The four major mobile operators in Malaysia reportedly pressed for a combined majority stake in the organisation managing the country’s single 5G wholesale network, arguing this was essential to safeguard their investments.

Reuters reported Celcom Axiata, Digi, Maxis and U-Mobile balked at a government offer to provide them only a minority stake by including other companies in a move to sell a 70 per cent equity in Digital Nasional.

In a letter to Malaysia’s finance ministry, the operators reportedly cited concerns the government plan could delay the project and explained investments in Digital Nasional would be hard to justify if they were unable to “exercise influence and control” over the 5G vehicle.

A source told Reuters the government invited nine companies to take equity, which would leave the major players with a minority stake.

The operators reportedly also asked for Digital Nasional to review its proposed pricing model and network access plan.

In March, the four backed a government plan to allocate equity in Digital Nasional.

Telekom Malaysia and YTL Communications earlier signed up to the equity plan and service agreements, with the other operators having until end-June to negotiate deals.