Salem Radio Network News Sunday, December 10, 2023


Malaysia’s switch to dual 5G network can allow participation of China’s Huawei – PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said on Wednesday a switch to having a dual 5G network would allow for more effective participation by China’s Huawei, providing his country with a balance of both Western and Eastern technology.

The government in May had said it would allow a second 5G network to operate from next year to break a monopoly held by a single state-run network, despite concerns from some Western countries that wanted Malaysia to stick to its original plan.

The European Union and the U.S. had warned Malaysia of risks to national security and foreign investment amid efforts by Huawei to bid for a role in its telecoms infrastructure, The Financial Times had reported in May.

Anwar on Wednesday acknowledged concerns from some countries over the “security and capacity” of technology stemming from China, but said the decision to allow a second 5G network was made so that Malaysia could benefit from different technologies.

“We in Malaysia… and I believe rightly, decided that while we get the best from the West, we also should benefit the best from the East,” he told an event hosted by Huawei in Kuala Lumpur.

“After extensive discussion… we made the decision to allow for a dual network, and thus the decision for more effective participation by Huawei.”

Malaysia had in 2021 unveiled a plan for a state-owned agency, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), to own the full 5G spectrum, with various carriers using the infrastructure to provide mobile services, but the plan had come under industry criticism over pricing and competition.

State-run DNB partnered with Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson to roll out Malaysia’s 5G network. It is unclear how Malaysia’s plan for a second network would affect DNB’s agreement with Ericsson or other mobile operators.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Martin Petty)


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