NetCo Brunei Go Live

Feb 3, 2020 | Work Projects

Incyte Consulting has been advising on the introduction of a new telecommunications ecosystem in Brunei Darussalam, based on full vertical separation of the industry.

On 24 January 2020, the service providers imagine, DST and Progresif started launching new services and plans as part of the Brunei’s ‘NetCo’ initiative. Through this program, all fixed, mobile and international submarine telecommunications assets have been consolidated in a single Network Company or NetCo, branded ‘Unified National Networks’ (UNN). UNN has been tasked with integrating and optimising the legacy telecommunications networks, followed by an ambitious investment program to enhance the availability and capacity of high speed services, for example by expanding the fibre-to-the-home footprint in the country and by upgrading the mobile network to 4G+ and then 5G. For more information on Brunei’s NetCo program please refer to https://www.bruneinetco.com.

The newly formed service providers have access to UNN’s network infrastructure on cost-oriented, transparent and non-discriminatory terms to provide a level playing field for competition and to stimulate the introduction of innovative and faster services to customers. The impact of the introduction of UNN is significant, with fixed incumbent TelBru now able to offer mobile services under the new brand ‘imagine’, mobile market leader DST now offering fixed services and mobile challenger Progresif now having access to 4G and fixed infrastructure for the first time, allowing for ‘all service’ converged competition in the market.

The Brunei NetCo program is the first of its kind in the world, with the scope of asset sharing far exceeding other initiatives like BT’s OpenReach or the Singapore NBN program. The program puts Brunei at the forefront of the international trend to share scarce network resources and avoid unnecessary asset duplication, while promoting more intense competition in the retail segment. The new industry structure has been designed to promote efficiency and stimulate competition at the network layer of the supply chain by lowering the barrier to entry to the market and by lowering the barrier to switch for consumers and businesses through the parallel introduction of number portability.

Incyte Consulting has been heavily involved in the design and execution of the NetCo program, providing extensive support to Darussalam Assets, a private limited company tasked with owning and managing Brunei’s government-linked companies, including all of Brunei’s telecommunications companies. Darussalam Assets is wholly owned by the Minister for Finance Corporation (MOFC). Incyte’s support on the implementation of the NetCo ecosystem included a roadshow to present the NetCo program to potential foreign investors, a tender process to select a strategic partner for NetCo, negotiations with the winner of the tender Deutsche Telekom Group, NetCo’s incorporation and launch, the network asset transfers from the operators, the definition and implementation of regulatory principles to control the new ecosystem, the introduction of number portability and general support to the Darussalam Assets Program Management Office (PMO) on the launch of the new ecosystem.

For any questions on the above or the services Incyte Consulting can provide, please contact Harm Aben on hha@incyteconsulting.com.