MCMC takes forward-looking step in setting stage for 5G in Malaysia
By Digital News Asia January 1, 2020
- Preference for single entity via a consortium formed by multiple licensees
- 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26/28 GHz bands, set for initial deployment
The big news from the just released Final Report on the Allocation of Spectrum Bands for Mobile Broadband Service in Malaysia is the preference for a single entity comprising a consortium formed by multiple licensees, instead of individual licensees for the 700 MHz band together with the 3.5 GHz band for 5G services.
[Para updated with the correct link for the Final Report.]
In light of the rapid development of the global 5G ecosystem and deployment, MCMC has identified both the 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz, along with 26/28 GHz as the pioneer spectrum bands for 5G roll-out in Malaysia.
MCMC explains that this consortium approach is intended to lower the capital expenditure (capex) by minimising costs and prevent the duplication of infrastructure, at a time where operators are continuing to make improvements in 4G networks.
MCMC will undertake a tender process for the purpose of selecting such a consortium.
As this is a new approach, MCMC explains that it will only make available 2x30 MHz of the 700 MHz band and 100 MHz of the 3.5 GHz band. The remaining frequencies of these bands will be considered for assignment at a later stage says the MCMC without further details.
The Final Report was issued following MCMC’s commitment to make public its final position, as indicated in the Public Inquiry (PI) report on spectrum allocation matters, in relation to 700 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz spectrum bands that was published on 29 Sept 2019.
The position taken in the Final Report reflects both MCMC’s deliberation of the responses to the PI, and an assessment of current developments globally in relation to 5G deployment.
The assignment of the 26/28 GHz bands will be conducted in two methods. The 24.9 GHz to 26.5 GHz frequency bands will be assigned through a tender process (beauty contest) to licensees on a nationwide basis. The 26.5 GHz to 28.1 GHz frequency bands will be assigned on a first-come first-served basis and will be open to any party (including non-licensees) for the purpose of deploying localised and/or private networks.
The assignment for the above mentioned spectrum bands will be made by way of apparatus assignment (AA). MCMC anticipates that the appropriate spectrum fee through AA is more economical, and will encourage network deployment by the service provider.
Cost savings can be passed on to businesses and consumers to ensure better value of affordable services. Once the assignment processes are completed, MCMC expects commercial deployment of 5G in Malaysia to begin by Q3 of 2020.
This is consistent with the deliberations in the National 5G Task Force that was established since Nov 2018, comprising of 114 organisations representing the demand and supply side of the ecosystem.
The existing allocation for deployment of current 4G will be maintained. This includes maintaining existing allocation of the 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz bands until Dec 2021. MCMC will undertake the necessary review of these bands in 2021.
For more information about the Final Report on the allocation of spectrum bands for mobile broadband service, visit: https://www.mcmc.gov.my/skmmgovmy/media/General/pdf/FINAL-REPORT_ALLOCAT...
[Para updated with the correct link.]