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Digital Nasional Berhad appoints Morten Lundal as Director

Digital Nasional Berhad (“DNB”), the sole operator and provider of the soon to be launched Malaysia 5G infrastructure, has appointed two new directors. Morten Lundal and Lim Tau Kien have been appointed independent non-executive directors effective 14 April 2021 and 28 April 2021 respectively.

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Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) a Special Purpose Vehicle wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), is regulated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in partnership with Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and Huawei Technologies. DNB will exclusively own, build and operate the 5G infrastructure. It will offer 5G as a wholesale network service to other Telecommunication companies.

The other 3 board members are: Datuk Seri Dr. Yusof bin Ismail, director-general of the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, former chairman and chief executive of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC); and lawyer Datuk Muthanna Abdullah.

In March 2021, the Finance Ministry announced the appointment of its ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Asri Hamidon as DNB chairman and Augustus Ralph Marshall, former director and CEO of Astro Holdings Sdn Bhd, as its CEO.

According to DNB, it will select a network equipment provider (NEP) in July 2021 and it will be given less than 6 months to roll out a 5G infrastructure in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur.

Full media statement below:

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 June 2021 – Digital Nasional Berhad (“DNB”), a Special Purpose Vehicle wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance(“MOF”) to build, own and operate Malaysia’s 5G infrastructure, today announced the appointments of telecommunication veteran Morten Lundal and Lim Tau Kien as its independent non-executive directors effective 14 April 2021 and 28 April 2021 respectively.

They will join three other board members: Datuk Seri Dr. Yusof bin Ismail, director-general of the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, former chairman and chief executive of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC); and lawyer Datuk Muthanna Abdullah.

Dato’ Asri Hamidon, Chairman of DNB, said, “On behalf of DNB, I am pleased to welcome both Mr. Lundal and Ms. Lim to the board. Their appointments will further elevate the board’s capacity in ensuring the best standards in corporate governance; and the combined experience of the professional appointees together with the leadership of Mr. Ralph Marshall with specialisation in regulatory and operating aspects of telecommunication, public finance and general management, and legal is particularly valuable as DNB makes headway in realising its goal to launch the 5G network by the end of the year.”

“The acceleration of 5G in Malaysia will be a key impetus for economic growth and digital transformation and is critical to enable advanced industry and consumer applications. It will create industry competitiveness and attractiveness for investments, with more than 100,000 new job opportunities for all Malaysians,” he added.

Morten has over 30 years’ experience and brings with him extensive global and local telecommunications industry knowledge and insights having held key positions at Telenor ASA in Oslo, Vodafone Group plc in London, and Maxis Berhad and Digi in Malaysia. Lim has over 40 years’ corporate experience, and was the country chief finance officer, country controller and finance director in Shell China before her retirement in 2008. Lim has held several key corporate roles including as a director of listed and non-listed companies since 1997.

DNB was set up in line with the announcement on Malaysia’s digital blueprint, MyDIGITAL, by the Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on 19 February 2021. It marks a significant step in realising the government of Malaysia’s pioneering vision to build a single nationwide 5G network to accelerate digital growth initiatives aimed at promoting socioeconomic progress and inclusivity for all Malaysians.

The proposal request for the provision of the building and maintenance of a nationwide 5G network for Malaysia was issued on 7 April 2021 to eight global network equipment providers (NEPs), approved and authorised by DNB’s board of directors. These NEPs were identified based on DNB’s objective, clear and established criteria which include their proven 5G network rollout credentials in Asia and internationally; as well as having local presence in Malaysia. The selected NEP will be announced in July 2021. Upon its appointment, the NEP will commence work towards the goal of the first rollout of 5G by the end of 2021 in Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy