Lessons to be learned from the Digi episode

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Last Friday, an irate telco customer threw eggs at his telco service provider – Digi. Perhaps this could be a warning to all telcos, that customers are no longer afraid to take matters into their own hands. They will not shy away in recording their grievances and upload them in the social media.

Tough times ahead for customer service departments across the industry. You guys better buck up and be on your toes. We are watching.

Here was the news:

We all had our moments when we make a complaint to a company and all our efforts get drained to the sewage port. So, how do you get these big companies to actually hear you out?

Do what Mohd Al Iman Zakaria did! He threw eggs at Digi’s HQ in Subang!

Not that we are encouraging such act, cause it may seem a little uncivilised but hey at least it get’s the job done, right?

Probably because they refused to listen to his previous complaints, Iman decided to do was most people won’t, throwing eggs at the source of the problem like they were hand grenades.

The whole incident was even recorded and posted by the man himself. In the short clip, you can hear him shouting out loud while throwing a few eggs and at the same time scaring off some of Digi’s customers that were at the site.

Do read it more at: https://thecoverage.my/news/furious-digi-customer-throws-egg-bombs-subang-hq/

Happy new year to Digi! How inspiring…

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?
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Live Chat di Celcom

Antara banyak perkara yang staff Celcom tak suka pasal CEO baru Michael Kuehner dan management team baru dia (Azwan + Azmi etc), ada satu benda yang staff Celcom paling meluat:

Live Chat.

Berikut adalah feedback yang kami terima dari staff Celcom baru-baru ini:

Live chat ialah satu platform di mana semua peringkat masyarakat dalam Celcom boleh berinteraksi sama sendiri dan meluah apa yang disimpan dalam hati. Chat boleh dibuat secara anonymous, dan perbualan boleh dilihat oleh semua orang.

Benda ni diperkenalkan oleh Michael Kuehner. Ramai rasakan yang benda ni tak berfaedah. Ramai yang meluat pun. Kenapa M7 tak boleh dapatkan constructive criticism through private channels? Tak berapa lama benda ni berjalan, we already have several serious complaints from employees about being defamed in the live chat.

How can M7 allow employees to be humiliated?

Staff-staff Celcom rasa amat sakit hati dan bengang sebab live chat sekarang jadi medan menganiaya staff sendiri. Tapi mereka takut nak highlight pasal ni in the open. Nanti ada witch hunt.

Enough is enough lah. Sekarang Michael Kuehner sendiri takde kat Celcom. Balik kampung cuti Krismas. Siapa yang nak handle kalau ada krisis nanti?

Idea siapa pandai sangat nak buat live chat ni?

Kita hentikan dulu cerita setakat ini. Ada banyak lagi feedback kita dapat tapi kita simpan for another day.

Bawah ni adalah Live Chat yang kita ada terima:

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Merry Christmas untuk semua warga Celcom! Aud Wiedersehen!

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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

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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.

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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.

FULL STORY CAN BE READ HERE: http://www.malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/647953-u-mobile-s-christmas-gifts-for-maxis-celcom-digi-backfires.html

Telco services monitored by Communications Ministry

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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