CelcomDigi, Maxis, TM, U Mobile And YTL To Finalise Shareholdings In DNB

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Communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil today has announced that five of Malaysia’s major telcos have reached an agreement for 5G access and equity participation in Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). The aforementioned include CelcomDigi, Maxis, Telekom Malaysia, U Mobile and YTL Communications – all of which are in the midst of finalising the shareholding process with the country’s current sole 5G infrastructure provider.

With this, not only will the five telcos gain access to DNB’s network, they will be sharing their stakes in the state-owned company, as well as maintain a 10-year 5G access agreement with it. Information regarding the equity breakdown and required investment has not been disclosed at this time.

It is also worth noting that Maxis and U Mobile, two telcos which did not participate in the previous deal, have decided to be onboard this time around. In fact, Fahmi kicked off the announcement with a notice directed to users of the former, informing them that they can expect to enjoy 5G connectivity soon. This comes barely as a surprise, as Maxis had already announced its decision to sign a deal with DNB last week on Bursa Malaysia, stating that it is within the company’s best interest and there are no other options available.

Fahmi added that all five telcos will also support DNB’s 5G development until it achieves 80% population coverage by the end of 2023, before the transition to a dual network approach in 2024. As of 30 June 2023, it is revealed that the sole 5G network provider has so far reached 64.7% of its goal. Once it is reached, the government will withdraw its holding in DNB, thus turning it into a fully private entity.

As for the upcoming shift to a dual network implementation, there’s still no word on the formation of the second entity that will be providing 5G infrastructure in Malaysia alongside DNB. It also begs the question of which telco will be investing in the alternative, given the fact that all five major players in the country are now committed to the existing 5G network provider.

(Source: Fahmi Fadzil [Twitter])

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