DNB refutes CNA’s report, insists all 5G contracts were awarded transparently


DNB refutes CNA’s report, insists all 5G contracts were awarded transparently

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State-owned Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) has issued a statement to deny claims made in a report published by Channel News Asia yesterday. The report claimed that the national 5G project has hit a snag due to deep mistrust between the telcos and DNB.

It was also alleged that DNB has not been transparent in its international operations, particularly with regards to the awarding of contracts to third-party vendors including Ericsson’s 5G network equipment, software procurement and a ‘potentially lucrative cloud services platform’.

DNB said it strongly denies these allegations and rejects the insinuation of any impropriety in its governance and procurement practices. The sole 5G network provider said its tender and procurement processes are structured according to the strictest governance standards and best practices.

In a statement shared to the media today, it said “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”

Elaborating further on the 5G network award to Ericsson, DNB said “The awarding of 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.”

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Touching on the recent Share Subscription Agreements (SSA) signed by 5 telcos in December 2023, DNB said the process is still ongoing. DNB says it strongly denies claims made otherwise but they are unable to comment in specific terms due to confidentiality restrictions.

In CNA’s report, it was mentioned that DNB insists only the board’s directors are allowed access to review the ongoing due diligence into its affairs and the findings are to remain confidential and not to be shared with the telcos.

DNB added that given its position as a public utility serving the public interest, published reports must be verified and based on accurate information. It said that DNB 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, and on increasing 5G adoption across industries, enterprises and the public, to help accelerate Malaysia’s digital transformation.

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