MCMC identifies pioneer spectrum bands for 5G rollout

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has identified certain spectrum bands as pioneer spectrum bands for the rollout of 5G technology.

In light of rapid development of the global 5G ecosystem and deployment, the MCMC has identified the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26/28 GHz bands to rollout the 5G technology, with the 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz bands being considered for allocation to a single entity comprising a consortium formed by multiple licensees, instead of individual licensees.

“MCMC will undertake a tender process for this purpose. This approach is intended to lower the capital expenditure by minimising costs and prevent the duplication of infrastructure, at a time where improvements in 4G networks are continuing,“ it said in a statement today.

As this is a new approach, MCMC will only make available 2x30 MHz of the 700 MHz band and 100 MHz or the 3.5 GHz band. The remaining frequencies of these bands will be considered for assignment at a later stage.

They also said the assignment of the 26/28 GHz bands will be conducted in two methods, with the 24.9 GHz to 26.5 GHz frequency bands being assigned through a tender process to licensees on a nationwide basis, while the 26.5 GHz to 28.1 GHz frequency bands will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis and will be open to any party (including non-licensees) for the purpose of deploying localised and/or private networks.

“The assignment for the above mentioned spectrum bands will be made by way ofapparatus assignment (AA). MCMC anticipates that the appropriate spectrum feethrough AA is more economical, and will encourage network deployment by theservice provider. Cost savings can be passed on to businesses and consumers toensure better value of affordable services,“ it said.

Once the assignment processes are completed, the MCMC expects commercial deployment of 5G in Malaysia to begin by the third quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, the existing allocation for deployment of current 4G technology will be maintained.This includes maintaining the existing allocation of the 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz bands until December 2021.

The MCMC will undertake the necessary review of these bands in 2021.