Malaysia swiftly backtracked on a plan to bypass a 5G tender process and hand out spectrum to five companies, citing legal and technical issues, along with a lack of transparency for the about turn.
In a statement, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia said it was cancelling its order for regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to allocate the spectrum to Celcom Axiata; Maxis; Digi; Telekom Malaysia; and Altel Communications.
Minister for Communications and Multimedia Saifuddin Abdullah had issued the directive to assign blocks of 700MHz to the five companies on 15 May.
However, in its statement, Saifuddin said to ensure a transparent process, he directed the MCMC chairman to cancel the ministerial directive and review the decision.
In early January, MCMC said it was considering allocating spectrum to a consortium of licensees through an open tender.
Bloomberg reported the decision in May had surprised the market, as it was an “abrupt departure” from the regulator’s original plan, which has seemingly led to the move being abandoned.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back