KUALA LUMPUR: Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) which was formulated to provide wider coverage and better quality of broadband experience whilst preparing the country for 5G technology appears to be on track in its aspiration and target.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek hinted today that tender for the 5G infrastructure development estimated to be worth RM15 billion would be announced soon.

"I believe it would be open soon but it's not for MCMC to say; the Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) will issue a statement accordingly," he said at the RHB Investors Conference.

DNB which is the special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will undertake deployment of the 5G infrastructure and network nationwide is responsible for the tender selection, he said.

He said 5G commercial services would be made available by the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.

JENDELA's national aspiration is to accommodate nine million premises passed with 100 Mbps speed by adopting 5G and 100 per cent 4G coverage in populated areas by 2025.

According to Fadlullah, 5G would potentially create 105,000 new jobs while the use of technology could reduce dependence on low-skilled foreign labour.

"Our goal is to have secure, resilient and robust 5G network that could enable applications of internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

"With 5G we could unlock industry competitiveness and serve the rakyat, enterprises and the government better," he said.

He stressed that 5G is an economic imperative and essential to ensure Malaysia's digital competitiveness.