Apple earlier today has rolled out another new update to iPhone users in the form of iOS 16.2. It carries several notable new features such as Apple Music Sing, Freeform app, and end-to-end encryption for additional iCloud data categories but for Malaysian users, it also enables the 5G access to them.
This is even though 5G has yet to be listed on Apple’s support document as one of the features available for telcos in Malaysia, according to our quick check at 9:45 AM.
Similarly, the national 5G company Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) also has yet to include iPhone models in its 5G devices list. [UPDATE – 11:40 AM: iPhone models are now part of the list.]
As you might recall, iPhone entered the 5G era back in 2020 with the release of iPhone 12 family. At the moment, this feature is available across all 2022 iPhone models including the entry-level third-generation iPhone SE that made its way to Malaysia back in March.
Once you download and install the 1.29GB update on your iPhone, open the About section in the phone’s Settings, scroll down, and you should see that the Network Provider for your telco is now listed as version 53.1. In addition to that, you should see new 5G options inside the Mobile Data section. To see them, open Mobile Data Options > Voice & Data whereby you will now see the 5G On and 5G Auto options.
In the Data Mode section, you should be able to see the new Allow More Data on 5G option too that allows you to prioritize 5G over Wi-Fi.
In our market, Apple has Celcom, Digi, Maxis, and U Mobile as its telco partners which generally allows them to seamlessly integrate iPhone and its features into their network. However, the 5G deployment in Malaysia was done by DNB through the Single Wholesale Network model which made it rather unique, to say the least.
Out of these telcos, Maxis is the only one that has yet to sign up for 5G access and is expected to do it sometime after January 2023. Since unifi and YTL Communications are not Apple’s telco partners, unifi Mobile and Yes customers out there are not able to utilize 5G on their iPhones at the moment even though both telcos already support 5G.