Malaysia’s big four telcos – Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile have jointly issued a statement expressing their interest to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-KOMM) to further understand and explore the equity stake offer in Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) and the process moving forward. Last week, the Government has announced that it will continue rolling out 5G with DNB as the single wholesale network.
The big four telcos are looking forward to discussing and seeking input from the Government on the details of equity stake offer and are keen to collaborate with the relevant ministries and to look forward to an approach that is typical of any Mergers and Acquisitions process. They have also recommended to setup up project teams to align on the processes such as due diligence, transaction timelines, and other administrative matters. They emphasised their commitment to playing an active role in 5G implementation and in realising the nation’s digital ambitions.
DNB is a special purpose vehicle wholly owned under the Ministry of Finance that has given the mandate to rollout 5G. Instead of signing up with DNB, the four telcos have initially proposed a Dual Wholesale Network, which will allow the telcos to develop another 5G network alongside DNB.
In an attempt to end the 5G stalemate between DNB and the telcos, the government has offered to reduce its stake in DNB from 100% to 30%, allowing the telcos to take up 70% equity. Following the latest developments, DNB has offered free 5G access to its network until 30th June to facilitate a seamless transition for telcos that have yet to sign up.
At the moment, only YTL Communications and Telekom Malaysia have committed to DNB’s 5G pilot trial. However, YTL’s Yes 5G is the only telco to offer commercial 5G services to consumers.
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