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Govt to retain DNB as the only 5G Wholesale Network Provider in Malaysia

The Malaysia Government has decided to retain Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) as the sole 5G wholesale network provider in Malaysia, following discussion with stakeholders such as the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).


However, DNB will no longer be wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), according to media reports. A 70% ownership in DNB will be offered to MNOs, to be competed by end of June 2022.

In a media statement, DNB said it welcomes the decision by the Government of Malaysia to retain the 5G Single Wholesale Network (SWN) model for national 5G deployment, with an offer for telecommunications companies (Telcos) to subscribe for equity stakes in DNB.

“We look forward to engaging with the Telcos to discuss and agree all aspects related to the proposed equity participation in DNB.”

“DNB will work with our stakeholders and the Telcos to deliver fair, equal and affordable access to high quality 5G services for the benefit of the Rakyat, with an objective to achieve 80% coverage of populated areas by 2024,” it added.

Four major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country are also supporting the decision to continue with the Single Wholesale Network (SWN) model, as well as the offer for MNOs to take up an equity stake in DNB.

“We will engage with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, MCMC, and key industry players on further details on implementation of the model, including the proposed shareholding offer and transaction process,” said Maxis, Celcom, Digi and U Mobile in a joint statement.

“We are committed to realising the country’s digital ambitions and believe in the benefits that 5G will bring to businesses, customers, and government in strengthening Malaysia’s competitiveness in the region. We believe that a successful 5G deployment for Malaysia will be built on the principles of transparency, sustainability, and security,” the 4 major MNOs added.

Telekom Malaysia (TM) also supports the Government’s decision to continue the SWN model for 5G. “We look forward to rolling out 5G-enabled products and solutions to our unifi and TM ONE customers. As such, we are currently undertaking internal customer and network trials to bring an improved convergence proposition of fiber plus 5G services to our unifi and TM ONE customers. This is subject to finalising our wholesale agreement with the DNB,” it said in a statement.

At the time of writing, the Government did not reveal more details about the equity stakes in DNB. Discussion on 5G commercial agreements with the four MNOs, Maxis, Celcom, Digi and U Mobile are still ongoing.

DNB also said that will be extending its commercial pilot to 30 June 2022, offering free access to its 5G network to the MNOs. Currently, YTL Communications is the only MNO offering 5G services to consumers in Malaysia.

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