Malaysia cellcos now expected to finalize DNB stakes by year-end

Malaysia cellcos now expected to finalize DNB stakes by year-end

Malaysian mobile operators still haven’t officially finalized agreements to acquire stakes in wholesale 5G operator Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), but the government still hopes to seal everything before the end of the year.

The country’s five cellcos – CelcomDigi, Maxis, Telekom Malaysia, U Mobile and YTL Communications – have agreed to take equal stakes in DNB, but have not yet signed the share subscription agreements (SSAs) that would make everything official.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil had previously said the SSAs would be signed by mid-October, but that hasn’t happened

According to The Edge Malaysia, there are rumours that mobile operators are having second thoughts about the DNB stakes now that the government has announced plans for a second 5G operator to compete with DNB sometime next year.

However, Fahmi said on Thursday that the delay was due to the process of reviewing the details of the SSAs taking longer than expected. However, he said that process is now completed, and the SSAs are on track to be signed by the end of this year.

“We are almost ready to announce a date for signing. I just need to have a quick word with all of the MNOs very soon,” he said at a press conference.

Meanwhile, The Edge reports, Fahmi also said the government is in discussions to convince operators to automatically migrate subscribers onto DNB’s 5G network without charging a monthly fee.

Operators have been charging new 5G subscribers up to RM20 (US$4.18) per month to access the 5G network, which is much lower than the wholesale price of 13 sen per gigabyte (GB) they’re paying DNB. The result is higher 5G subscription prices that undermine the government’s plan to roll out better quality and more affordable broadband connectivity.

Fahmi made the remarks at the Thursday launch of DNB’s new 5G Experience Centre, which invites companies, public services, academia, and the public in general to view demos of 5G solutions to give them an idea of the benefits of 5G.


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