In today’s announcement event, TM will be signing a partnership with Green Packet, SK Telecom and P1 for the development for a converged next-gen communication services. This signifies TM’s strong desire to venture into the wireless broadband space particularly LTE services.
In this partnership, TM is expected to anchor and take the lead while Green Packet that have founded P1 WiMAX will ensure P1’s business continuity. SK Telekom being a major wireless player in South Korea will be providing strategic and technical expertise. Through the collaboration, they will be focusing on delivering high quality LTE data services leveraging on P1’s 2.6GHz spectrum and its network of over 2,000 sites nationwide. P1 owns the valuable 50MHz spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz bands.
TM will hold 57% stake in P1 by injecting RM350 million into the wireless operator. Through the partnership, P1 will be a subsidiary under TM. In addition, TM will also invest up to RM210 million into Green Packet through redeemable exchangeable bonds. The investment is made through Mobikom Sdn Bhd which is a wholly owned subsidiary of TM.
According to TM Group CEO, Tan Sri Zam, the partnership is in line’s with TM’s vision of being an Information Exchange and Malaysia’s Broadband Champion. The partnership provides an LTE-ready platform to efficiently roll out wireless broadband products and accelerate time to market for its consumers.
UPDATE: TM invests RM350 million for 57% stake in P1 to roll out LTE services. More details here.
Months of speculation on who will acquire P1 may very well come to an end tomorrow if a media invite issued by Telekom Malaysia is anything to go by.
The invite issued today stated that Malaysia’s largest broadband provider “will be signing a milestone agreement with several industry players that are involved in wireless technologies for a collaboration which will bring immense benefit to the telecommunications industry as well as the Malaysian consumers at large.”
Interestingly both TM and Green Packet — the company that holds controlling stake in P1 — has suspended trading of share for tomorrow.
According to a Malaysian Reserve report citing sources close to the matter, TM is believed to have successfully acquired a controlling stake in 4G operator, P1.
“All details of the deal are being finalised. A signing ceremony between Green Packet and TM will be held soon.
“TM is buying a portion of Green Packet’s stake in P1,” said the source.
Predictably, TM has refused to comment on the matter but the prevailing rumour indicates that TM is expected to dish out over RM2 billion for P1 stake in a bit to expand its product portfolio beyond fixed broadband services.
The news brings to closure the much-delayed merger and acquisition exercise involving P1 since 2011, with the shortlisted potential buyers besides TM, included DiGi and YTL.
The merger is important to TM as it looks to diversify its business beyond fixed broadband services. Troubled 4G operator P1 owns valuable wireless spectrum, including the 2.3GHz band (that is currently being use for its WiMAX network), and the 2.6GHz band, which can be used for 4G LTE services. TM on the other hand, has the 450MHz and 850MHz bands that it has been using for CDMA voice and data services. While these lower bands can be used for LTE, the 2.6GHz band is one of the two widely accepted standard in Malaysia (the other being the 1800MHz band) allowing TM to tap into a bigger catalogue of LTE equipment and devices that in turn will make network expansion and subscriber acquisition relatively easier.
“If the deal happens, TM will gain access to P1’s existing customer base and valuable infrastructure that can be utilised by TM for faster growth in the wireless segment.
“TM will then be a very large player in the business, as they would have a combined deployment of low- and high-frequency bands,” an analyst told The Malaysian Reserve.
TM has set an ambitious target for its wireless business. By 2017, the operator wants to have 1 million wireless subscribers and the acquisition of P1’s 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz spectrum will be key to this goal. By acquiring P1, TM will not only have access to P1’s existing customer base but also to P1’s valuable infrastructure that consists of over 2,000 base stations nationwide including East Malaysia.
Read the full Malaysian Reserve report here.
It has been speculated for quite a while that Green Packet is selling a major stake of its P1 WiMAX business. Now Reuters has reported that the deal is more or less finalised and Green Packet will be announcing the successful buyer by the end of this month.
Its Managing Director and CEO, CC Puan is expected to make an announcement on the deal in the coming weeks. So far, it has been speculated that DiGi, TM and YTL are in talks in acquire a controlling stake of P1 for its wireless spectrum. Among the 3, YTL is the only provider with an active WiMAX service running under its Yes brand while DiGi has started its 4G LTE service in mid 2013. TM is said to be planning to roll out LTE services by this month.
P1 is currently allocated 30MHz in the 2.3GHz WiMAX band and 20MHz of the 2.6GHz 4G LTE spectrum. Such spectrum is very limited and is very valuable for other players that aims to grab a foothold in wireless game.
[ SOURCE ]
While Najib is proud of cheap kangkung the rest of you may be more interested to know that apparently Malaysia has the most affordable internet in the world (or at least among emerging and developing countries).
This may be harder to swallow than a bunch of uncooked water spinach to some but in the Affordability Report 2013, an independent study done by the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Malaysia tops the list among 46 emerging and developing countries including China, Brazil, Turkey and Hungary in terms of affordable internet.
Published on December 8, last year, the report presents an ‘Affordability Index’, which ranks nations across communications infrastructure and access and affordability indicators fundamental to achieving affordable Internet. The study also explores key barriers to affordable internet.
While many Malaysians lament that internet in Malaysia is still expensive compared to developed countries like Singapore and Korea, the study finds that Malaysia is on the right track noting that Government initiatives such as Public-Private Partnerships to expand broadband infrastructure and making basic internet access and equipment affordable for the low-income bracket through subsidies are bearing fruit. According to MCMC, four out of five Malaysians now have access to 3G.
This is a stark contrast to developing countries where people are living on less than US$2/day. In these countries, the report noted, entry-level broadband costs an average of 40% of monthly income and most cases basic internet exceeds 80% or 100%. As a result, billions cannot afford to get online, entrenching the digital divide and constraining economic and social progress.
Sonia Jorge, executive director of A4AI commented:
“Countries such as Malaysia, Brazil or Morocco, which top our Affordability Index, show how rapid progress can be made when innovative technologies are twinned with an enabling, forward-looking policy and regulatory environment which stimulates supply as well as demand. A4AI is committed to working hand-in-hand with countries to help drive down the cost of broadband.”
So what do you think? Feeling the good vibe? Internet in Malaysia may not be as cheap as some might like but it is certainly affordable and readily available compared to many countries even the developing ones. At the very least speeds have increased while prices have remained fairly constant and it’s certainly good that most local operators are not as restrictive with data quotas and usages as they can be. Let’s hope some things remain the same while other continue to improve
You can download the full report here.
While speed is everything when you’re surfing internet superhighway on the world wide web, the same can’t be said when you’re cruising down a highway of the asphalt kind. In the real world, speed is not everything and sometimes, fast is too fast. Case in point.
Drive safe people.
We have information confirming that P1 is currently experiencing a nationwide service interruption affecting a large number of subscribers possibly in the tens of thousands.
We first picked-up reports on the disruption at 1900hrs and at time of writing P1 via its customer service account, @P1Cares, says that its engineers are working on the issue. The account didn’t indicate on when it expects the P1 service to be fully restored.
A quick check on Twitter and Facebook reveals that the service interruption extends to multiple states. We attempted to call the P1 Customer Careline at 1-300-800-888 for more information but the line is engaged.
If you are P1 subscriber, we would like to hear from you. Let us know if you are able to connect to the internet on your P1 connection.
In Malaysia, competitors don’t utter each other names, top execs in big board rooms shun the mention of a competitor’s name in their presence. It is forbidden, a cardinal sin punishable by death. Ok maybe that’s not entirely true but it is very rare, almost unheard of for a brand to mention its direct competitor so openly.
For a brand to mention its competitor is one thing but for a brand to promote and display said competitor’s logo is almost unbelievable!
Well the social media people at P1 thought that they’d be good sports and share a contest that their competitors are running.
Yes, via its Yes World portal, is running a ticket giveaway contest for the upcoming premier of “Cowboys vs Aliens” and while Yes is promoting the contest via its social media channels, P1 thought they’d give a helping hand and promote the contest on their social media channels as well. This is tremendous! In all our years in this industry, we’ve never seen anything like it.
The rational behind it? P1 says they promoted the contest because “everybody loves free tickets no matter who gives them out”. Sensible logic, we say.
Is the world about to end? Probably not. But its definitely a new beginning. Kudos to P1 for setting the positive trend. We’re hoping other brands will follow suit. What P1 did goes a long way in creating a good perception for the brand, or its social media channel at the very least. Now, all that remains if for them to up the ante and fix that darn network of theirs (sorry P1, we still think its problematic)
In the meantime, let’s see if the advocator of “positive change” will reciprocate the goodwill gesture.
In a press release accompanying the recently launched P1 One Plan, P1 disclosed that the “new” plan was introduced as a response to findings revealed in a consumer study conducted by Frost & Sullivan on Malaysian broadband behavior. It was unclear in the release if the study was commissioned by P1.
The study indicated that only 7% of on-the-go modem users correctly utilize the device for on-the-go broadband while as many as 45 percent of subscribers use their on-the-go modems exclusively at home. The remaining 48% of on-the-go modem users are split using their modems for both home and on-the-go.
Essentially, P1 is saying that a large number of wireless broadband users were using the wrong modem for the wrong purpose…
Here’s a quote from P1 CEO, Michael Lai taken from the press release:
Most people are not aware that an on-the-go modem is not optimised for indoor usage. “Being a much smaller hence more convenient device to carry around, an on-the-go modem is best suited for outdoors. As wireless broadband signal travels through air, it inherently becomes weaker as it penetrates walls and may not be optimally received by the smaller antenna of a pocket-size.
The quote continues:
“By using the devices according to their functions, consumers will have better 4G broadband experience.
Based on this, the One Plan includes in its package two modems. One, an “outdoor” on-the-go modem and the other an “indoor” fixed modem. The logic behind this is that by offering two modems, one for outdoor and the other designed for indoor use, users can use the right modem for the right condition and “by using the devices according to their functions, consumers will have better 4G broadband experience” claimed Michael Lai.
Recently you probably have seen P1 4G doing tie in ads with the latest installment of Fast and Furious movie. The movie sponsorship, if it considered as one seems to portray P1 as a speed demon broadband in conjunction with its Stronger, Wider and Faster motto. From the surface, it looks as if P1 is hard selling the movie more than its own broadband service which is actually having some noteworthy offers.
For the past several months, P1 has been doing its 50% off promo on its broadband service for 2 months on both fixed home broadband and portable USB broadband plans. Now they have thrown in more discounts for new subscriptions.
A couple of weeks back, P1 together with ZTE organised a demonstration to showcase the capabilities of LTE in Malaysia. This strikes us as rather odd because since its inception P1 has been a strong proponent of WiMAX.
Its CEO, Michael Lai, has often been quoted as saying that P1 “will live and die with WiMAX” and that LTE stands for “late to evolve” rather than long-term evolution aggressively campaigning that WiMAX is the superior technology.
Why the sudden change then? Why condemn a technology and then flip 180 to adopt it? Could it be that P1 is having difficulties in getting its WiMAX network to work the way that they want it? Or are they looking for an edge to get a one up over its closest rival, Yes 4G? Or is it simply a case of the CEO making a bold statement without the benefit of foresight?
Whatever the reason may be, the message is clear, P1’s open demonstration of LTE marks a significant shift in the operator’s strategy, whatever that strategy may be.
Speaking of strategies, while the Government’s move to offer WiMAX in Malaysia has generally been seen as a bold step forward, most of the operators in which it has entrusted with the WiMAX spectrum have faltered. Out of the original four operators that were offered a WiMAX spectrum by the government, only two remain — P1 and Yes.
Between these two operators, which one is leading the 4G race? We attempt to answer this question by looking at the numbers.