KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 — The proposed Single Wholesale Network (SWN) for 5G, which will give telecommunication companies (telcos) equal access to the network infrastructure, may lead to the entry of more new players and drive entrants and telcos to offer better services and more innovative packages, according to Asia Analytica.
The research outfit, in an article in The Edge weekly, said the new entrants are not expected to take significant market shares from the existing players but would “almost certainly” incentivise the telcos to provide better-quality services to retain their customers.
“In other words, instead of competing on infrastructure — such as coverage — all telcos will now compete on offering better services and more innovative packages,” it said.
Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), a wholly-owned subsidiary by the Minister of Finance (Inc), will undertake the deployment of the 5G network and infrastructure nationwide under the SWN model.
The article said the sharing of spectrum ensures maximum efficiency and therefore higher throughput in the utilisation of this scarce resource. “Most importantly, this sharing proposition will lead to lower prices for Malaysians,” it said.
Asia Analytica argued that the better quality of service can be achieved without even hurting existing telco profits.
In fact, it said, the lower wholesale costs would lead to lower prices and higher volume demand.
On the current 4G network, it said telcos have not done a very good job but consumers are paying a higher price per gigabyte compared to Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
“Malaysian telcos, on the other hand, are among the most profitable in the world,” it said.
The publication also reported that the loudest objections to SWN came, unsurprisingly, from the major telcos, which may view the loss of prospective 5G spectrum ownership as a threat to their existing business models and future profitability.
“Hence there is no surprise why there is resistance from the industry given that it disrupts the status quo, despite the merits of the single wholesale model in delivering nationwide 5G coverage faster and at lower costs by cutting duplication,” the article said. — Bernama