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Malaysia’s 5G SPV to be led by former Maxis and Astro top leader?

[ UPDATE 1/3/2021 23:00 ]: Malaysia’s 5G SPV is Digital Nasional Berhad and Ralph Marshall is appointed as CEO. More details here.


Malaysia’s 5G deployment will be handled by a government-driven Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and this approach is expected to speed up 5G rollout and to reduce the investment burden of telcos to ensure that all players will gain equal access to 5G.

Before the full details are revealed, it is now speculated that Augustus Ralph Marshall is likely to be appointed as the CEO to lead the government entity, while Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz will serve as chairman of the board.

Ralph Marshall is said to be Tan Sri T. Ananda Krishnan’s once trusted aide and he was the former top leader at Maxis Berhad and Astro Holdings Berhad. He left Maxis in 2015 and Astro in 2017.

According to Malay Mail, the Ministry of Finance has refused to comment on the matter and Ralph Marshall was not available for comment. According to TheStar’s source, a board comprising of professionals was chosen to put in place the right people to have oversight of the 5G project. It is said that Marshall’s experience in starting the rollout of Maxis has gave him the credentials to lead the 5G SPV.

The 5G SPV will involve an investment of RM15 billion cross 10 years. The MCMC Chairman has recently said in an interview that the SPV will be funded by the private sector. The spectrum will be managed by the SPV and existing service providers will gain access through a wholesale agreement. The MCMC has said that it will be done in a transparent manner and there will be regulatory policies to ensure fair pricing and no anti-competitive behaviour.

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[ SOURCE 2 ]

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Alexander Wong