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Malaysia telcos welcome govt SWN decision, receive 70% stake offer

The country’s four largest telecommunication companies (telcos) cum mobile network operators (MNOs) have welcomed the government’s decision to continue with the single wholesale network (SWN) model, as well as the offer for MNOs to take up a 70% equity stake in Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB).

“We will engage with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, MCMC, and key industry players on further details on implementation of the model, including the proposed shareholding offer and transaction process,” they said in a brief joint statement on Wednesday (March 16).

The four MNOs are Celcom Axiata Bhd, Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Bhd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd.

“We are committed to realising the country’s digital ambitions and believe in the benefits that fifth generation (5G) will bring to businesses, customers, and government in strengthening Malaysia’s competitiveness in the region.

“We believe that a successful 5G deployment for Malaysia will be built on the principles of transparency, sustainability, and security. We look forward to working on the next steps to build robust and future-proof communications infrastructure for Malaysia,” they added.

The government’s decision was announced earlier on the same day by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, who said the 70% stake offer to MNOs demonstrates the government’s firm stance on policy continuity.

Tengku Zafrul also said that by maintaining the SWN model, there will be no additional financial implications in relation to DNB’s contract with appointed 5G network hardware provider Ericsson Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The proposed DNB stake sale to MNOs will also have no impact on the existing contract between DNB and Ericsson, with the DNB stake sale negotiation with the MNOs expected to conclude by the end of June. The Edge Markets

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