Mobile network operators prohibited from holding equity in both 5G networks, says Teo

KUALA LUMPUR (July 3): Mobile network operators (MNOs) will not be allowed to hold equity in both entities under the 5G dual wholesale network model, said Deputy Communications Minister Teo Nie Ching.

The measure aims to foster healthy competition between the two entities tasked with developing Malaysia’s 5G infrastructure, Teo told the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday. The MNOs have agreed to restrict their participation to only one entity under the agreements with Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), she noted.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, meanwhile, has started the process of selecting the MNOs to develop Malaysia’s second 5G network, and issued the Applicant Information Package on July 1, Teo said.

“Once the selection process is complete, any MNOs chosen by the government to lead entity B must divest their shares in DNB, ensuring both entities operate independently,” she added.

The government announced the transition from the single wholesale network model to the dual network model for 5G in May last year. Entity A will assume control of the existing 5G network owned by DNB, while Entity B will develop another new 5G network from the ground up.

Four MNOs — CelcomDigi Bhd (KL:CDB), Maxis Bhd (KL:MAXIS), U Mobile Sdn Bhd and YTL Power International Bhd (KL:YTLPOWR) through YTL Communications Sdn Bhd —  have completed their agreements, and now collectively hold 65.1% of DNB.

That leaves only state-owned Telekom Malaysia Bhd (KL:TM), but once the company completes its part of the deal by Aug 21, each MNO will hold 14% of DNB, Teo added. Minister of Finance Inc will control the remaining 30% of DNB.

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