Ministry cancels 5G awards after pushback

In a turnaround move from yesterday’s announcement of the 5G bandwidth awards, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia has issued a cancellation of said awards after backlash on the announcement.

Identifying said 5G bandwidth as a “national asset,” Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has ordered for the cancellation, saying it was “due to technical issues, laws, and the need for a transparent process.”

“I have instructed the chairman of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to cancel the awards, and to inspect the instruments involved immediately,” said Saifuddin in a media statement.

He further noted that the management and allocation of the spectrum is important for national development, through the advancements in numerous sectors such as the telecommunications, broadcasting, science and technology, health and maritime sectors.

“There were 18 instruments, including the instructions and allocation of the 700MHz, 900MHz and 2,600MHz bandwidths, presented to me,” said Saifuddin, before reiterating the government and the ministry’s commitment to the efforts to national development, as well as in providing the best service in technology and telecommunications, higher speed broadband connections, and the latest, high-quality ICT facilities.

The ministry had received backlash due to the granting of the awards to several companies through direct negotiations instead of via open tender.

The companies that were awarded this were Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, and Altel Communications Sdn Bhd, a company that belongs to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary. – June 3, 2020

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