Thursday June 21, 2012
Maxis to focus on key markets
By JOHN LOH
SINGAPORE: Maxis Bhd will this year focus on key markets such as the immigrant, student and tourist segments and the Sabah and Sarawak region where growth is still attractive, according to chief executive officer Sandip Das.
“There were a few markets we did not prioritise in the past. One was the immigrant market, another was Sabah and Sarawak and parts of eastern Malaysia like Kuantan,” he said during the CommunicaAsia 2012 Summit.
“Over the last one year we realised we were ready to move into these markets in a big way. If you look at the rest of Malaysia, it is quite mature. The real growth is coming from these markets.
“The growth of telephony from the traditional group is slow because mobile penetration in the country has reached 120%.
“The real washing machine that comes in and goes out is the immigrant market. That's a floating population of anywhere between two to four million people, and it gets refreshed every few years.”
He said the first thing the integrated telco did last year to capture this burgeoning sector was to rationalise its international direct dialling rates to match the competition, leading to almost 600% growth in some areas.
Sandip added that Maxis did not have a strong network in Sabah and Sarawak previously but had rectified that this year.
On the tourist market, he explained that as Malaysia attracts more visitors, “we are determined to get our rightful share".
This, he said, would be done by offering better roaming rates.
Commenting on the company's recently launched fibre-to-the-home product, Sandip said fixed line offerings were poised for a “resurgence” in tandem with the increase in demand for data services.
“We have wired up over 400 to 500 commercial buildings and multi-dwelling units. We also have strong arrangements with Tenaga Nasional to put broadband fibre on overhead poles and a historic agreement with Telekom Malaysia for high speed broadband.”
Asked about its IPTV, which is slated to be bundled with the fibre offering, Sandip said this was still a work in progress, adding that Maxis was in talks with its sister company Astro and national broadcaster RTM.
“We are open-minded about this. When it comes to video-on-demand, we don't want to be dependent on Astro alone, we're lining up arrangements with other TV companies.”
On his outlook for telecommunications, Sandip noted that while demand for data was robust, it was not growing fast enough to compensate for the moderation in voice revenues.
The industry would likely see slower growth over the next one to two years, but it may pick up after that, he pointed out.
“Many things need to come together for this to happen. The ecosystem has to be good, meaning high speed networks, terminal devices, and content.”