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Malaysia hands 5G spectrum to little-known firm controlled by politically linked tycoon

Jun 03, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia has quietly awarded the highly sought-after 5G telecommunications spectrum to several players, including the little-known Altel, a firm controlled by the reclusive but politically connected tycoon Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary, seemingly without an open tender previously promised.

Prior to being ousted in February, the Pakatan Harapan administration had promised an open tender to allocate the spectrum - reserved frequencies to avoid interference of transmission - but encouraged industry players to form a consortium that would avoid duplication of heavy expenses in rolling out infrastructure for the next generation broadband service.

Despite much fanfare concerning the potential of 5G services - which could be up to 20 times faster than current 4G mobile connections - the signed orders were only uploaded to the MCMC website in a buried section on spectrums, with no media statements issued since.

It is not known if any fees have been agreed for the 5G spectrum.

Altel, a subsidiary of Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar's Puncak Semangat, was awarded the most amount of spectrum in the 2.6GHz band to deploy 4G services by MCMC in late 2012.