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"Embarrassing" – Netizens Are Upset That Our 5G Coverage Loses To Neighbouring Countries

Many netizens expressed their disappointment at Malaysia's poor 5G infrastructure in a recent viral post.

Cover image via RCR Wireless & Speedtest by Ookla

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB).

A social media post featuring a 5G coverage map of Southeast Asian (SEA) countries has gone viral on Facebook

The map shows that our closest neighbours — Singapore and Thailand — have 5G coverage in almost all over the countries, while Malaysia only has a few zones with the fastest Internet connection technology

The post was shared by ASEAN Skyline last Saturday, 28 May, crediting Ookla's Speedtest.net for the information.

In Ookla's 'The State of 5G Worldwide 2021' report, which recorded the new technology's connection speed in the third quarter of the year, none of the Asian countries are ranked in the top 10 spots except for South Korea, China, and Taiwan.

South Korea, Norway, and United Arab Emirates have the highest median 5G download speed.

A 5G tower in South Korea.

Image via KT via Asia Nikkei

When it comes to the SEA region, only Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines have 5G coverage at almost every corner of their countries

Their wide coverage is a far cry from Malaysia's coverage, as only certain parts of Penang, Perak, Klang Valley, Johor, and Sarawak have the infrastructure.

Comparatively, Indonesia has more 5G coverage hotspots on the map than Malaysia.

An interactive 5G map by Ookla shows that the greater of Kuala Lumpur has six 5G hotspots, while Singapore has 71 and Bangkok has 144, not including some hundreds more throughout Thailand.

However, in a statement to SAYS, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) said it is inaccurate that Klang Valley, Putrajaya, and Cyberjaya only have six zones with 5G connection.

"As of the week of 22 to 28 May 2022, there are some 641 on-air 5G sites in Malaysia spread across parts of Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, [and] Kuala Lumpur," it said, adding that 40% of populated areas will have the infrastructure by the end of September 2022.

In the comments section of the viral post with over 4,100 likes and 2,300 shares, many netizens were upset that Malaysia is lagging behind in terms of 5G adoption

"In Malaysia, some rural places can't even [get] 4G. Even 2G is limited and often [has] no connection," read a comment.

"In Malaysia, we close 3G. But we have 6G (2G + 4G)," a Facebook user said sarcastically.

"Where's Malaysia? Embarrassing," wrote a person, while another added, "If you zoom in, you can see Malaysia's 5G is almost the size of the whole of Singapore. It's a big achievement."

"What a joke, the map shows Malaysia [looking] like North Korea at night," said a netizen.

Image via Facebook

Check out the full post here:

Ookla's 'The State of 5G Worldwide 2021' full report can be found here or on its website here.

In November last year, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa's comment about 5G left netizens scratching their heads:

In June 2020, then communications and multimedia minister was criticised for allegedly granting 5G spectrum awards to telcos without going through an open tender process: