DNB denies claims of impropriety over 5G rollout
DNB denies claims of impropriety over 5G rollout

DNB denies claims of impropriety over 5G rollout

KUALA LUMPUR: Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) strongly denies allegations of not being transparent in its internal operations and rejects the insinuation of any impropriety in the governance and procurement practices.

In a statement on Saturday (April 20), DNB said its tender and procurement processes are structured according to the strictest governance standards and best practices.

DNB was responding to a Channel News Asia (CNA) article entitled “Malaysia’s billion-dollar 5G roll-out stumbles as deal breaks down between powerful telcos, state-owned operator”, published on April 19, 2024, and subsequently reported by several other media.

DNB said the article alleged that it has not been transparent in its internal operations over contracts awarded to third-party vendors, in particular for Ericsson’s 5G network equipment, software procurement and “a potentially lucrative cloud services platform”.

“DNB has always been open and transparent in its awarding of tenders and contracts – this matter has been addressed in detail various times in Parliament and reported in the media, repeatedly disproving the allegations,” it said.

DNB said awarding the 5G network equipment contract involved a rigorous evaluation process, with Ericsson obtaining the highest score across all prerequisites.

“The tender process was structured by an independent global professional services firm and involved some 50 local and international experts from across 10 countries with 5G network rollout experience.

“The process also has been reviewed by multiple parties, including during reviews of the 5G network policy by the Malaysian Cabinet in 2022 and 2023,” it pointed out.

DNB also said that the process with respect to the share subscription agreements (SSA) signed with the five mobile network operators (MNOs) is ongoing.

“We strongly deny the claims made otherwise but are unable to comment in specific terms due to confidentiality restrictions,” it said.

DNB is a special purpose vehicle company established in 2021 under the Finance Ministry and is now the sole owner of the 5G spectrum network, soon to be operating alongside the second network, which is yet to be finalised.

Given DNB’s position as a public utility serving the public interest, the company emphasised that it is critical for published reports to be verified and based on accurate information.

Hence, DNB said it remains focused on continuing to deliver one of the best-performing and most reliable 5G networks in the world on an accelerated basis and within cost, as well as on increasing 5G adoption across industries, enterprises and the public, to help accelerate Malaysia’s digital transformation. – BK

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