For YTL Comms, it’s all about 1BestariNet: Page 2 of 2
By Karamjit Singh May 27, 2013
Q&A with Wing
DNA: Competitors do not seem to be worried about the threat of YTL Comms today, which is quite a stark difference from 2009 when there was a definite wariness of what you were planning. How does that strike you?
Wing: You don’t win a race by looking sideways all the time. You win by looking at the finish line and we know what that is and are running towards it as fast as we can.
What matters is how customers think of us. Let me offer you this piece of information. Speedtest.net is the most accurate way to determine performance, aggregating ISP (Internet service provider) results throughout the world, country by country. It has the most robust database when it comes to ISP performance.
We launched 20 months ago and month after month, we are rated by them as the fastest wireless data ISP in the country and the highest rated by customers.
DNA: But cynics will say that is because of your low subscriber numbers?
Wing: Go back to speedtest.net and you will see that we are the most consistent. From when we started to today with over half a million subscribers, the performance is still the same. We continue to invest in our infrastructure to ensure customers enjoy the same performance.
DNA: So you have over 500,000 active customers?
Wing: Absolutely. Firstly, we don’t use SIM cards but use our YES ID [one ID per person]. If they are not contributing revenue to us, we switch them off. Our database is refreshed at least every 90 days as per Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (the industry regulator) requirements.
There are no fake subscribers on our network. If they do not use their ID, we turn them off.
DNA: When you launched in November 2010, you were critical of the telcos being fixated with preserving their voice revenue and not doing anywhere enough to give Malaysians fast data networks.
But don’t you think they are on the ball with getting their networks ready for data? For instance, it is a smart move by Maxis to not differentiate between 3G data and 4G LTE data charges.
Wing: The existing player has to charge the same for LTE as 3G because they only have a hundred-plus base stations. How do you charge for 4G? People will say, ‘Are you kidding?’
DNA: Let’s talk about your Eclipse phone which runs on the YES network and has a SIM to allow for GSM service. Have you even sold 10,000 of the phones?
Wing: We have sold quite a few thousand. It was never meant to be a mass market device. It was built to show how fast we could go with our network.
We had built the world’s first 4G converged network, we have native telephony capability on our network. Eclipse was built to showcase that our network, among all networks globally, is the only one capable of doing high speed data with high quality telephony with multimedia, all on one platform.
In short, it is the ultimate embodiment of 4G convergence.
DNA: The CEO of one MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) complains that his marketing budget is dwarfed by larger telcos and that influences consumer choices. I have come to realise that there seems to be a shift in your own marketing strategy with your billboards now shouting about 1BestariNet and the FROG virtual learning environment instead of your 4G data plans. Why is that?
Wing: There is no change in strategy, just in focus. The focus is that we have this huge contact called 1BestariNet and we must deliver. If we do it correctly, we have an amazing opportunity to bring a whole new generation of Malaysians to understand the power of [the] mobile Internet.
If we do it right, we have the future secured. That is the tactical aspect of what we are doing.
DNA: So, you have a small A&P budget?
Wing: No, like I said, it is a focus thing. We have deployed [in] 70% of the 10,000 schools. When you have deployed a network across the country that actually works, that is the best form of advertising.
I mean, I do not want to name names, but other companies that have launched 4G networks have more billboards and buntings than base stations. So, in my mind, we are more interested in building a real network, then we can talk about it.
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