Five Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have on Friday executed share subscription agreements (SSAs) to take up 70 percent equity stakes in Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), a special-purpose vehicle company set up by Malaysian government to drive the development of the 5G (fifth-generation) infrastructure in the country.

DNB said in a statement that the five telcos 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).

According to the statement, the SSAs give effect to the MNOs’ collective subscription, subject to satisfactory due diligence, of 70 percent equity or 14 percent each in DNB with the government, through the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) (MOF Inc), retaining the remaining 30 percent and holding a special share.

The signing of the SSAs will see each MNO injecting approximately MYR 233 million ($49.86 million), which will be utilized to meet DNB’s funding requirements.

According to the statement, the execution of the SSAs by the MNOs marked a significant achievement by the task force for the Implementation of 5G Dual Network in Malaysia (5G Task Force), whose members comprise representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Communications and Digital, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), DNB as well as the MNOs.

The 5G Task Force was established by the government on May 9, 2023 with the objective to ensure the smooth transition from the single wholesale network (SWN) model to the dual
network (DN) model.

As of end-October 2023, Malaysia has recorded 3.6 million 5G service subscriptions, representing an adoption rate of 10.8 percent.

To boost the adoption rate among consumers, the government, with the cooperation of telecommunication companies, launched the 5G Rahmah Package, under which participating telcos offer more affordable 5G data and device bundle plans, in August 2023.

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