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PUTRAJAYA is considering fiscal incentives for telecommunications companies to assist in their transition into 5G to mitigate short-term commercial consequences of providing the network to their customers.
Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said 5G availability and adoption can contribute to the digital ambitions of the country, and ensure connectivity as a basic right for citizens.
“The 5G network will boost the economy by RM650 billion and create 750,000 high-value jobs between now and 2030,” he told The Straits Times yesterday.
“Hence, the success of our 5G deployment is a matter of public interest.”
In the medium to long term, telcos will reap the benefits without the need for additional government assistance, he added.
“The larger issue is Malaysians’ and businesses’ access to 5G.
“If current telcos continue to delay providing 5G services to their customers… we will consider other options, such as issuing licences to new players to enable the speedy delivery of such services in the country.
“The interests of the country and its people must take precedence over the their narrow commercial interests.”
Tengku Zafrul said the first stage of the equity take-up process, which involves gathering feedback from telcos on a confidential consultation document issued by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), was completed earlier this month.
“We are now in the second stage, which involves the distribution of a term sheet for the telco equity participation.
“This term sheet summarises key terms under which DNB will be governed as an entity with both the telcos (shareholders) and Finance Ministry.”
DNB is a special-purpose vehicle company owned by the ministry and regulated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
Established in March last year, it aims to drive the development of the 5G infrastructure in Malaysia. – Bernama, June 18, 2022.