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5G industry disruptor exposes ugly side of telcos – Zainul Arifin
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[Image: 29102021-KUL-Digital_Nasional-Alif_Omar-01_dnb.jpg]

WHY are some politicians siding with rich telecommunication companies (telcos) over the interest of the people in the national 5G debate? 

Has the telcos lobby gotten hold of them, or are they using the 5G plan as another political ammo to get at the government by painting a spectre of an impending scandal? I believe it is true on both counts.

The previous government set up government company Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) to build a nationwide 5G infrastructure, instead of having telcos do it. The major telcos are not too happy and are withholding support – and reports suggest they are lobbying for an alternative network.

They are said to be waging war against DNB and their lobby seems strong, concerted, and has convinced some big guns – politicians, non-governmental organisations, the media, etc – to be on board.

DNB is to be a single wholesale network (SWN) that will sell 5G access to telcos, or whomever that wants it. The idea is that the SWN will free telcos from having to invest and duplicate resources, and instead concentrate on services to be offered to customers. 

The 5G is meant to provide almost quantum leap-like technological development – for instance, 2G wowed us with the novelty of sending text messages or SMS over the phone, while the 8-year-old 4G (yawn) allows extensive internet functionalities, including streaming. 

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