A new report claims that Maxis and U Mobile have yet to sign up for Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB)’s 5G network, or at least, not as of 8 August. The Straits Times cited an unnamed official saying that the country’s two major telcos had until 8 August to sign up for DNB’s contracts and shares.
“If they want to participate, they have to confirm today (Monday). No ifs and buts and conditions,” said the official. Another source told the news outlet that the firm deadline was due to the government’s intention to finalise the deal by the end of August, which falls in line with Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa’s goal of a wider 5G rollout by September.
As a reminder, Annuar revealed back in June that six telcos had agreed to take up the offered stake in DNB, which will see 70% of the state-run vehicle be equally divided among the telecommunication firms. At the time, he did not elaborate on which companies specifically had taken the deal. The minister said that an update would be given in a week’s time but until now, there has been no official announcement on the matter.
While it’s not known how much the deal will cost each telco, it has been estimated that each firm will be paying out RM200 million for an 11.7% stake in DNB. This calculation is based on the Finance Ministry’s injection of RM500 million for 30% of the agency’s shares.
Additionally, a previous Straits Times report noted that the agreement between the telcos and DNB included a price review that would be overseen by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) every three years. It further added that the wholesale pricing would be discounted until DNB achieves 80% coverage nationwide, a goal which is expected to be achieved by 2024.
It has been two days since the purported deadline has passed and no update has been given since the report came out from the government, nor Maxis or U Mobile. Notably, U Mobile is still heavily advertising its postpaid plans as “5G ready” on its website, though it’s obviously not a telltale sign of the deal actually going through as it is still too early.
(Source: Straits Times via Malay Mail)