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:


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:
  • Website:

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.



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.

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. –


Shameless U Mobile got served

When it comes to desperation, U Mobile is leading the way in showing us how to do it. Being 4th in the hierarchy is nearly not enough for U Mobile’s shareholders. Insider info told us that their shareholders from across the causeway had given the management until third quarter of 2017 to break into the Big 3.

DiGi, Maxis and Celcom have remained on the podium for so long, U Mobile is desperate to get a crack at it.

Not surprisingly, given the fact that their Marketing team consists of non-Malaysians, they could not understand the culture within this industry. Maybe Malaysians are not ready for it. Embarrassingly, U Mobile had to take down their season’s greetings video and fire their content developer.

Lesson learned? No way. U Mobile will make 2017 an exciting year to watch. Desperation will make people do crazy things.


U Mobile’s Christmas ‘Gifts’ For Maxis, Celcom, Digi Backfires

It’s not really our culture to poke fun and take jibes at each other – regardless the intention.

Yet, in this season of giving, Malaysia’s fourth-placed mobile network, U Mobile, has gone beyond those boundaries to prove that they are better than other telco giants.

Playing the Christmas carol card to send over some joy to their competitors, the fastest-growing mobile operator put out a series of videos with a quartet in orange pinstripe suits singing merry yuletides.

Their cheeky ‘FIRST’ “gift” came in the tune of ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’ to Celcom, of course.

“You may have a territory, an old school territory, Unlike U Mobile your rules make us cry, your love is hard to find,” was part of its altered lyrics mocking Celcom’s poor coverage.

And as if the first wasn’t surprising enough, they went on to send “a fun and cheerful carol” to Digi, singing ‘Deck the Halls’.

“U Mobile’s here and their jolly…video data war they have won, Don’t you see it’s time to move on,” the quartet sang in highlight of its unlimited 24-hour video streaming with no data charges via Video-Onz.

Last but not least, Maxis ended up in their little jingle, perhaps ringing a bell at the loopholes in subscribers’ expensive bills as well as data plans.

“Anger your subscribers till they run to U Mobile…with plans and services that wow the winner’s pretty clear.”

Well of course, in less than five years U Mobile has managed to gain over four million subscribers through its market-leading product innovation and value proposition, but why the low blow to their rivals?

While all three videos posted yesterday received over 20,000 views and hundreds of shares, many thought it was inappropriate in this festive time, with some even expressing their anger and highlighting U Mobile’s weaknesses against the competitors they dissed.


Telco services monitored by Communications Ministry


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

Vincent Tan: U Mobile is not for sale


U Mobile not for sale, says Tan

KYOTO, JAPAN: BERJAYA Group founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan has ruled out selling U Mobile Sdn Bhd, Malaysia’s fourth-placed mobile network operator, which recorded RM1.43 billion revenue last year. Responding to market talk about a possible sale, Tan, who holds 6.2 per cent stake in the seven-year-old U Mobile, said he and other shareholders planned to keep the company for the long term.

“There are a lot of rumours that we want to sell. Selling the business is very simple. If somebody makes you an offer that you can’t refuse, (of course) you would sell. “If you buy something for RM300, and after three to five years it is worth RM600, RM700 or RM900, you have to think carefully and seriously consider to sell. If you make money why not? That is business,” said Tan.

The major shareholder of U Mobile is Straits Mobile Investments Pte Ltd (49 per cent), followed by U Telemedia Sdn Bhd (21.46 per cent), Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar (15 per cent), Magnum Bhd (6.33 per cent) and Berjaya Infrastructure Sdn Bhd (2.01 per cent). U Mobile is Malaysia’s fastest- growing full-fledged mobile operator that offers data, voice and messaging services via innovative prepaid, postpaid and broadband plans. In less than five years, the company has grown its subscriber base from less than 50,000 to over four million through its market-leading product innovation and value proposition.

Tan plans to grow the business and aims to replace either Maxis or Digi as the country’s second or third largest telco in the near future. “It is achievable given that U Mobile has a fair share in the telco market,” said Tan after the official opening of the Four Seasons Hotel & Hotel Residences, here, last week.

U Mobile took the market by surprise when it was offered a big chunk of the 900 MHz spectrum by the government. “The government has been very fair. Because of our challenger status where we brought prices down, the government loves it and they have given us a fair share of the spectrum. “In fact, we think the government should give us more share of the spectrum as we are helping to bring prices down.

The bigger players consider us a threat in the market but we are here to help people. “They fear us because each time they drop prices, we will drop ours further. Our aim is to continue to offer the lowest price in the market and win more customers,” said Tan. Tan said U Mobile is still in the red and he anticipates that the company will be profitable in the next one to two years. “We are not profitable currently but we are going to do well. We are still investing in the business. With more spectrum we can cover a bigger area and be more competitive. “Fortunately for us, we have a strong partner, which is a subsidiary of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings,” he said.

U Mobile is here to stay in Malaysian hands. But unless their Malaysian shareholders decided to sell off their stake to foreigners. With the advent of the depreciating Ringgit, let’s face it, only foreigners have the money to buy whatever assets Malaysians have over here.

But having a Singaporean counterpart to pick up our slack is such a nervy venture. Who knows, maybe SingTel will finally have its subsidiary in our local market.

Another piece of news that could peak the local interests is this:

“Maxis is marginally the market leader with 12.1 million connections, or a 28.8 per cent share, with Digi a very close second with 12 million connections (28.5 per cent share) and Celcom Axiata third with 11.2 million connections (26.7 per cent share)”

U Mobile can very well position themselves to be in the top three by next year. Why not? They have deep pockets and a white knight on standby mode. Digi and Celcom will have to watch their backs very carefully.