The fifth generation wireless technology for digital cellular networks, also known as 5G, has becoming the most important technologies that will have impact on business of Malaysian companies since the beginning of wide deployment in 2019. Malaysia’s five largest listed telecommunications stocks – Maxis Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, Digi.com Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, and Time dotcom Bhd – are aiming to bring the latest technology innovations into Malaysia by rolling out massive 5G project demonstrations nationwide, and Malaysia expect to see commercial rollout of 5G by September 2020.
1. RM50 bil dividend paid by Malaysia's top five telecoms companies
Many may not realise that the larger five (Maxis, Digi, TM, Axiata, and Time dotcom) paid RM50 billion dividend between 2010 and 2018 as the government further cemented its aspirations to encourage technology innovation in Malaysia by introducing RM50 million 5G Ecosystem Development grant under the 2020 Budget.
2. Half of RM21.6 bil cost for NFCP will be funded with USP fund
In support of Malaysia’s technology innovation and development agenda, half of RM21.6 billion cost for National Connectivity and Fiberisation Plan (NFCP) will be funded with Universal Service Provision (USP) fund to achieve the target on getting 30Mbps broadband speeds in 98% of populated areas by 2023. Internet speed will be upgraded to gigabit level in selected industrial areas and all state capitals from 2020 to 2023.
3. RM600 mil paid by top 4 telecoms companies
The top four telecoms companies (Maxis, Digi, Telekom, and Axiata) contribute about RM600 million annually in dividend to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). This contribution has allowed the EPF to pay about eight to nine basis points more in dividends for 2016 to 2018.
4. Infrastructure for 5G could cost RM7 to RM8 bil
By some estimates, the infrastructure for 5G may cost another RM7 billion to RM8 billion in capital expenditure over next four to five years, in addition to investment in 4G and LTE. However, Al-Ishsal, chairman of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), mentioned that the cost of deployment can be reduced, and he ensured the 5G networks is better than 4G networks.
Not to mention that Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had announced that eight companies have committed to initial investment which costs RM166 million for 5G demonstration projects. The industry players agree with government’s ambitious approach by providing commitments, support, and investments towards establishing the strong use for 5G applications and improving living standards among Malaysians.