration in Malaysia to develop 5G use cases that will accelerate the adoption of new technologies for enterprises and digitalization in the country. The partnership, discussed during a meeting between Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger at the World Economic Forum in Davos, aims to build the 5G ecosystem in Malaysia and leverage the potential of 5G to drive digital transformation.

​The collaboration between Ericsson and Intel is aligned with Malaysia's bold move to commission a nationwide 5G network. Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm emphasized the benefits of digitalization for emerging economies, highlighting that Malaysia's accelerated 5G rollout will enable the country to achieve a digital economy transformation faster than anticipated. By leveraging the speed, resilience, security, and low latency of 5G, the collaboration aims to accelerate Malaysia's journey towards a digital economy, offering benefits such as enhanced education, skills development, employment opportunities, and economic growth.

One of the key aspects of the collaboration between Ericsson and Intel is the development of 5G use cases that cater to various sectors. These use cases will explore the potential of 5G technology in enabling cloud gaming, digitalizing multiple industries, and fostering innovation. By creating a robust 5G ecosystem, the collaboration aims to unlock significant business opportunities in consumer applications and enterprise services. This opens up avenues for investors to tap into emerging sectors and capitalize on the growth potential associated with the digital transformation driven by 5G technology.

Both Ericsson and Intel recognize the crucial role that connectivity plays in building sustainable and resilient digital economies. As Malaysia expands its nationwide 5G network and builds a strong 5G ecosystem, it sets the stage for an era of innovation and economic transformation. The collaboration between Ericsson and Intel will contribute to Malaysia's digital economy journey, enabling advancements in how people work, learn, connect, develop, and operate. Investors can anticipate the positive impact of this digital transformation on various sectors and position themselves to benefit from the growth opportunities that arise.

Intel's commitment to Malaysia is evident through its long-standing presence in the country for over 50 years. The chipmaker is further expanding its operations by constructing a large manufacturing plant in Malaysia. This investment signifies Intel's confidence in Malaysia's potential and its commitment to supporting the country's digital transformation. Investors can consider the implications of Intel's expansion and its potential impact on the company's performance and stock value.

The potential shift in Malaysia's 5G landscape, coupled with the collaboration between Ericsson and Intel, signifies a significant advancement towards digital transformation in the country. This shift opens doors to new technology partners and competition, presenting opportunities for enhanced technological advancements. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's administration faces the challenge of addressing controversies surrounding 5G implementation while ensuring the protection of national interests, cybersecurity, and the facilitation of investment opportunities.

The decisions made in the coming months will play a critical role in shaping Malaysia's technological future and determining the country's approach to embracing the potential of 5G. The collaboration between Ericsson and Intel holds substantial promise as it drives 5G innovation in Malaysia. By developing 5G use cases and establishing a robust 5G ecosystem, Malaysia can unlock new business opportunities and propel its journey towards a digital economy.

Investors should keep a close eye on the progress of this collaboration, as it presents potential investment opportunities that arise from the evolving digital landscape in Malaysia. The partnership between Ericsson and Intel reinforces the positive outlook for the growth and advancement of Malaysia's technology sector. As Malaysia embraces 5G technology and its digital transformation accelerates, the country's commitment to fostering innovation and leveraging the potential of 5G positions it as an attractive market for investors seeking to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the evolving technological landscape.​

In light of the potential shift in Malaysia's 5G landscape and the ongoing collaboration between Ericsson and Intel, it raises the question of who stands to benefit from this dilemma. As the decisions surrounding 5G implementation unfold, it becomes crucial to consider which public listed companies will seize the opportunities arising from Malaysia's digital transformation. Which companies are well-positioned to capitalize on the evolving 5G ecosystem and contribute to the growth and advancement of the country's technology sector?

It is my hope that the information provided in this article will be useful for all investors. My intention is simply to share information about a company that has the potential to bring profit to investors. Ultimately, any decision made is up to the individual.

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