DNB to be taken over by a private entity after achieving 80% 5G coverage, says MCMC COO

This comes after Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that the country would be shifting to a dual network model last week. — Unsplash

PETALING JAYA: Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) will be taken over by a new entity following its scheduled achievement of 80% 5G coverage by end of this year, according to MCMC.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC) chief operating officer Datuk Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus confirmed in a Bernama TV interview that the government would be withdrawing its stake in DNB when the transition occurs.

ALSO READ: DNB: 5G accessible in 38% of populated areas, integrated sites capable of almost 50% coverage

The move would turn the government-owned 5G wholesale service network operator into a wholly private company under the new entity.

He further stated that two entities would be formed – one to take over DNB operations, and another to take charge of the country’s second 5G network planned to be established after DNB achieves 80% 5G coverage.

This comes after Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that the country would be shifting to a dual network model last week.

Fahmi also said the shift would allow for services to be provided at affordable rates, increase network capacity and avoid having a single point of failure.

As of May 3, coverage currently sits at 57.8%, having risen from 54.7% since the end of February, according to the minister.

Additionally, following a meeting with telcos on May 8, the Ministry of Communications and Digital announced that it has agreed to form a task force with the goal of ensuring that 5G connectivity achieves 80% coverage by the end of 2023 to allow for a smooth transition to a dual network in early 2024.

The task force will be co-chaired by the Ministry of Finance’s Treasury secretary-general and Comms Ministry’s secretary-general, under the purview of MCMC.

DNB and telecommunications service providers such as CelcomDigi, Maxis, Telekom Malaysia, YTL Communications and U Mobile will also be included in the task force, with the possible addition of other parties from time to time.

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