Celcom hopes to address prepaid decline with new Xpax

  • Celcom has been experiencing consecutive quarters of decline in prepaid customers - since Q3 2015
  • Company hopes to grow both its prepaid customer base and market share

Celcom hopes to address prepaid decline with new Xpax

 Daren Victor, Head of Brand Management, Access, Tengku Muneer Tengku Muzani, Head of Marketing, Azwan Khan Osman Khan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Business Operations, Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin, Chief Marketing Officer and Alvin Tan, Xpax Group Brand Manager launching the all-new Xpax. 


Celcom Axiata Bhd, Malaysia’s third largest mobile operator in terms of total subscribers, hopes that its newly launched Xpax prepaid plan will help the company to regain its lost prepaid momentum.

“We expect our prepaid customer base to grow as well as our market share,” said Celcom’s chief marketing officer Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin after the launch of its new Xpax in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The company has been experiencing consecutive quarters of decline on its prepaid subscriber base since third quarter 2015.

During the period, the company has launched various prepaid related products and services – including the Xpax Turbo, Phone Care (a device replacement and swap plans for both postpaid and prepaid customers), Game Scape (a gaming platform for both its prepaid and postpaid customers), Fattnet prepaid plan, New Magic Reload and more.

However, these activities did not stop reverse the decline momentum – as its prepaid customer base has fallen from 9.7 million prepaid customers in third quarter 2015 to 8.29 million prepaid customers in third quarter this year.

Celcom’s prepaid subscriber base market share has also declined – from 32.87% in Q3 2015, to under 30% (29.98% to be exact) in Q3 this year.

The numbers looked even worse when comes to prepaid revenue – as it fell from RM2.79 billion (first nine months 2015) to RM2.16 billion (first nine months this year), resulting in a decline in prepaid revenue market share at 25.77% (versus 29.81% in Q3 2015).

While Maxis and Digi also experienced a decline in prepaid revenue – their decline was not as steep as Celcom’s.

What’s the big deal with the new prepaid plan?


The launch of the new Xpax is seen as Celcom’s biggest effort to reignite its prepaid business.

Unlike Celcom’s past efforts, the all-new Xpax plan is designed to give prepaid customers as much value as possible.

For a start, it is giving customers 10GB of free Basic Internet (up to 64kbps) and free 10GB for Facebook related browsing and uploads every month – as long as the prepaid number remains active.

“Celcom understands the issues that prepaid customers are frustrated with concerning their current Internet plans. Hence, the all-new Xpax, supported by Celcom’s 4G network, will further enhance and simplify their Internet experience. With the all new Xpax, what you see, is what you get,” said Azwan Khan Osman Khan, Celcom’s deputy chief executive officer.

Once activating the Xpax starter pack, the subscriber can opt to purchase four main plans – daily plan of RM3 which gives user 1GB of data; RM10 weekly plan that gives user 2GB of data, RM30 plan that gives 5GB of data over a 30-day period, and a RM50 plan that gives users 10GB of data over a day period.  These subscribers also get unlimited Yonder Music during the period.

The all-new Xpax plan is also rather competitive with its industry peers. Hotlink, the prepaid brand under Maxis, has an Internet pass that gives users 17GB of data (and 100 minutes of calls) for RM50 a month. However, the data strictly for Internet (on weekdays) is only 5GB and the remaining 12 GB of data comprises 4GB of Youtube streaming and 8GB of data usage only on weekends.

Meanwhile, Digi offers customers 11.5GB of data for RM48 over a 30-day period. However, the 11.5 GB of data comprise of 7.5 GB of Internet, 2GB of Digi Video Freedom and 2Gb of Music Freedom.

For Celcom, this is an aggressive move that it has to make to regain the lost ground, and hopefully to regain the crown it once held. In first half 2014, it had the most number of prepaid subscribers among the big three mobile operators at 10.53 million (while Maxis had 9.04 million and Digi had 9.21 million).

It will be interesting to see the development over the next few weeks, to see if its rivals will react to Celcom’s recent move.


Related Stories:

Malaysian telcos' Q3 2016 report card: Who's the winner?

Three key takeaways you may not know about the Maxis and Digi Q3 results

Malaysian telcos' Q1 2016 report card: Oh dear, oh my!

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