KUALA LUMPUR: Five mobile network operators (MNOs) today signed a share subscription agreement (SSA) to hold equities in Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB).

They are CelcomDigi Berhad (CelcomDigi) through Infranation Sdn Bhd, Maxis Broadband Sdn Bhd (Maxis), U Mobile Sdn Bhd (U Mobile), Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and YTL Power International Bhd (YTL).

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the next step after the signing of the SSA is for these companies to help DNB complete the 5G implementation process to reach 80 per cent coverage.

“As of Oct 31, we have achieved 73 per cent coverage of populated areas, and there is another seven per cent to go to reach 80 per cent.

“This figure is important because after we have hit 80 per cent, the government will announce that a new entity can be created with a number of the MNOs remaining with DNB as entity A while another number of MNOs will begin operations and develop the second 5G network under entity B,” he told a media conference here today.

The government had earlier targeted an 80 per cent coverage of populated areas for the 5G network by the end of this year.

Fahmi also gave an assurance that the 5G service being used by the people would not be disrupted both throughout the process of completing the 80 per cent coverage and when entity B is established and the second network is developed.

He said all MNOs had agreed that the wholesale price for 5G would not increase when the second network is launched.

“On the part of KKD (Communications and Digital Ministry) and MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission), we will continue to monitor the implementation to ensure no problems will arise.

“The Special Committee set up on May 9 this year for 5G implementation will also monitor and invite all parties for discussions to ensure that in terms of implementation, there will be no problems that cannot be resolved together,” he added.

Apart from this, Fahmi said the 5G adoption rate in Malaysia was 10.8 per cent as of the end of October this year.

Meanwhile, DNB said in a statement that the signing of the SSA, which is subject to due diligence, would enable MNOs to own 70 per cent of shareholdings in DNB collectively or 14 per cent shareholdings individually.

It said the government, through the Minister of Finance Incorporated, would hold the remaining 30 per cent equities in DNB and Special Share.

“Every MNO which signed this SSA will inject RM233 million into DNB, which will be used to meet the financing needs for implementing the 5G network in Malaysia,” the statement said.

It said the inking of the SSA marked an important achievement by the Malaysia 5G Dual Network Implementation Task Force, which consists of members from the Finance Ministry, KKD, MCMC, DNB and MNOs.

As of the end of last October, there were 3.6 million subscribers to the 5G service in the country, DNB said. - Bernama

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