Four telecoms pick up stake in 5G agency in Malaysia

Malaysia government-owned 5G agency Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) said four companies — Celcom Axiata, DiGi Telecommunications, YTL Communications, and Telekom Malaysia — have agreed to take up 65 percent equity in the agency, with the government holding the remaining 35 percent.
Malaysian mobile user image by The Star
The announcement comes after months of delayed talks between the firms and the government, which in February had offered 70 percent of DNB’s stake to six operators in a bid to resolve an impasse over the agency’s 5G pricing and rollout plans.

The government’s Golden Share would grant it various rights and privileges, and covers areas such as ownership, sale, or transfer of shares, DNB said.

YTL Communications and Telekom Malaysia would each take 20 percent equity in DNB, while Celcom Axiata and Digi Telecommunications would take a 12.5 percent stake each, ahead of a proposed merger between the latter two companies.

DiGi said in a statement its stake would increase to 17.5 percent to be equal to the other three operators in the event the merger was not completed by mid-2023.

The proposed merger was given the green light by Malaysian regulators earlier this year.

DNB said it was expected that the operators will make 5G services available to their end users from this month onwards, though it was still in talks with carriers on agreements to use the agency’s network.

Maxis and U Mobile dropped out of the negotiations in August, disrupting the government’s plans to sign agreements with the other carriers.