All major telcos in Malaysia with the exception of Maxis have signed the 5G access agreement with Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) right at the tail end of October. This would allow them to finally deploy 5G services to end users alongside YTL Communications’ Yes which was the only 5G telco in the country since last December.
However, let’s put these big telcos – Celcom, Digi, Maxis, U Mobile, TM, and YTL – aside first and shift our view to the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) players. According to the latest Industry Performance Report which was published by MCMC in late August this year [pdf – page 50], there were 13 MVNOs in our market in 2021 and they were responsible for 7.7 million out of 47.2 million mobile subscriptions in Malaysia.
Similar to their principal mobile network partners, some of these MVNOs are already looking into the 5G as well. In the case of Tune Talk, the outfit has even put up a 5G label next to its logo since a few months ago.
That seemed to signify that the MVNO may join the 5G fray very soon. Given the ongoing hu-ha about Malaysian 5G activation by multiple telcos this month including Tune Talk’s own principal mobile network partner and major shareholder Celcom, we have reached out to the MVNO to obtain further information.
This was the written reply that Lowyat.NET received from Tune Talk’s CEO, Ameen Amaendran Abdullah in regard to its 5G plan:
We are currently in the testing stage to ensure we get optimal customer experience for our subscribers, and will not launch 5G until we are certain the experience will consistently meet customers’ expectations.
Meanwhile, Tune Talk will continue to ride on Celcom’s network with the best 4G coverage in Malaysia.
While the statement might be extremely brief, it is clear that 5G is still a work in progress for the MVNO. At the moment, there is also no clear indication whether Tune Talk will deploy 5G through Celcom as per its current 4G arrangement or go directly to DNB just like everyone else.