‘We’re going to blow everyone out of the water’

  • TIME introduces 100Mbps broadband service with RM179 introductory offer
  • Owning part of a cable system to the US helps it control quality of user experience

‘We’re going to blow everyone out of the water’IT was the question Afzal Abdul Rahim (pic), TIME dotCom Bhd chief executive officer, had been waiting for and he pounced. “Why are you introducing a 100Mbps broadband consumer service?” he was asked. “Because we can.” With a grin like a cheshire cat. Are you listening Telekom Malaysia? And Maxis?
 
If you thought Maxis’ high-speed broadband service of 10Mb at RM139 was amazing, try chewing on TIME’s RM179 per month service with zero entry cost, no rental fees and no equipment deposits.
 
“We’re going to blow everyone out of the water with this product," said Afzal, claiming that TIME is now the broadband speed king in Malaysia.
 
The only downside to the service offering is that it is limited to condominiums that TIME has wired up with fiber. It currently reaches 100,000 homes. Afzal is not sure how many more his company will wire up but notes there are around 250,000 condo units in the country.
 
Afzal likes nothing better than to irritate his competitors, hence his remark: “We are the first movers here and get to irritate TM (Telekom Malaysia) the incumbent. It will probably take them a long time to respond, but it will be fun [competing against them].”
 
And he throws down the gauntlet. “In five years’ time we could be offering 1Gbps at RM179 and that is just how this game is played. Bandwidth moves up and price points don’t,” he adds.
 
For TIME, the cost per unit of bandwidth is low thanks to its extensive fiber network not just in the country but globally too, especially with its 10% stake in the Unity Cable System, which can deliver up to 4.8 terabits per second of bandwidth that goes all the way to the United States.
 

Which is why Afzal says TIME is very fortunate to be one of two companies in Malaysia to have their own infrastructure leaving the country as well as their global cable infrastructure.
 
“The margins for us are still all right,” he says. When pressed, he shares that margins for its broadband services are between 30% and 40%.
 
He does not however expect the service to have a material impact on TIME’S bottom line as its consumer business makes up 10% of its overall revenue of RM81.26 million (US$26.19 million) ended March 31 2012. He expects the 100Mbps service to have a small impact on consumer business and feels it will take between six and nine months to educate consumers on the real value of a 100Mbps pipe into their homes.
 
And when this happens, he is confident that TIME will deliver a strong customer experience to them. “Because we control our own infrastructure across the Pacific Ocean, we can control the quality of traffic up and down the pipes and that directly determines customer experience,” he says.
 
TIME did not break down how much it spent specifically to launch this service but did share that it spent RM100 million (US$32 million) over the past two years on expanding its broadband service to condos.

 
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