DNB welcomes govt decision to retain SWN for Malaysian’s 5G rollout with telcos invited to take stake in DNB

  • To discuss & agree all aspects related to proposed equity participation
  • Extending commercial pilot to 30 June, to aid seamless transition for telcos

With doubt over the government's 5G approach finally ended, expect many more enterprises and forward looking developers such as Cyberview Sdn Bhd, racing to get 5G coverage for their developments.

[Ed: Article updated 17 March 3.30pm with additional background.] 

Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) issued a press release welcoming the decision by the Government of Malaysia to retain the 5G Single Wholesale Network (SWN) model for national 5G deployment, with an offer for telecommunications companies (Celcom, Digi, Maxis, UMobile, Telekom Malaysia and YTL Communications) to subscribe for equity stakes in DNB.

Hours earlier following a Cabinet meeting, Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul Aziz and Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Annuar Musa in announcing the government decision also revealed the offer to telcos of a 70 per cent stake in DNB.

“Ownership, equity value and other aspects related to this proposed equity participation are subject to negotiations between DNB and the telcos,” Zafrul said. An independent party will be appointed to help work out details of the equity take with Zafrul hoping that matters could be concluded by end June.

DNB declared it was pleased that the Government has reaffirmed the current “cost-recovery” and “supply-led” SWN model being implemented as best suited to accelerating deployment of the national 5G network and encouraging adoption.

This is consistent with the country’s digital economy aspirations and positions Malaysia as an attractive destination for global investors, DNB said.

“We look forward to engaging with the telcos to discuss and agree all aspects related to the proposed equity participation in DNB. We will work with our stakeholders and telcos to deliver fair, equal and affordable access to high quality 5G services for the benefit of the Rakyat, with an objective to achieve 80% coverage of populated areas by 2024.”

On the key issue of data pricing, both Malaysian ministers expect the promised wholesale 5G pricing of less than 20 sen per GB by DNB, to be maintained.

DNB also announced that it will be extending its ongoing commercial pilot to 30 June 2022, to facilitate a seamless transition for telcos that have yet to sign up. The commercial pilot – which commenced on 15 December 2021 is due to conclude on 31 March 2022 – will allow telcos to access the network without charge, to provide 5G experiences to their end users.


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