Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Govt to stick with plans for single, state-run 5G network

The government will retain a 30% equity stake in Digital Nasional Bhd, and will offer an up to 70% equity stake to telecommunications firms.

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Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz today said the government has decided to stick with plans to have a state-run agency deploy the country’s sole 5G network infrastructure, rejecting telcos’ recommendations for a second network.

The government will retain a 30% equity stake in the agency, Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB), and will offer an up to 70% equity stake to telecommunications firms.

“Maintaining the single wholesale network model demonstrates the government’s firm stance on policy continuity,” Zafrul told a news conference.

The decision comes after the matter was raised in the Cabinet last week following objections from industry stakeholders which said a shared fifth-generation (5G) wireless network could hamper competition.

Mobile phone service providers had recommended a second 5G provider in an impasse with DNB over pricing and other issues, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters in December.

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