Most major telcos in Malaysia are already offering 5G for their customers and now mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) are getting in on the action. The latest to announce support for the next-generation network is Yoodo, although the company did not provide a definitive timeline for its 5G rollout.
The announcement isn’t a surprise given that Yoodo is an MVNO that uses Celcom’s network, which has already launched 5G packages to consumers last year. It’s still unclear whether the customisable carrier will be introducing new 5G packages or it will offer the faster network free of charge to existing plans.
CelcomDigi recently announced that 5G is also enabled for its users when roaming overseas, so it would be interesting to see if Yoodo will introduce the same feature eventually. The only thing we know so far about the company’s upcoming rollout is that there will be a free 5G trial, but it’s unclear if one needs to sign up to participate or if users will be chosen at random.
The MVNO did promise “innovative products and offers” last year when it reassured customers that it will be operating as usual following the merger between Celcom and Digi. In the long term, Yoodo’s future is unclear as a condition of the merger requires Celcom to divest itself of Yoodo 18 months after the deal closes and to shut down the subsidiary three months following that.
Meanwhile, Yoodo isn’t the only Celcom-based MVNOs that have dabbled in 5G. Tune Talk revealed to Lowyat.NET last year that it already embarked on internal 5G trials although the company said that it will not launch 5G until the company is able to determine that the experience can meet customers’ expectations.
On the other hand, XOX Mobile apparently started its own 5G Friendly User Trial earlier this week according to a FAQ document on its website. The document has since been removed from the website, but not before it was cached by Google.
It’s also interesting to note that while there are already MVNOs running on other telcos’ networks that are preparing to launch 5G, one of the country’s biggest carriers, Maxis, still has not enabled the new standard on its network. While it was supposed to get shareholder approval to sign a 5G access agreement with DNB in January, the move was delayed until the government comes out with a definitive 5G implementation policy.
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