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Brunei's telecom infrastructure placed under new firm

2019-02-28 10:46:29   By:Xinhua    Hits:

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Brunei will consolidate the network infrastructure of all existing telecommunication operators in the country under a newly formed company to spur the development of Brunei's ICT sector.

In a joint statement released late Tuesday, Minister at the Prime Ministers's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy Mohd Amin Liew and Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Abdul Mutalib said the consolidation plans are in line with the sultanate's digital agenda.

There are four telecommunications companies in Brunei, three of which - Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru), Datastream Technology Sdn Bhd (DST), Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd (Progresif) - are services providers with their respective infrastructure. The fourth, Brunei International Gateway Sdn Bhd, handles the cable systems of the country.

"Under this initiative, the network infrastructure of all existing telecommunication operators ... will be combined under a newly formed wholesale network operator," said the joint statement.

A new entity which will be wholly owned by Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd will be created for the ceded infrastructure. The new company, the Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd (UNN), will work with Deutsche Telekom Group and give the existing telecommunications firms, which will now focus on retail operations, "equal access" to the network infrastructure.

The joint statement said the retail service providers are to provide competitive fixed and mobile services to customers and assured that there will be no changes in the pricing or the service quality for end-users in the immediate term.

The move is in line with Brunei's push for the development of the ICT sector, which it says is critical to creating an ecosystem which supports Brunei's long term digital transformation.

In his National Day address on Feb. 23, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah stressed the importance for Brunei to keep up with the rest of the world in regards to the digital era.

"We need to heed the rapid tech progress brought on by the fourth industrial revolution. As a nation with a vision, we should not be left behind in exploring digital economy," said the sultan.

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