Government limits telcos’ equity in dual 5G network to boost competition, Dewan Rakyat told

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Mobile network operators (MNOs) involved in Malaysia’s second 5G network are restricted to holding equity in only one entity, said Deputy Communications Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said this measure aims to foster healthy competition between the two entities in developing Malaysia’s 5G network infrastructure, ensuring high-quality services for the public.

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Under the MNOs and Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) agreement, she said each MNO must choose to invest in entity A or B within the dual 5G network model.

“After the conclusion of the Applicant Information Package (AIP) process, the successful tenderer will lead entity B, while unsuccessful bidders will remain in entity A.

“Those in entity B will sell their shares in DNB, ensuring the formation of two distinct entities,” she said during a question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

She responded to a supplementary question from Chong Zhemin (PH-Kampar) regarding whether the government would prohibit the same telco company from holding equity in both 5G network companies, aiming to foster competition in delivering fast 5G services at competitive prices.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has been tasked with selecting a mobile network service provider to develop Malaysia’s second 5G network, commencing with the AIP process on July 1, 2024.

Previously, four MNOs — YTL Power International Bhd, CelcomDigi Bhd, Maxis Bhd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd — finalised a share subscription agreement with DNB and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc) on December 1, 2023, paving the way for the transition to the 5G Dual Wholesale Network (DWN) model.

Regarding the distribution of DNB’s equity to telco companies, Teo specified that the shareholding structure will be adjusted to 30 per cent (MoF Inc) and 14 per cent (each MNO), following Telekom Malaysia’s completion of its share subscription agreement with MoF Inc and DNB by August 21, 2024. — Bernama

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