Celcom evaluates, pledges to meet 5G deadline

The MNO is making every effort to comply with the deadlines and conditions that have been articulated by a DNB and its advisor

by ANIS HAZIM / pic by BLOOMBERG

AXIATA Group Bhd said its subsidiary Celcom Axiata Bhd is in the process of evaluating the proposal for the 5G network contracts.

According to Axiata president and group CEO Datuk Izzaddin Idris, Celcom has mapped out the proposal which aligns with the process outlined by the Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB).

“We are following that process and hopefully, we can make the announcement in due course,” Izzaddin told a press conference after Axiata’s 30th AGM yesterday.

He noted that currently nine mobile network operators (MNOs) were invited for the minority stake in the 5G project, including Celcom, Digi Telecommunications, Maxis Bhd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd.

“There is a process or shall we say a prescription (for the 5G project). What is the stake going to be and so on will be decided by DNB. So, we are following that process,” he said.

Nevertheless, he is confident that Celcom will be able to meet the June 30 deadline for them to sign up for 5G network contracts and shares in the state 5G agency as announced by the Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz on Monday.

“We are trying our best as the deadline has been prescribed. So, we are making every effort to comply with the deadlines and conditions that have been articulated by a DNB and its advisor,” he assured.

Last month, the government announced that it would be maintaining the single wholesale network model but disposing of a majority stake of up to 70% in DNB to the MNOs to participate in the model.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry will own a “golden share” in DNB, despite owning a minority interest of 30% after the share sale.

If the MNOs fail to meet the deadline, the government will link them with mobile virtual network operators to get the rollout moving.

On a separate matter, Axiata has confirmed that the majority of its shareholders approved its proposed acquisition of a 66.03% stake in Indonesia’s PT Link Net Tbk (LinkNet) for 8.72 trillion rupiah (RM2.62 billion).

In January, Axiata’s indirect wholly owned subsidiary Axiata Investments (Indonesia) Sdn Bhd and XL Axiata announced the signing of a conditional share purchase agreement to jointly acquire a 66.03% equity interest in LinkNet from Asia Link Dewa Pte Ltd and PT First Media Tbk.

Through the proposed acquisition, Axiata seeks to capitalise on the fast-growing fixed broadband market and enterprise segments in Indonesia as well as create significant synergies for LinkNet and XL Axiata.

However, the proposed acquisition will still be subject to the approvals or consent of relevant regulatory authorities and/or parties being obtained.