Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), the company managing Malaysia’s single wholesale 5G network, claimed coverage of nearly 50 per cent of populated areas, reaching 15 million people and exceeding a previous target of 40 per cent at end-2022.

The company, working with equipment vendor Ericsson, said it deployed 3,900 sites nationwide at end-2022 and is working to hit 80 per cent coverage before the end of 2024.

The state-run entity said it achieved more than 90 per cent population coverage across Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor, as well as about 50 per cent in Johor, Malacca and Negeri Sembilan. The 5G network clocks an average downland speed of 380Mb/s, compared with a 35Mb/s rate for 4G.

Five mobile operators launched 5G services, with about 8 million compatible devices in the hands of end-users, by end-2022, DNB said. The number is forecast to more than double this year.

In early December, the company said the network reached about 38 per cent of populated areas nationwide.

The same week, the country’s new Prime Minister raised concerns about the transparency of the country’s controversial policy to create a single national 5G network.