Tuesday 16 Jul 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 8): The four major Malaysian mobile network operators (MNOs) in talks with the country’s 5G single wholesale network (SWN) infrastructure vehicle Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) have yet to agree to key terms in the latter’s recently published reference access offer (RAO).

In a joint statement on Friday (April 8), the MNOs — Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Bhd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd — said reaching an agreement with DNB and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) over the RAO is a key step, before discussions on commercial access agreements can commence.

“To that end, the MNOs remain in discussion with MCMC to seek more clarity on some of the details in the published RAO.

“A recent analyst report may be read as suggesting that open topics between DNB and DNB’s key prospective customers had been resolved, but this interpretation would be inaccurate,” they added.

The MNOs opined that a majority of the prior concerns and issues raised and discussed with MCMC and DNB have yet to be adequately addressed in the current RAO, which includes key principles for the RAO to be consistent with industry best practices.

“As a result, the RAO in its current published form will not enable affordable and quality 5G services for the rakyat and businesses in Malaysia, and will impede the acceleration of 5G services and penetration in the country,” they said.

However, the MNOs assured that they remain committed to continued discussions with MCMC and the industry on the RAO, and that they look forward to playing an active role in 5G implementation in line with Malaysia’s digital ambitions.

“5G will bring significant benefits to businesses, customers, and government in strengthening Malaysia’s competitiveness in the region,” they added.

Last month, the Malaysian government announced that its 100%-owned DNB would retain the SWN model for the nation’s 5G mobile telecommunication network and offered a 70% stake in DNB to the MNOs.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said then that the DNB stake sale negotiation with the MNOs were expected to conclude by the end of June 2022.

The announcement came after a proposal was forwarded to the Cabinet from the MNOs, which recommended a dual wholesale network (DWN) model to be developed and operated by two consortiums, one involving the government and DNB, the other involving MNOs which are ready to invest.

Edited ByTan Choe Choe
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