The Malaysian government has given the go-ahead for a second national 5G network.

The announcement arrives just after the first network, which is operated by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) reached its 80 percent coverage target.

First announced in April of last year, a second network was proposed by the government as it sought to end the duopoly held by the DNB.

DNB's network had been launched by the country's previous government.

The current government, which is led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, stated last year that once the DNB reached its coverage target of 80 percent it would launch the second network.

Launched in 2021, the DNB has seen its network heavily scrutinized by Ibrahim's administration over claims of transparency issues, which led Ibrahim's administration to review the DNB's plan for a state-owned 5G network, with the DNB quite clear that it was to be only 5G network in the country.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) holds a 30 percent stake in DNB, with the rest split between the country’s five operators: Telekom Malaysia, Maxis, U Mobile, YTL, and CelcomDigi.

Local outlet Bernama reported that a decision on the second network will be made by the country's cabinet, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.

“The government will not take long to consider and make an announcement of a shift from a single to dual 5G network coverage,” said communications minister and government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil. "After that, the dual 5G can be implemented if the terms agreed by the task force are achieved.”