DNB's Single Wholesale Network for 5G maintained but offers 70% equity stake to telcos


After waiting for more than two weeks, the Malaysian government has finally settled on what they were going to do with the Single Wholesale Network (SWN). From today's tweet as well as the press conference, the government has decided to maintain the implementation of the 5G network as an SWN.

Although the SWN goes on, the government has changed a bit in the ownership structure. Our Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Aziz said that the government will retain a 30% equity stake in Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), whereas the remaining 70% is being offered to the rest of the local telecommunication companies. This is referring to Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile altogether.

In other words, the government no longer owns DNB. However, the remaining 70% is really up to the telcos and DNB and they may take up some time in finalising the agreement sometime in the future. Initially, the four aforementioned telcos suggested having a Dual Wholesale Network model for competition but looks like that's not happening anymore.

At the end of last year, there was some criticism of the Malaysian government initiating a single 5G wholesale model with DNB. This move was viewed as monopolistic and a rather slow 5G rollout since Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile aren't part of it. Furthermore, that's where the majority of mobile users are.

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