Ralph Marshall is Digital Nasional CEO, Treasury sec-gen Asri as chairman 

KUALA LUMPUR: Augustus Ralph Marshall, the former boss at Maxis and Astro, has been appointed as Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) chief executive officer, confirming StarBiz online earlier report today.

Treasury secretary-general Datuk Asri Hamidon was named chairman of the government-owned special purpose vehicle (SPV) tasked with deploying the country's 5G network.

Also on the board of DNB are Datuk Seri Yusof Ismail, the director-general of Malaysia Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu), Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi and Datuk Muthanna Abdullah.

"The combination of these professional appointees with specialisation in sectors such as public finance, telco regulatory, telecommunications, information technology and legal provides the right mix of skills and experience to build, own and manage Malaysia’s 5G network for nationwide commercial rollout," the finance ministry said in a statement today.

"Members of DNB’s senior management team will be announced in due course," it said.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, on Feb 19 announced that a total of RM15bil will be invested over a period of 10 years for the implementation of 5G nationwide.

DNB will offer 5G services via a wholesale model that is regulated, the finance ministry said.

"All telecommunications service providers will have open, fair and equal access in obtaining wholesale 5G network services for the development of retail services based on 5G technology," it said.

Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Aziz said the government looks forward to working closely with the private sector players in the domestic telco industry.

"While DNB focuses on 5G infrastructure investments, the private sector players can focus on developing better products and services, without being saddled by heavy and duplicative capital expenditure," he said.

"This is a win-win situation for all parties, including the telco players, businesses and consumers, as we focus our efforts on being 5G-ready by end-2021,” added Tengku Zafrul.

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