Network infrastructure of all telcos to be consolidated

February 27, 2019

Darussalam Assets said the move would improve services, level playing field for all operators

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Darussalam Assets on Tuesday announced the consolidation of all telecommunications network infrastructure in the country, which will now be managed under a new entity called Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd (UNN).

The network infrastructure of Brunei’s three telcos — which are all owned by Darussalam Assets — will be combined under UNN, a newly-created subsidiary.

The move will help “accelerate the nation’s digital agenda”, Darussalam Assets said in a statement issued to media Tuesday afternoon, adding that consumers will not see changes to the pricing or quality of services in the immediate term.

The three telcos — Telekom Brunei Berhad, Datastream Technology Sdn Bhd, Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd — will now focus on retail operations, with equal access to network infrastructure provided by UNN.

The respective firms held company-wide town halls with their staff on Tuesday to explain the transition.

According to the statement, UNN is working in partnership with Deutsche Telekom Group — the largest telecommunications provider in Europe — to support the initiative.

The full statement provided by Darussalam Assets:

“In a joint statement released by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II; and Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, it was announced that a major transformation has been initiated in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector to accelerate the nation’s digital agenda.

Under this initiative, the network infrastructure of all existing telecommunication operators, Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru), Datastream Technology Sdn Bhd (DST), Progresif Cellular Sdn Bhd (Progresif) and Brunei International Gateway Sdn Bhd (BIG) will be combined under a newly formed wholesale network operator. This new network operator has been incorporated and is called Unified National Networks Sdn Bhd (UNN). It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd. UNN is working in partnership with Deutsche Telekom Group to support this program.

All existing companies will focus on retail operations, providing competitive fixed and mobile services to customers and will have equal access to the network infrastructure provided by UNN. Over time, consumers can expect substantial improvements in the wider availability and quality of key services at more affordable prices, supported by a state-of-the-art and fully secured integrated network. In the immediate term, there will not be any change in prices or degradation of network services.

The development of the ICT sector is critical to creating an ecosystem which supports Brunei’s long term digital transformation and the aims of Wawasan Brunei 2035. The establishment of UNN is a major milestone along the ICT transformation journey as Brunei progresses towards a more connected and digitally integrated future.

The ministers emphasised the importance for the country to create a state-of-the-art, fixed- mobile convergent network, and for UNN to provide training and assistance to ensure full Bruneianisation and continue building on the foundations for economic diversification and creation of gainful employment.”

The Scoop