The national 5G company, Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) has confirmed that there were indeed some last-minute changes to its shareholder agreement that was supposed to involve six local telcos. While DNB did not specifically name any parties in its media statement, it is likely referring to Maxis and U Mobile.
Earlier today, Reuters reported that both telcos have declined to take any equities in DNB that were offered by the government back in March. The report further added that Maxis and U Mobile did not see any benefits in having stakes in the national 5G company although both telcos apparently still want to obtain 5G access from DNB.
DNB generally confirmed this through its media statement [pdf] which said that one of the six telcos decided not to proceed with the shareholder agreement while another choose not to respond even though they have earlier confirmed their participation in the agreement. Hence, the Share Subscription Agreements (SSAs) which were apparently already finalized and ready to be executed by all six telcos on 30 August have to be amended.
As the equity subscription now involved four telcos instead of the original six, revisions to the related transaction documents have to go through the internal approval process by the respective telcos which we believe include Celcom, Digi, TM, and YTL Communications. At the moment, DNB is not able to confirm when this process will be concluded but the company is confident that all four telcos will continue to be on board.
Meanwhile, DNB also said that discussions on the 5G Access Agreements are still going on with all six telcos. The company also clarified that telcos don’t have to take up any equity in DNB for them to sign up for 5G access.
In the same statement, DNB said that it is on track to deliver 5G coverage to 80% of the populated areas throughout the country by 2024. So far, the national 5G infrastructure already covered 30% of the populated areas.
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