The telcos which completed the SSAs with DNB include CelcomDigi, Maxis, U Mobile and YTL

Malaysia’s state-run 5G network Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) has announced that four operators have completed the share subscription agreement (SSA), with each obtaining a 16.3% stake, local press reported.

The telcos which completed the SSAs include CelcomDigi, Maxis, U Mobile and YTL.

The report noted that Telekom Malaysia (TM) is the only carrier that has yet to finalize its SSA with DNB, as it still needs to get approval from shareholders in accordance with its governance requirements. Due to this, the Ministry of Finance holds a 34.9% stake in DNB, while the other telcos’ stakes have increased to 16.3% until TM finally ink the agreement. Once TM’s SSA is completed, the ministry’s percentage will be reduced to 30%, therefore giving all telcos a collective holding of 70% in DNB.

The SSAs stipulate each operator has the option to quit DNB to participate in the planned second 5G network. Maxis, U Mobile, YTL and CelcomDigi have all issued statements indicating great interest in participating in the second 5G network.

CelcomDigi CEO Idham Nawawi confirmed in a statement that the telco was “eager to move into the next phase of transitioning to the 5G Dual Network model and participating in the upcoming process to build the second 5G network.”

“We believe we are in a strong position to lead the development of the second 5G network for Malaysia,” Nawawi added.

The country’s communications minister Fahmi Fadzil announced on June 21 that he had instructed the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to begin identifying and appointing an operator for the second 5G network.

In May 2023, Malaysian authorities had said that the country would shift to a dual 5G network once DNB achieved 80% coverage in populated areas, something that occurred in December 2023.

As of the end of April, DNB’s 5G network had reached 81.5% of the total populated areas and the adoption rate was 39.2%. The country reached a total of 13.2 million 5G subscriptions nationwide as of the end of April. Of the total number of 5G subscriptions, there are 12.7 million individual users and 422,609 enterprises.

DNB was set up by the Malaysian government in 2021 as a special purpose vehicle to develop the country’s 5G network infrastructure, which private telecommunications firms are currently using to offer 5G services to their customers. DNB’s 5G network was deployed by Ericsson.

The government previously said the second 5G network will chiefly focus on additional aspects such as the implementation of 5G technology across different vertical sectors.

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