If there’s one operator that’s got a point to prove, it’s P1. And if P1 has only one point to make, loud and clear to you, it would be this – the challenger operator is making a comeback. Network performance, customer service quality and trust issues are just some of the many things that need fixing at P1, and the two foremost executives in the company – Kelvin Lee and Azizi A. Hadi – know exactly what to do to turn P1 around.
Kelvin Lee is no stranger to P1, having been part of the Green Packet family for a good ten years. In 2011, Kelvin was asked by CC Puan, the CEO of P1, to join P1 in the role of Chief Commercial Officer to manage the sales and customer services of P1’s products and services. A veteran in Green Packet and P1, Kelvin has been through it all. And yet, the upbeat, approachable techie, is more energetic than ever, ready to transform P1 to become one of the country’s most innovative mobile operator.
His optimism and energy is understandable, Kelvin has an experienced point man watching his guard. Azizi in his role as P1’s COO, is a new joiner but is no stranger to the telco industry given his wealth of experience in TM for the past eight years covering various roles from oversight of migrating from a digital to fully IP network, the HSBB (high speed broadband) rollouts to the SME business segment management.
Kelvin and Azizi believe that P1, with full support from, Telekom Malaysia and SK Telecom, two giants from the telecommunications world – both with considerable investments in P1 – and a team of experts that’s now more pumped up than ever, is now in the best position to shake up the telecommunications space in Malaysia with the promise of being country’s first ever fully converged telecommunications provider.
But what does this mean to you? Are you ready for a fully converged telecommunications provider?
Watch as Kelvin and Azizi explain why 2015 is going to be the year for P1 and you.
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.
Today TM is expected to acquire a major stake in P1 making it a strong wireless player in Malaysia. Both TM and Greenpacket – its holding company, has suspended trading of share today, adding more fuel to its earlier speculation.
The acquisition will give TM a good head start with their LTE roll out as it will gain an existing subscriber base and access to P1’s 2,000 over base stations across the country. Most importantly is P1’s valuable spectrum which they have rights to operate WiMAX at 2.3GHz and 4G LTE at 2.6MHz. This compliments TM’s existing spectrum at 450MHz and 850MHz.
It is no secret that TM plans to venture into the wireless business and has set high targets of 1 million subscribers by 2017. By acquiring an establish wireless operator, TM will catapult itself forward in the 4G LTE race.
UPDATE: TM invests RM350 million for 57% stake in P1 to roll out LTE services. More details here.
TM — Malaysia’s largest broadband service provider — is expected to announce its acquisition of P1 — a long struggling 4G operator — to the tune of RM2 billion today but many may not know that the two were once fierce competitors.
Back in 2009, P1 under the helm of Michael Lai (who was previously the CEO of now defunct TMNet), was a vibrant, fledgling operator right at the cutting edge of wireless technology. P1 was the first operator in the region to launch a WiMAX network. From an unknown, P1 grew to become a serious player in the wireless space with one of the largest and fastest growing WiMAX networks in the world. With that P1 enjoyed a healthy growth in subscribers. The new operator made all the right moves and seemed unstoppable
With Michael Lai as CEO, P1 was ambitious. Back then WiMAX was seen as the one technology that could deliver speed and performance that’s on par to fixed broadband solutions and P1 believed it could take on a giant in fixed broadband services. Michael was confident it could take on Telekom Malaysia.
It was David versus Goliath. A fast growing, greenfield operator that had a lot of verve but with limited resources taking on the nation’s old guards of broadband with massive resources. It was an entertaining match-up that gave us the memorable “Potong” campaign where P1 called Malaysians to cut the wires of fixed broadband and moved to wireless.
Obviously TM wasn’t going to take it lying down and it responded with an equally cheeky campaign making fun of some of the issues that P1 had with its wireless network.
P1 had its day with the Potong campaign. The brand sky-rocketed from an unknown to a household name and the promise of wireless freedom resonated with Malaysians.
That was five years ago. The broadband landscape is much different now. Since then, TM has strengthened its market position with UniFi, other wireless operators have adopted the more widely accepted 4G LTE standard and P1 was stuck in a rut, struggling to grow its base and its network.
Today’s acquisition announcement is interesting because many industry seniors hark back at the epic battle that TM and P1 once had. Many made jokes that a company that once wanted to “potong” so bad now has no choice but to “sambung balik” with TM but is that really the case? Perhaps not.
Fixed broadband while still in demand, is a stagnant market in Malaysia and the acquisition of P1 is important to TM as it looks to diversify its business beyond fixed broadband services. TM will gain access to valuable spectrum that will allow it to roll out 4G LTE services.
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.
So did P1 sambung balik with TM or is TM finally embracing potong and going wireless? We can’t help but feel that Michael Lai is smiling.
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.
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When it comes to wireless broadband, there’s always a limit to how much we can use at full speed. Several years ago, most users frown upon having their download speeds throttled down once they have hit their subscribed data quota as part of the dreaded Fair Usage Policy. Even high speed fibre broadband service for home such as UniFi, Maxis & Time are tied with usage quotas as well. Of course there are unlimited alternatives but they are mostly catered for enterprise usage which comes with a price.
In conjunction with P1’s 5th anniversary, they are now offering their home WiMAX wireless broadband service with unlimited quota. There are 2 plans available – ForHome 99 (RM99) with 1Mbps download speed and ForHome 149 (RM149) at 2Mbps. The unlimited offer is only valid during the 24 months contract period. After that, the usual data quota will apply at 20GB for ForHome 99 and 35GB for ForHome 149.
For more information, head over to P1’s ForHome broadband page.
Check out this WiMAX Samsung Galaxy S II developed for use on Japan’s KDDI au network in Japan. Aside from the additional WiMAX radio, this variant of Samsung’s hottest selling device also gets a processor bump from the 1.2Ghz dual-core in the standard S II to a 1.4Ghz dual-core in the WiMAX version. The display has been uprated too, from the 4.3-inch Super AMOLED that we get here to a pretty awesome 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD pushing 1280×720 pixels display. Other specs include an 8MP and 2MP cameras, full 1080p HD video recording as well as NFC.
The WiMAX Galaxy S II has all the makings of a very desirable smartphone. If we’re not mistaken Japan’s WiMAX network run on the 2.5GHz frequency band while the ones in Malaysia run on 2.3Ghz. With a little tweak and testing, it’s very possible for Samsung to make a version of this WiMAX S II that can run on Malaysia’s WiMAX network.
There’s definitely a market for this WiMAX Galaxy S II in Malaysia. Of course we’re simplifying things here and there’s a lot of things that a local WiMAX operator needs to do to make this device work in Malaysia but the point of the matter is that it can happen and we have a WiMAX operator that has proven itself to be able to make amazing things happen. The question is whether they want to or not. Let’s hope they say Yes.
Check out the WiMAX Galaxy S II product page here.
UPDATE: Yes 4G finally launched in Sabah with 60% coverage.
According to TheStar, YTL Communications is in the process of securing licenses to roll out its Yes 4G services in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. Its CEO Wing K. Lee had mentioned that YTL has received acknowledgement from the Government and they are now requested to submit their business plan.
Currently REDtone is the only WiMAX operator in East Malaysia and they haven’t been expanding much since its launch 3 years ago. About 2 years back, P1 too had showed intention of expanding to East Malaysia but this hasn’t materialise until today. We’re not sure what was holding them up but we believe expanding to Sabah/Sarawak is much more complicated compared to other states in Peninsular Malaysia due to different local/state regulations.
If Yes is able to roll out, this will give Sabah/Sarawak consumers more broadband choice as 3G providers are still struggling to cover all major towns. It would be impressive if Yes can cover the trunk road from Kuching to Miri and from Lawas to Kudat – the tip of Borneo.
For YTL, moving into Sabah/Sarawak is crucial for them to claim nationwide 4G coverage as no WiMAX operator has coverage on both sides of the South China Sea. REDtone too has tried to enter Peninsular Malaysia but so far we haven’t heard anything from them.
In terms of coverage, it was also reported that YTL aims to double up its network sites from 1,200 base stations during launch, to 2,500 by year end. This includes expansion of sites at Johor, Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu.
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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.
Google has announced another new official Android device, the Nexus S 4G. This comes after the original Nexus S device and it also runs on the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. Just like the Nexus S, the Nexus S 4G is co-developed with Samsung and it also features the same 4″ Contour Display with Super AMOLED. The device currently is available via Sprint which allows it to take full advantage of its 4G WiMAX network. Before you get someone in the US to buy one for you, do realise that this Nexus S 4G runs on CDMA/EV-DO network instead of GSM network.
At the same time, Google has also announced that existing Sprint customers will be able to utilise Google Voice while keeping their same number. For those who didn’t know, Google Voice lets you stay connected on multiple platforms with just 1 number. You can read up more about this in our previous post here.This sounds similar to Yes‘s voice service where all your devices can share the same ID. Watch the demo video after the break to get a clearer picture.
Nexus S 4G will be made available for online order this coming spring and shall make their way to Sprint retailers and Best Buy stores in the US.