4 telco firms agree to take stakes in national 5G agency

FOUR major telecommunications companies have agreed to take stakes in Government-owned 5G agency Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), the agency said on Friday (Oct 7).

The announcement comes after months of delayed talks between the firms and the Government, which in February had offered 70% of DNB’s stake to six operators in a bid to resolve an impasse over the agency’s 5G pricing and rollout plans.

Two major operators Maxis Bhd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd dropped out of the negotiations in August, disrupting the Government’s plans to sign agreements with the other carriers, Reuters had reported.

DNB said in a statement that four companies Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications, YTL Communications (YES) and Telekom Malaysia had agreed to take up a total of 65% equity in the agency, with the Government holding the remaining 35%.

The Government’s “Golden Share” would grant it various rights and privileges, and covers areas such as ownership, sale, or transfer of shares, DNB said.

YES and Telekom would each take 20% equity in DNB, while Celcom Axiata and Digi would take a 12.5% stake each, ahead of a proposed merger between the latter two companies.

DiGi said in a statement its stake would increase to 17.5% to be equal to the other three operators in the event the merger was not completed by mid-2023.

The proposed merger was given the green light by Malaysian regulators earlier this year.

DNB said it was expected that the operators will make 5G services available to their end users from this month onwards, though it was still in talks with carriers on agreements to use the agency’s network. – Oct 8, 2022


Main photo credit: Malay Mail

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