On 1 July, the Malaysian state-owned Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) announced that it has chosen the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson to develop its fifth-generation (5G) network and ecosystem even though Chinese Huawei has long been seen as the frontrunner, Reuters reports.
DNB, which is responsible for the project, has appointed Ericsson to be responsible for the end-to-end development of the network in Malaysia at a total cost of $2.65 billion. According to DNB, this includes the core, radio access, and transport network, operation and business support systems, and managed systems, besides supporting local vendor development and participation.
The statement also said, “Ericsson has undertaken to arrange financing for the supply, delivery, and management of the entire 5G network.” Malaysia aims to launch 5G in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya by the end of this year and the plan is to expand nationwide by 2023.
The Malaysian government has previously dismissed security concerns over Huawei raised by the United States and Huawei has long been seen as the frontrunner for Malaysia’s 5G network. Huawei has already signed a deal with Maxis, Malaysia’s second-largest mobile network by subscribers, to launch gift generation services.