Telcos imposing hidden charges on consumers to face action

Hurray! Now there is a respite to customers who feel they have been swindled by the telcos. For the contact details, people can contact MCMC here:

CONTACT

CONSUMER PROTECTION & COMPLAINTS BUREAU
Malaysia Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
MCMC Tower 1, Jalan Impact, Cyber 6, 63000 Cyberjaya Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

  • Complaint Hotline : 1800 – 188 – 030
  • Facsimile : 03 – 8688 1880
  • SMS :  SKMM ADUAN [Complaint Details] SMS to 15888
  • Whatsapp: 016 – 2206 262
  • Email: aduanskmm@cmc.gov.my
  • Website: http://www.skmm.gov.my

Telcos imposing hidden charges on consumers to face action

HULU TERENGGANU: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) will take action against any telecommunications company (telco) that imposes hidden charges for their services to consumers.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Jailani Johari said any consumer whose complaints to a telco go unanswered could report the matter to the MCMC.

“The MCMC has set up a special Consumer Complaints Bureau to handle this matter and if it is not resolved, the commission will take action against the relevant telco.

“But in this matter, the telco should review existing contracts…sometimes the print in the contracts is too small,” he said, adding that this resulted in many consumers not being bothered to read the terms and conditions but signing the contract anyway believing there was nothing important they should know.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/03/19/telcos-imposing-hidden-charges-on-consumers-to-face-action/

 

4th quarter results – win some, lose some

The end of results season in February uncovered an interesting trend for telecommunication (telco) players: different strategies gave way to different results.

Overall, the telco sector recorded a mixed bag of mixed fourth quarter of financial year 2016 (4QFY16) results, with Maxis Bhd (Maxis) emerging as the stronger player over its competitor Celcom Axiata Bhd (Celcom) and Digi.Com Bhd (Digi).

While Celcom’s parent company, Axiata Group Bhd (Axiata), ended the year with disappointing 4Q16 earnings, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd (AffinHwang Capital) highlighted that Maxis held up pretty well operationally amidst shrinking sector revenue.

According to AffinHwang Capital, Maxis’ revenue market share – amongst the three celcos – ended at 39 per cent as at end 2016, the group’s second year of gain.

The growth in Maxis’ market share was, however, at the expense of Celcom and Digi’s shrinking revenue base.

“Combined revenue for the three celcos amounted to RM21.8 billion, down five per cent from 2015 and represents the third consecutive year of decline,” it said in its report earlier this week.

This can be largely attributed to non-listed fourth player, U Mobile Sdn Bhd (U Mobile), grabbing a recognisable chunk of market share.

Results round-up

Looking at the sector’s cellular subscriber base, AmInvestment Bank Bhd (AmInvestment Bank) said in a separate report that Digi remains the leading mobile subscriber.

“Since edging out Maxis with the largest mobile subscriber base in 2QFY16, Digi has retained the group’s pole position with 12.3 million users,” it said, adding that this translates to a market share of 34.8 per cent versus Maxis’ 33.7 per cent and Celcom’s 31.5 per cent.

“Its revenue has also grown to overtake Celcom by two per cent in 4QFY16; now the second largest after Maxis,” the research firm said.

Digi had in fact gained prepaid customers at Maxis and Celcom’s expense, it said.

Although mobile subscribers declined by 150,000 to 35.4 million in 4Q current year 2016 (4QCY16), Digi gained 50,000 subscribers in 4QCY16 while Maxis lost 120,000 and Celcom 80,000, largely in the prepaid segment which experienced a net attrition of 869,000 to 26.8 million.

Digi’s prepaid subscribers instead climbed 211,000, as both Maxis and Celcom removed inactive users from their database.

“This drove prepaid average revenue per user (ARPU) by RM0.67 per month quarter on quarter (q-o-q) to RM35.70 per month,” the research firm said.

“Amidst increasingly larger data quotas and improved features offered to customers, the postpaid segment rose at a faster pace by 201,000 q-o-q and 255,000 y-o-y to eight million while ARPU increased RM3 per month to RM88 per month.”

Prepping up on prepaid, postpaid

On the other hand, AllianceDBS Research Sdn Bhd (AllianceDBS Research) opined that Maxis was the better performer in the prepaid segment for 2016.

The research house explained that despite losing 574,000 subscribers, prepaid revenue did not fall much as Maxis managed to offset it with higher ARPU (from RM39 to RM42).

“DiGi defended its prepaid subscriber base well but it came at the expense of lower ARPU, which we think was also largely due to the weak migrant workers sub-segment.

“Celcom suffered a whopping 1.85 million subscriber loss while ARPU had remained stagnant,” the research house said.

As for the postpaid segment, AllianceDBS Research noted that Digi gained market share in the postpaid segment in 2016 albeit from a lower base, with a 10.6 per cent revenue growth versus flattish growth for peers.

This was mainly achieved through subscriber gains, which AllianceDBS Research believed was reflective of improving customers’ perception of Digi’s network quality from the group’s aggressive rollout of 4G LTE network.

“To our surprise, Maxis defended its premium subscribers of the postpaid market quite well in 2016 (ARPU of RM104 vs RM80 for DiGi and Celcom), despite the more aggressive and attractive pricing by peers,” the research house said.

Affin Hwang reckoned that the growth in the sector’s postpaid subscribers vis-à-vis the prepaid segment is being underpinned by growth in demand for data and hence better demand for packages that offer a larger data plan.

https://www.theborneopost.com/2017/03/12/mixed-bag-of-results-for-telcos/

 

Summary: Digi and Maxis are fighting it out to be the number one telco in Malaysia while Celcom performance is not that great compared to both market leaders. Oh dear, pity Celcom!

Celcom, Maxis, Digi, etc cheating state governments?

Perak and Penang to dismantle thousands of telco towers

IPOH: The Perak government is to dismantle all illegally erected telecommunications towers and those for which the annual permits have not been paid.

Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir said today there were more than 2,800 such towers belonging to various telcos in the state.

“So far, we have only 1,400 legal telecommunications towers; the number of illegal towers is more than double that,” he told reporters after opening a telco infrastructure development workshop and seminar here.

Zambry said the reluctance of the telcos to pay the annual RM2,000 permit for every tower cost the state government RM20 million in revenue.

“All the states are imposing the same rule on permits but in Perak the telcos have cited all kinds of reasons, including operational costs, to refrain from paying up,” he said.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang has taken down “dozens” of illegal telco towers. State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said this when commenting on a report that Perak had demolished 300 illegal towers.

Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir had said there were more than 2,800 illegally built towers belonging to various telcos in the state. He said each tower must pay permit fees of RM2,000 a year, meaning the state was losing RM20 million in revenue every year.

Chow said out of the 930 telco towers in Penang, 137 had been found to be illegally built.

He said the owners of the illegal towers had been served 30-day notices, ordering them to dismantle their towers.

Chow said several dozen towers were removed upon requests by non-governmental organisations and residents.

“Before 2008, most telco structures in the state were illegal. They were not paying any sort of fees.

“When we took over the government, we conducted a legalisation exercise to ensure all were legal.

“The errant telco providers or owners of towers were dealt with swiftly. We have taken down dozens of telco towers for building illegal structures. Some owners have not paid up. They are operating against state guidelines for telco towers, which came into effect on Nov 20, 2009,” he told FMT.

What can we assume here? Telco companies in Malaysia are just snakes who would suck up their consumers dry and at the same time circumvent state laws by not paying their dues.

How many times have they disconnected your mobile line when you are late one day in paying your bills? Well, some of these telcos are several years late in paying their own bills!

Profiteering from your poor customers is one thing, but profiteering and cheating state governments is another whole new level.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/01/23/perak-to-dismantle-2800-telco-towers/

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/01/25/nearly-150-illegal-telco-towers-in-penang-demolished/

Who should buy up Digi and Maxis?

Last post for 2016.

Big telco stake sale in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Two foreign shareholders of large stakes in leading Malaysian telecommunications companies (telcos) are exploring the possibility of divesting their stakes, indicating that the industry could be maturing here.

Reports also indicated that these parties might be more keen on investing in higher-growth markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam.

In other parts of Asia, investments by foreign cellular companies (celcos) into Asian telcos had dried up.

Over the past few days, reports had emerged that Norwegian telco, Telenor ASA, might be considering a sale of its stake in Digi.Com Bhd, and Saudi Telecom Co was said to be exploring options to dispose of its indirect stake in Maxis Bhd.

CIMB Research pointed out recently that in the second quarter of the year, the telco industry mobile revenue fell 2.4% quarter-on-quarter due to competition.

However, while these parties may be exploring a divestment of their stakes in Malaysian telcos, the big question is whether there will be takers for the stakes, considering the state of the industry in Malaysia.

Digi is trading at a price earnings (PE) multiple of 23.39 times and offers a yield of 4.26% at its current price of RM4.81, while Maxis’ PE is at 24.40 times, with a yield of 3.25% at its current price of RM6.15, Bloomberg data revealed.

In comparison, Singapore Telecom-munications Ltd is trading at a less demanding PE of 16.3 times and offers a decent yield of 4.41% too.

An added complication is the concern investors would have if an owner like Telenor decides to sell down.

“Without Telenor’s insights, Digi may no longer look as attractive,” pointed out an industry player.

http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/09/20/big-telco-stake-sale/

Maybe EPF should buy it after they have dropped FGV from their portfolio? Any other suggestions?
digi-vs-maxis

 

 

 

Stiff competition for telcos in 2016

But How About 2017?

We feel that the Malaysian market needs at least one more telco company to really give more value to the customers. These telcos have been squeezing the Malaysian public for the past decade with their arrogant customer service, pricey data charges and lopsided contracts.

It is payback time!

Kuala Lumpur: A year of price war for mobile telecommunication companies or telcos best sums up the sector in 2016, as stiff competition in a saturated market prompted them to source new streams of income to sustain their businesses moving forward.

Current Analysis Group’s Senior Analyst for Asia Pacific Alfie Amir said mobile telcos saw a declining trend in their revenues and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), as well as total subscribers.

As of October this year, the average ARPU for telcos stood at RM41.50 compared to RM43.03 last year, and this was expected to decline further next year with a compound annual growth rate of -2.6 per cent from 2016 to 2021, he told Bernama.

Revenue peaked in 2013 but was stagnant in 2014 before starting to decline in 2015 and this year it is expected to decline even more significantly.

In terms of total subscribers, mobile operators recorded 46 million subscribers in 2015 and the number was expected to go down to 44.9 million this year and to 44.5 million in 2017, Alfie said.

Amid this challenging environment, the telcos, namely the top three players Maxis, Celcom and Digi – have been on a price war and are also increasingly giving more values to attract more customers especially from their rivals.

In tackling the price war, Maxis had, instead of reducing the price, put more emphasis on enhancing its product values and stressing on customer experience to position itself as a premium product against competitors, he said.

“As a result, they are losing the subscribers’ market share but in terms of ARPU, they are more stable as they lost only the lower-value subscribers but managed to retain higher-value customers compared to its competitors,” said Alfie.

Looking at the telco’s third-quarter results this year, another analyst said Maxis, which has maintained its premium pricing with a blended ARPU of RM100, showed a turnaround with its earnings gaining momentum, outperforming its peers in terms of margin.

Moving into 2017, Alfie said he hoped the telcos would realise that a price war did not really work in Malaysia and was only effective for certain segments.

He said the telcos needed to explore new ways to be relevant in the market by leveraging the use of Internet of Things and Big Data Analytics (BDA).

Meanwhile, another highlight of the year was the surprise move announced by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in February that it would reallocate and directly assign the 900MHz and 1800 MHz bands to four operators, namely Maxis, Celcom, Digi and U-Mobile.

Alfie said the spectrum reallocation would exacerbate the already intense competition as the top operators would be at a level playing field.

In this exercise, Digi and U-mobile will gain more access to this valuable capital expenditure-efficient spectrum while Maxis and Celcom would need to give back the some that they own.

Alfie pointed out that the spectrum fee charged to the telcos was expected to put a dent on the their total service revenue by between 10 and 15 per cent of their earnings’ margins.

“The telcos would have to find ways to optimise the spectrum by attracting more customers to monetise their investments going into 2017, as well as strategizing their sources and operate efficiently by improving their back-end processes like utilising more BDA,” he maintained.

Moving forward, he expected 2017 to see a battle among ‘converge players’ after Telekom Malaysia Bhd ™ launched its mobile arm ‘webe’, formerly known as Packet One Networks, on September 30 this year.

“This will allow TM to provide converge services of both fixed line and mobile.

“Before webe, Maxis was the only player to offer fixed-line and mobile services but is progressing slowly in terms of innovating the convergence of both services,” he said.

Celcom has also entered the play after a soft launch of its fixed-line services early this year for selected customers and expected to finalise the offerings to end-users next year.

Consequently, there will be three big players to offer converged services which will ultimately intensify the competition and undoubtedly drive innovation.

Alfie explained that entering into the fixed-line space would be a way to explore new source of income for mobile telcos but TM would benefit more as most of the fixed-line infrastructure belonged to the company.

Hence for other operators to offer fixed-line services, they have to do these via wholesale agreement with TM.

On the enterprise segment, he said TM continued to be the dominant player this year in this segment which provided more fixed-line services rather than mobile, with the other player TIME dotCom Bhd trailing far behind due to coverage limitation.

In the fixed-line market, TM currently owns about 85 per cent share, TIME about 5.0 per cent and the balance shared between TM, Maxis and the rest, he said.

“TM is also on the right journey to transform the company by tracking the telcos in advanced countries to move beyond connectivity into the information technology (IT) providers’ space in the enterprise market.

“Telcos globally are now offering cloud solutions, data centre, cyber security, software services network…the solutions that IT providers are offering,” he said.

Interestingly, 2017 will see the growth of smaller players like XOX Bhd, Tune Talk Sdn Bhd, Red One Network Sdn Bhd, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (M) Sdn Bhd (Telin Malaysia), webe sdn bhd, YTL Communications Sdn Bhd’s Yes, and those with subscribers of below one million, to eat into the market share of the big players by catering to the needs of niche market and emerge as a new threat.

An example to ponder is the presence of Telin Malaysia, a subsidiary of a big telco in Indonesia, which is already here to offer services to a niche market for Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia, also an important segment for the big telcos. – http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=114851

cropped-managed-neworked-services.jpg

Telco services monitored by Communications Ministry

malaysia-telco

The market here needs another player to really give more options to consumers. U Mobile for instance, is just a small bit player a few years ago but they can still manage to earn over 1 billion ringgit in revenue just last year!

Imagine how many billions other players get!

Poor service by the telcos is partly due to less competition in the market, with only the Big 3 (DiGi, Maxis and Celcom) ruling the roost.

It is time the government give more operating licenses to new players. We hear they are queuing up but had their applications put on hold due to heavy lobbying by one of the telco bosses who has close relationship with the powers that be.

Anyhow, it is good that the Communications Ministry is keeping tabs on these telcos. At the end of the day, the consumers must win.

Communications Ministry monitors service charges by telco companies

KUALA LUMPUR, — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) will constantly monitor the service charges imposed by telecommunication companies to ensure that they are fair and reasonable.

The ministry said monitoring for the last few years showed that the charges for telecommunication services in the country were increasingly reduced.

“This is due to the strong competition among the country’s telecommunication companies,” it said in a written reply to a question from Senator Tan Sri S. Nallakaruppan in the Dewan Negara here today.

Elaborating, the ministry, through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the telecommunication service providers were always looking for the best method to provide satisfactory services to the people.

Currently, the charges for the services were unregulated and relied on the  commercial planning by each provider.

Thus, it said the telecommunication companies were given the freedom to set the rates for mobile and broadband services to create healthy competition in giving quality services to suit the customers’ needs and affordability.

The competition that existed among the service providers had been proven to reduce the market price and benefitted the consumers.

The statement said the variety in charges was due to government’s measures to increase the competition, which would further reduce the charges and the services could be offered at an affordable rate. — Bernama

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/communications-ministry-monitors-service-charges-by-telco-companies-senate#sthash.gIxaZtgU.dpuf