PETALING JAYA: Communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil has announced that all telecommunications companies (telcos) in the country will soon sign a share subscription agreement (SSA) on their equity stakes in Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB).
The involvement of all local telcos in the SSA will accelerate the implementation of the 5G network in Malaysia, he said.
As of Aug 31, the 5G network coverage in populated areas (CoPA) in Malaysia has reached 68.8%, and is expected to touch 80% by the end of this year or early next year, he added.
“At the latest, (we will achieve 80% CoPA) maybe in January 2024 if everything goes smoothly,” he told reporters after attending the Klang River Festival here, today.
On July 21, Fahmi said CelcomDigi, Maxis, Telekom Malaysia, U Mobile and YTL Communications are in the midst of finalising negotiations on equity stakes in DNB as part of their support to the development of the country’s 5G network.
Last week, reports claimed that PLUS Malaysia Bhd’s former CEO Azman Ismail has emerged as the leading candidate to lead DNB.
Alongside Azman, the other two alleged contenders for the position are S Vell Paari, the son of former MIC president and works minister S Samy Vellu, and former Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak.
The successful candidate will replace former CEO Ralph Marshall, whose contract was not renewed after it had expired on March 11.
Fahmi had announced on Aug 29 that the new DNB CEO was anticipated to be announced by Aug 30. However, no announcement regarding the appointment has been made so far.
DNB was specifically established to oversee the nationwide implementation of 5G infrastructure via a single-network model, which would allegedly reduce the telcos’ capital expenditures.
However, the government then decided to allow the establishment of a second network once DNB achieves 80% 5G coverage in densely populated areas.