Malaysia telecoms firms complete talks to take up stakes in 5G | The Express Tribune

KAULA LAMPUR:

Malaysia said on Friday telecommunications firms CelcomDigi, Maxis, Telekom Malaysia, U Mobile and YTL Communications will take up stakes in state 5G agency Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), following an agreement reached between the firms and the government on equity participation and 5G access.

The announcement comes as mobile operators and the government look set to conclude protracted negotiations over Malaysia’s 5G rollout plans.

Malaysia had in 2021 announced that state-owned DNB would own the full 5G spectrum, with carriers using the infrastructure to provide mobile services. But the plan was met with industry concern over pricing, transparency and monopolistic practices.

Mobile operators agreed in October last year to take up 70% of DNB’s stake to resolve the impasse.

However, the deal lapsed after Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration – which took power after an election in November last year – announced a review of the government’s 5G plans.

In May, the government said it would allow in a second 5G operator next year when DNB’s coverage reaches 80% of populated areas.

On Friday, the communications ministry said in a statement the telecoms firms will take appropriate governance actions to complete the shareholding process in DNB.

It did not however provide details on the division in equity or the value of the deal.

Last week, Maxis Berhad agreed to sign a deal to access DNB’s network, the last major carrier to do so. Other carriers had signed the deal last year, paving the way for 5G services to be rolled out to customers.


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