EU, US warns Malaysia over Huawei 5G bid
The European Union (EU) and the US have warned Malaysia about using Huawei in its national 5G rollout.
According to a report from the Financial Times (FT), envoys to Malaysia from the US and EU wrote to the government in April after it decided to review a decision to award Ericsson a US2.5 billion tender to build the state-owned 5G network.
Malaysia’s 5G rollout has suffered numerous setbacks as concerns were raised over pricing and transparency.
Huawei was long considered to be the frontrunner for the contract, with the Malaysian government previously dismissing US concerns.
The Chinese vendor is thought to be battling back in the competition to build 5G networks in south-east Asia, having been blacklisted from several countries in the West.
Malaysia’s state-backed 5G wholesale provider Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) reached 5G coverage of 55% of the country’s populated areas as of the end of March according to local press.
Fahmi Fadzil, the country’s digital and communications officer noted that DNB was on track on delivering the committed target of 80% of the country’s populated areas before the end of 2023.
Fadzil also said that the Malaysian government was in talks with local operators to accelerate 5G deployment.
This is backed by reports from April that indicated Malaysia would be setting up a second 5G network from next year.
A recommendation from major carriers for a second 5G provider was rejected by the precious government last year.