DNB connects radio network with network operators

  • Claims to have successfully integrated with more than two MNOs
  • MOCN model emphasises sharing of network infrastructure and spectrum

DNB connects radio network with network operatorsDigital Nasional Berhad (DNB) has successfully integrated its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) with more than two of Malaysia’s Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

In a statement, the company said once 5G services are officially launched in end-2021, end users with 5G-compatible devices will be able to enjoy at minimum 100 Mbps.

This means a user at the weakest point of 5G coverage would enjoy 100 Mbps on a 5G-compatible device, it said.

This is made possible with the adoption of the Multi-Operator Core Network (MOCN) model of 5G rollout, which the company said emphasises the sharing of both network infrastructure and valuable spectrum resources.

On Feb 22, the Malaysian government announced that it would speed up 5G deployment through the use of a ‘special purpose vehicle’ (SPV) that will receive 5G spectra, as well as build, operate and lease 5G infrastructure to new and existing telcos by the end of 2021.


Dubbed Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), the SPV is expected to invest a total of US$3.6bn (RM15 billion) over the next decade and will be given the appropriate spectrum to own, implement and manage 5G infrastructure.

The company claimed that this ensures that 5G services are delivered to MNOs at a lower cost per GB than the present 4G standard.

End users in turn, will have access to ultrafast, high quality, and affordable Internet speeds, it said.

This is in line with the government’s mandate to accelerate the deployment of 5G, making it available throughout Malaysia, in order to bridge the urban-rural digital divide, it added.

“Today I witnessed the seamless integration between DNB’s 5G radio network with each MNOs’ existing core platforms, which will eliminate costly duplication in infrastructure investments and is expected to drive lower 5G prices to end users," said Annuar Musa, minister of communication and multimedia.

“This will further enable the accelerated adoption of 5G services in Malaysia and narrow the digital divide,” he added.

David Hägerbro, head of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, said, “The 5G MOCN integration with more than two MNOs on the DNB network is a historical milestone, not only for the Malaysian mobile telecommunications industry, but also globally.

“5G MOCN integration so far has involved only two MNOs. The fact that more than two MNO core networks can share the same radio access network (RAN) and bandwidth is a testimony to Ericsson’s 5G deployment expertise and Ericsson’s delivery of the 5G network in Malaysia.”

An increasingly common rollout strategy, the MOCN model is a global telecommunications standard defined by the 3GPP1. It allows a single network infrastructure RAN to be shared and connected to multiple MNO Core Networks.

In the past, each MNO would deploy its own individual infrastructure based on a certain allocation of available spectrum by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

In the case of 5G, the MCMC has provided all 5G spectrum to DNB allowing it to build a single, seamless 'superhighway' that is both secured and adaptable as the peak can be managed across all of DNB’s customers, DNB claimed.

This entails the rollout of a single seamless infrastructure – comprising of the radio unit, power, and fiber connectivity – which will serve all MNOs equally, on a wholesale basis, it said.

Thanks to this pooling of 5G spectrum with DNB, it is in a position to deploy the 5G network on an accelerated schedule, which the company said is just five months between the appointment of the network equipment provider Ericsson on July 1, to 5G services being available by end-2021.


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