In a significant development for Malaysia's telecommunications sector, five leading mobile network operators in the country have struck a deal to acquire a combined 70% equity stake in Digital Nasional for approximately $250 million. This strategic move will allow these operators to cement their position in the 5G market.

The companies involved in this landmark agreement are CelcomDigi, Maxis Bhd., U Mobile Sdn Bhd., Telekom Malaysia, and YTL Power International. As per the terms of the deal, each operator will hold a 14% stake in Digital Nasional, equivalent to an investment of about 233 million ringgit ($49.9 million). The remaining 30% will be retained by the government.

According to Digital Nasional, the share-subscription agreements are expected to be finalized between February and April 2024. This timeline aligns with the government's vision of rolling out a dual network system, following the recent policy change announced by Malaysia's communications minister, Fahmi Fadzil, which permits the establishment of a second 5G network in the country.

Prior to this agreement, CelcomDigi, U Mobile, Telekom Malaysia, and YTL collectively held a 65% stake in Digital Nasional, while the government controlled the rest along with a "golden share" that granted it specific rights and privileges.

This collaboration marks a major leap forward for Malaysia's 5G infrastructure and signals the commitment of these mobile network operators to deliver advanced services to their customers. By leveraging Digital Nasional's existing infrastructure, they aim to fast-track the deployment of 5G technologies across the nation, solidifying Malaysia's position as a leader in the telecom industry.

It remains to be seen how this acquisition will shape the competitive landscape of Malaysia's telecommunications sector, but one thing is certain: 5G innovation is set to flourish, and consumers can look forward to an enhanced digital experience in the near future.

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