Sunday, April 2, 2023

Celcom, Maxis, Digi & U Mobile still don’t have an Agreement with DNB 5G

Four major mobile networks in the country said that they yet to reach an agreement with Malaysia’s sole 5G network provider, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB).


Joint media statement from Celcom, Maxis, Digi and U Mobile below:

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Celcom Axiata Berhad, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Berhad and U Mobile Sdn Bhd (“MNOs”) have yet to agree to key terms in the Reference Access Offer (“RAO”) that was recently published by Digital Nasional Berhad (“DNB”) and see reaching agreement with DNB and MCMC on this as a key step before discussion on commercial Access Agreements can commence.

“To that end, the MNOs remain in discussions with MCMC to seek more clarity on some of the details in the published RAO. A recent analyst report may be read as suggesting that open topics between DNB and DNB’s key prospective customers had been resolved, but this interpretation would be inaccurate.

The MNOs are of the view that a majority of concerns and issues previously raised and discussed with MCMC and DNB have not yet been adequately addressed in the current document, including key principles proposed for the RAO to be consistent with industry best practices. As a result, the RAO in its current published form will not enable affordable and quality 5G services for the rakyat and businesses in Malaysia, and will impede the acceleration of 5G services and penetration in the country.

The MNOs remain committed to continued discussions with MCMC and the industry on the RAO, and look forward to playing an active role in 5G implementation in line with the nation’s digital ambitions. 5G will bring significant benefits to businesses, customers, and Government in strengthening Malaysia’s competitiveness in the region.


Sources close to MalaysianWireless indicate that they RAO published (download PDF) by DNB is an “old version” and not the version that was agreed and discussed with the MNOs. However MalaysianWireless was not able to verify this claim.

5G in Malaysia was made available about 4 months ago with availability only from a single minor Telco.

DNB has offered free access to its 5G network until the end of June 2022, however it was still unable to reach an agreement with Maxis, Celcom, Digi and U Mobile.

Telekom Malaysia (TM), one of the two Telcos with an agreement with DNB, have said in December 2021 that it will offer the unifi Mobile 5G service to selected customers but have since delayed the launch till further notice.

Last month, the Malaysia Government decided to retain Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) as the sole 5G wholesale network provider in the country, 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). A 70% ownership in DNB will be offered to MNOs, to be competed by end of June 2022 but no further details have been made available regarding the proposed shareholding offer.

One of the sources said that the MNOs may not reach an agreement with DNB until details of the proposed shareholding are revealed.

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

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