Following the revelation of a previously unseen directive issued in May, Malaysia has clarified that it will not allocate 5G spectrum directly to operators in lieu of an open tender.
On 15th May, Malaysia’s Minister for Communications and Multimedia Saifuddin Abdullah ordered the country’s regulator MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) to allocate blocks of 700MHz spectrum to five selected operators.
The chosen recipients were to be Altel Communications, Celcom Axiata, Digi, Maxis, and Telekom Malaysia. Now, Saifuddin has confirmed that he has ordered this directive to be dropped and will review the move, in a bid to enable a more transparent spectrum allocation process.
In January this year, MCMC stated in a report that it expected to issue both 700MHz and 3.5GHz spectrum via an open tender to a single-entity consortium comprised of multiple licensees.
Saifuddin’s order in May represented a significant diversion from this strategy, and with the directive only surfacing today, Bloomberg notes that the move appeared to have shocked the market – which has evidently resulted in it being swiftly abandoned.