A recent document has revealed that 700MHz spectrum bands have been allocated to selected telco companies last month including Altel, Celcom, Digi, Maxis, and TM. The document showed that the move was made under the direction of Saifuddin Abdullah, the current Minister of Communications and Multimedia.
The 700MHz spectrum bands have been considered as one of the 5G pioneer bands by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). On 1 January 2020, MCMC has announced that it will award 2 x 30MHz of 700MHz band as well as 100MHz of 3.5GHz band to a single consortium through a tender process that was scheduled to take place within Q1 2020.
However, MCMC did not provide further updates regarding the 5G spectrum allocation up until the recent discovery of the document [pdf] within MCMC’s website by Malaysian Wireless. According to the document which was signed on 15 May 2020 and labelled as Minister Directive No 4 for 2020, here is how the 700MHz bands were divided to the five selected telcos:
In general, this means Altel and TM were given 2 x 5MHz each while Celcom, Digi, and Maxis received 2 x 10MHz respectively. As far as our knowledge goes, none of these telcos has publicly announced that they have been allocated these bands.
Meanwhile, there is no official documents so far that indicate if Minister Saifuddin has applied similar directive to the other 5G pioneer bands such as 3.5GHz and 26/28GHz. We are now reaching out to MCMC as well as the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia to find out more information regarding this sudden assignment of 700MHz spectrum bands.