Malaysian operator Digi is back in the news, where its plans both for a merger with Celcom and for the ongoing shutdown of its 3G service are making headlines.
Malaysian media are reporting that the proposed merger between Malaysian operators Digi.com Bhd and Celcom Axiata Bhd has reached its latest stage: it is now awaiting approval from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Digi has, it says, engaged with MCMC to initiate the merger assessment process in accordance with the commission’s guidelines on mergers and acquisitions.
Completion of the proposed merger will be subject to a number of approvals including those of the Securities Commission Malaysia and the shareholders of Axiata and Digi.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, in June 2021 Axiata Group, Telenor Asia and Digi announced the successful conclusion of a due diligence exercise, before signing transaction agreements for the proposed merger. Axiata and Telenor (the Digi parent company) will be equal partners in the enlarged company, with each taking a 33.1% ownership stake.
Meanwhile Digi is powering down its 3G network by phases ahead of Malaysia’s 3G shutdown by the end of this year. Existing Digi users on older 3G devices have been reminded to switch to newer 4G LTE devices with Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Users with 3G devices can still stay connected to 2G after the 3G shutdown.
Digi will begin its 3G shutdown in eastern states in Peninsular Malaysia such as Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu on 6 December 2021. Sarawak will be the last state under the 3G shutdown exercise on 30 December 2021.
The 3G shutdown is part of the Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) initiative, a plan that aims to upgrade Malaysia’s digital communications infrastructure.