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Celcom has 9.22 million subs, not allowed to Build own 5G Network [2Q21]

In its second quarter financial announcement today, Axiata Group revealed that its wholly owned subsidiary, Celcom Axiata has 9.22 million mobile subscribers in Malaysia, as of June 2021.


The 4G mobile service provider had 8.99 million subscribers as of March 2021 and it added 229k new subscriptions between April, May and June 2021.

There are now 6.12 million prepaid (vs 5.93 million in 1Q21) and 3.11 million postpaid (vs 3.06 million in 1Q21) subscriptions in the network. The 4G Telco added 184k new prepaid subscriptions and 44k new postpaid subscriptions in 2Q21.

Prepaid and Postpaid ARPU remains unchanged as per the previous financial quarter at RM30 and RM83 respectively.

About 81.7% of its mobile subscribers are data users with 90% smartphone users (89% in 1Q21). Average data usage of all mobile subscribers was 23.9GB in 2Q21 (vs 21.8GB in 1Q21).

4G population coverage is currently at 93% (unchanged since March 2021) while 90% of the network supports LTE-Advanced speeds.

The number of Celcom home fibre customers was not revealed.

In an online media briefing today, responding to questions from MalaysianWireless, Dato’ Izzaddin Idris, President & Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata said that “Celcom is not allowed to build its own 5G network. The Government has awarded all 5G spectrum that is needed to DNB”.

Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) is a Special Purpose Vehicle wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), regulated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). It will exclusively own, build and operate the 5G infrastructure and offer 5G as a wholesale network service to other Telecommunication companies, such as Celcom. MCMC has identified the 700MHz, 3.5GHz and 26/28GHz as the pioneer spectrum bands for the roll-out of Malaysia 5G.

Dato’ Izzaddin said that discussion involving the commercial terms are ongoing between Celcom and Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB).

Commenting on the progress of merger between Celcom and Digi, Dato’ Izzaddin says that they made submission to MCMC in July and is continuing the engagement with the regulator.


For the second financial quarter (2Q21), Axiata said Celcom’s turnaround efforts yielded excellent recovery momentum in the market despite an intensely competitive environment. Revenue ex-device increased by 4.6% YTD thanks to the strong prepaid performance as the company recorded net adds of 1.02 million subscribers and 12.5% prepaid revenue growth, as well as higher MVNO revenue. YTD EBITDA increased to RM1.3 billion (+22.9%); excluding one-off Employee Restructuring Programme cost in 2020 and impact from accelerated depreciation, Celcom recorded 12.4% increase in EBITDA and 28.8% in PATAMI. Postpaid subscribers also grew 6.1% YTD amidst impacts from the economic recovery.

Tan Sri Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid, Chairman of Axiata said, “With the successful conclusion of due diligence and signing of Transaction Agreements between parties in the run-up to complete the Celcom-Digi merger, we are now making steady progress in the ongoing regulatory approval stage. On that note, the Board remains committed towards ensuring that this merger delivers the best outcomes to serve the digital needs of our customers and nation,”

Axiata’s Reported revenue and Earnings Before Interest, Tax and Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) rose to RM12.5 billion (+5.3%) and RM5.5 billion (+8.2%) YTD on the back of contributions from Celcom and Axiata Digital, offset by forex translation impact due to strengthening of the Ringgit against operating companies’ (OpCo) currencies. Profit after Tax and Minority Interest (PATAMI) and Profit After Tax (PAT) rose to RM353 million (+31.8%) and RM602 million (+8.6%) with uplift from higher EBITDA and lower net finance cost, whilst being offset by lower one-off gains compared to last year and accelerated depreciation of 3G assets at Celcom and Robi.

In responding the COVID-19 pandemic, Axiata will contribute RM5 mn in medical equipment to Malaysian medical frontliners via the Greater Klang Valley Special Task Force under the Ministry of Health (MOH).

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