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Old February 24th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #141
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Telekom announces VSS

By B.K. SIDHU



Telekom Malaysia Bhd announced a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) yesterday – possibly the biggest in Malaysia’s corporate history – that may involve the departure with benefits of more than 3,000 employees.

The subsequent cost savings on wages after the VSS will help the group achieve comparable or higher efficiency relative to other regional telcos.

Telekom expects up to 10% or 3,050 of its employees to take up the VSS. The group has a total workforce of 30,500.

News of the VSS was flashed on StarBiz News Alerts, a short messaging service (SMS) yesterday afternoon.

Telekom has the largest number of staff viz-a-viz other regional telcos and its average revenue per employee is said to be much lower than its regional peers'.

The VSS could cost Telekom anything from RM250mil to RM300mil, but after the one-off hit, its wage costs would be lower in subsequent years.


Telekom said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia the VSS would be offered to all eligible staff and across all levels group-wide as part of a manpower rationalisation programme. The scheme is expected to be completed by the end of April.

“The VSS is mutually beneficial to both the staff and the company. For the staff, it gives them an option to pursue alternative careers with other organisations or start their own business by terminating their services with the company, and receiving a fair and equitable compensation,” Telekom said.

“For the company, the scheme gives it an avenue to optimise its manpower utilisation, and increase its operational efficiencies, productivity and overall competitiveness,’’ it added.Yesterday evening, Telekom group chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar held a video-conference with all of the company's employees in the country to announce the VSS and, at the same time, hear their views and answer queries about the scheme.

The VSS comes seven months after Wahid took the helm at Telekom. He has announced in the interim five broad strategies aimed at driving up revenues and making Telekom more cost efficient.









Telekom said that going forward staff productivity and efficiency needed to be significantly enhanced after the completion of the VSS.

“Post-VSS, staff must be prepared for a new environment that leverages on diversity and multi-tasking, and focuses on deepening professionalism and other competencies,’’ Telekom said.

Fund managers and some analysts view the VSS positively, saying it would help Telekom in the longer term. But they are inclined to believe that this is only the first of more such schemes that Telekom would announce to become a more agile and profit-driven organisation.

Other VSS may need to be executed as it may be at a different time that employees may decide to pursue alternative careers, or a desire to become full-time homemakers in the case of the female staffers, an analyst said.

“We only hope that other government-linked companies (GLCs) would follow Telekom’s example. The good thing is that the VSS is being done when economic conditions are favourable and not during a downturn, which is common in Western countries,’’ an analyst said.

Added another analyst: “Telekom is over-staffed and it needs to right-size. It has been reducing staff by attrition – resignations and retirements – but it's not fast enough. For the staff who have been planning to leave, it's a windfall to be able to leave with a separation package.”

Of the group's 30,500 employees, over 12,000 are said to be with the TM Wholesale unit within Telekom, over 8,000 with TM Retail, some 1,000 with TM Net, about 4,200 with Celcom (M) Bhd, and the remainder with the various subsidiary companies.Telekom is due to announce its 2004 full-year financial results today. In yesterday’s trading, its shares ended unchanged at RM10.30.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 09:39 AM   #142
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Surge in mobile phone users



By B.K. SIDHU




Malaysia’s mobile phone sector recorded a steep 31% increase in subscriber numbers in the past year, overturning expectations that the market was close to saturation.

Some 14.6 million people, or more than half the country's population, were mobile phone subscribers at the end of last year.

With usage at this level, analysts are again expecting the saturation point would be reached soon.

Their earlier forecast was for market saturation in two years' time. But with 14.6 million people out of a population of 25 million being active mobile phone users, the penetration rate has reached 58%.

Industry experts say 65% is the benchmark for saturation in Malaysia, although it depends on a lot of factors, including affordability of mobile phones and charges.

For a developing country like Malaysia, some pundits believe cellular companies (celcos) may have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for the next wave of customers. Other analysts believe the celcos could rev up subscriber numbers by lowering entry barriers further.

OSK Securities head of research Pankaj Kumar believes that the penetration rate in urban centres is much higher than in rural areas. The rate in the Klang Valley, for instance, could well be 80%.











Looking at other Asian markets, however, subscriber growth in Malaysia may still have momentum.

Singapore has hit saturation with an 80% penetration, but South Korea – still one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world – has a penetration rate of 90%. In Taiwan, it is over 100% because the government there allows one handset to have two SIM (subscriber identity module) cards.

Last year, Malaysia saw an addition of 3.5 million new users, bringing the total to 14.6 million from 11.1 million in 2003. Of those 3.5 million new subscribers, 1.55 million were signed up in the final three months of the year, the highest-ever addition for a quarter since mobile phones were introduced in the country more than a decade ago.

And of the 1.55 million, Maxis Communications Bhd accounted for 745,000, bringing its total subscriber base to 6.02 million or a 41% market share. Celcom (M) Bhd signed up 369,000 new subscribers during the same period to boost its total to 5.33 million and now has a 37% market share, while DiGi.Com Bhd gained 436,000 new subscribers to expand its base to 3.2 million and its market share to 22% at the end of last year.


The exponential growth in subscriber numbers in the fourth quarter last year was undoubtedly driven by a fierce price war which saw call rates, SIM pack costs, and short messaging service (SMS) charges drastically slashed.

“The fourth-quarter growth was driven by intense competition and the market is driven by prepaid,’’ Pankaj said. He does not think the growth can be repeated and estimates that the mobile subscriber growth rate would be in the low to mid-teens this year.

Avenue Securities senior analyst Jeffrey Tan is inclined to believe the growth rate would be in the mid-teens.

The surge in subscriber numbers was basically from the youth segment and also the rural areas, where coverage is gradually being expanded. Sabah, Sarawak and the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia were the major contributors to the rise in subscriber numbers last year.

Voice traffic still dominates in terms of revenue, accounting for 70% of industry total, while data and non-data make up the rest. The monthly average minutes per user rose from 436 minutes in 2003 to 446 last year for post-paid, but fell from 160 to 138 minutes for prepaid.












Although 3G-based services will be made available commercially by Maxis and Celcom in the second quarter and second half this year respectively, the impact on data volume is expected to be “negligible”, at least for this year.

“It is about providing value propositions and for now we cannot see any for 3G,’’ said an industry expert.

But while it is nice to have roaring subscriber numbers, are all the 14.6 million mobile subscribers active users? The three operators contacted by StarBiz claimed that their subscribers are active users.

A Celcom spokesman said there was no standard method of accounting for active and non-active users; it was left to the individual operator.

“Maxis accounts for its postpaid customers by the number of lines registered, including principal and supplementary users, and for our prepaid customers by activated lines,’’ a Maxis official said.

Basically, all the operators will bar lines when users do not pay; it is just a question of how many days' grace is allowed. According to the celcos, the grace period could range from 45 to 150 days, depending on the user and his usage pattern.

But how does a celco account for a prepaid user? Is it from selling the SIM packs to the dealers or upon activation of the SIM cards by users?

“It is upon activation of the SIM card,’’ said a DiGi spokesperson. Both the Maxis and Celcom spokesmen echoed his statement.

The challenge for operators this year is to continue to keep the market excited with products and services that the consumers want, especially the youth market that most of the celcos are focusing on.

For the first quarter 2005, analysts expect new subscriber additions to be in the 650,000 to 700,000 range. But if operators want to see even more market share, perhaps it is time to plan another wave of price slashing.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 09:41 AM   #143
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Mobile market – from boys to men





BY B.K. SIDHU





THESE days parents give their school-going children hand phones so that they are accessible at all times as, to some parents, security is an issue. In some schools half the children in the class have mobile phones.

Some secondary school students save their pocket money to buy hand phones, as it is hip to own one.

Mobile phone games can even attract a five- or six-year-old. But in some countries mobile phones are banned for children below 12 years old.

The rate at which new models of phones are introduced in the marketplace is amazing. Parents often upgrade and hand down their old sets to their children.

The mobile phone is no longer a luxury. To many, it is a convenience and a way of life.

Handphone sales are roaring, as these days it costs less that RM200 to own one. Even domestic help prefer to carry their own phones than use their employer's.








Everyone is using mobile phones these days








The youth market is an important area, and mobile operators are spending a lot of money trying to grow this market.

The youth can be a 12-year-old student or a 22-year-old. Each has his affordability level.

Realising this, operators have brought entry barriers down. With prices being more affordable, subscriber growth rates surged by 31% last year. Today we have 14.6 million mobile phone subscribers and the numbers are growing by the day.

The price war drove SIM packs from RM200 to a mere RM18-RM20. SMS these days only cost 1 sen or 2 sen, and there is massive price slashing on call rates. This will spur more people to use their mobile phones.

Post-paid monthly average minutes per user are on the rise, but that of pre-paid have fallen. Last year, minutes of use for post-paid rose to 446 from 436 in 2003, while for pre-paid it fell from 160 to 138.

The SMS market is booming, with millions of messages sent monthly.

Maxis Communications Bhd saw volume surge 73% to 4.6 billion last year, from 2.7 billion a year earlier.

Data usage is increasing but not at the pace mobile operators had hoped for. DiGi.Com Bhd saw data usage rise to 16% of revenue in 4Q 2004, and Maxis 10% to RM213mil.

With the rise in mobile usage, a noticeable drop was seen in Telekom Malaysia Bhd’s fixed line business.

While there are benefits to having a mobile phone, there is also a down side, especially when you are watching a movie in the cinema.

The last thing you want to hear is a tone that irks you.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #144
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Telekom M'sia Opens RM14 Mln Submarine Cable Station
February 17, 2005 13:20 PM




KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 (Bernama) -- Telekom Malaysia Thursday officially opened its fourth and latest submarine cable station in Peninsular Malaysia at Pengkalan Balak, Melaka.

The RM14 million cable station is designed to provide high capacity network for voice and data traffic between Malaysia and Indonesia.

Built on a 1.448-hectare (3.62-acre) site, it has been completed within six months and was ready for service last month , Telekom Malaysia said in a statement here today.

The cable station houses two submarine cable systems, namely the Dumai-Melaka Cable System (DMCS) and SEA-ME-WE 4 or South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4.

Telekom Malaysia said Melaka was chosen as the site for the latest cable station due to its geographical location. It is the closest point to Dumai in Sumatra, Indonesia, for the DMCS project and closer to Kuala Lumpur as compared to existing cable stations located at Cherating, Mersing and Kuala Muda.

The company added that construction of the cable system marked a major business co-operation between Telekom Malaysia and PT Telkom of Indonesia.

Both parties signed the construction and maintenance agreement on May 14 last year and the DMCS was constructed by NEC Corporation of Japan.

The 150-kilometre system spans across the Straits of Malacca, connecting Dumai and Melaka.

Telekom Malaysia's group chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar said the DMCS was designed to carry a maximum capacity of 320 gigabits per second, equivalent to 3.871 million simultaneous phone calls between Malaysia and Indonesia.

"With this high capacity channel, the system is capable of establishing more efficient global network communications," he said.

He added that the existence of better communication facilities able to cater to the increasing demand for high bandwidth could help to attract potential investors, especially multinational companies, to invest in Malaysia.

As for the SEA-ME-WE 4, it is a submarine cable system that will connect 14 countries. The system is still under construction with the collaboration from 15 international telcos and is expected to be operational early next year.

-- BERNAMA
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Old March 8th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #145
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Telekom Malaysia Clarifies Position On Listing In Sri Lanka
March 07, 2005 21:32 PM




KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 (Bernama) -- Telekom Malaysia Bhd is currently exploring the possibility of an initial public offering of the shares of its wholly owned subsidiary, MTN Networks (Private) Ltd on the Sri Lankan bourse, said a statement Monday.

The company was replying to Bursa Malaysia's query on the article in the Star Bizweek dated March 5, 2005, entitled "Telekom to list unit in Sri Lanka", wherein it was mentioned that Telekom Malaysia planned to list its Sri Lankan subsidiary, MTN Networks or Dialog GSM on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

Telekom also said that there were certain inaccuracies that were featured in the article which were "MTN Networks is the largest mobile telecommunication service provider on the island and has a 40 percent market share of the Sri Lankan mobile phone market, with some two million subscribers" and "MTN Network also has a presence in more than 10 countries, which include Ghana, Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and South Africa".

The company clarified that as at end 2004, the subscriber base of MTN Networks stood at 1.4 million representing approximately 55 percent of the estimated total number of subscribers in Sri Lanka.

Telekom also said that the MTN Networks is 100 percent owned by TM International Sdn Bhd, the vehicle overseeing and managing the overseas ventures of Telekom.

Apart from Sri Lanka, TM International has operations and financial interests in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malawi, Guinea and Ghana.

Telekom Malaysia's divestment of its interest in Telkom South Africa was completed in Nov 2004, after eight years of operations, said the company.

-- BERNAMA
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Old April 8th, 2005, 04:41 PM   #146
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No gain for prepaid users in price war
RIZALMAN HAMMIM


THE ongoing price war between mobile phone companies to retain and pinch postpaid users from rival firms, looks like its increasingly turning out to be a raw deal for prepaid users, which makeup almost 60 per cent of mobile phone companies customer base.
Consider this, prepaid users pay in advance for the talktime they use, which means there is zero chance of them defaulting, and since there are no bills to pay, it saves mobile phone companies millions of ringgit in staff and administrative costs.

Yet, their call charges are much higher, than that of postpaid users, who pay up only after they use the talk time.

Mobile phone companies also have to set up administrative offices, to serve postpaid customers — for them to pay their bills, and for new registration.

Prior to the price war, the rationale behind imposing a heftier call rate on prepaid users, was because postpaid users have to pay an access fee of about RM60 every month, regardless of whether they use their mobiles to make calls or not.

But now, all three mobile phone companies — Maxis Communications Bhd, DiGi.Com Bhd and Celcom Bhd, are starting to offer virtually no access fee for post paid users, if they use up a minimum talk time of RM75.

On top of that, postpaid users are still charged less for calls made, as opposed to prepaid users and even for SMS (short messaging service), postpaid users are getting a better deal than prepaid users.

In a country where more than 60 per cent of the 14 million mobile users are prepaid users, perhaps its time for the regulatory authority, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), to step in, and force mobile phone companies to start giving better rates to prepaid users.

No doubt, the telcos may suggest that they are giving a better deal to postpaid users because of the higher average revenue per user (ARPU), they get from postpaid users, as compared to prepaid users.

Maxis, which has 6.02 million subscribers as at end of December, has an ARPU of RM161 for postpaid and RM61 for its prepaid users. DiGi, with 3.24 million users as at end of last year, has an ARPU of RM186 for postpaid and RM55 for its prepaid users. On the converse, Celcom, with 5.34 million users, is estimated to have an ARPU of RM127 for postpaid and RM51 for prepaid users.

The mobile phone business in Malaysia, is worth about RM18 billion a year, and the time is ripe for the telcos either through their own initiative or through “persuasion” from MCMC, to close the cost gap of making a call from a prepaid mobile phone, because consumers who pay hard cash in advance, must be shown that they are needed, respected and appreciated by mobile firms
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Old April 11th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #147
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Handphone Users Reach 14.5 Million
March 31, 2005 14:33 PM




KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 (Bernama) -- Up to 14.45 million people, or more than half the country's 23 million population, are handphones users, the Dewan Rakyat was told Thursday.

Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said the figure was based on the ministry's statistics up to the fourth quarter last year and did not include fixed-line users who numbered 4.46 million.

The ministry was working with the Housing and Local Government Ministry to make the provision of telecommunication facilities for the public a must, just like water and electricity supply, he said in reply to Datuk Liow Tiong Lai (BN-Bentong).

He said efforts were being made to amend laws under the Housing and Local Government Ministry to empower the local authorities to make telecommunications towers a must for every new housing project approved.

The ministry was also working to extend handphone coverage to the whole country under two phases, he added.

Phase T-1 would target places like Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, KLIA and 23 federal government buildings in Putrajaya which currently had 66 per cent coverage.

Under phase T-2, which covered major towns, main roads and railways, 1,650 telecommunication towers would be built by end of next year.

"Besides that, 4,448 transmission stations will also be built and shared by the telecommunication companies," he said.

Shaziman said the Communication and Multimedia Commission had asked the state governments to identify a company in each state to jointly build the telecommunication towers.

-- BERNAMA
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Old April 11th, 2005, 12:53 PM   #148
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Malaysians Ready To Embrace Mobile Broadband, Says Ericsson
April 05, 2005 15:58 PM




CYBERJAYA, April 5 (Bernama) -- Malaysians are ready to embrace mobile broadband, a service that provides high speed broadband access to the internet via handphones, said Ericsson's Mobile Broadband specialist, Mikael Persson.

"People are already accustomed to high-speed surfing on the internet and have adapted to mobile phones and laptops being part of their everyday life," he said at a media briefing on broadband here Tuesday.

He said Malaysia's positive trends in mobile communication was a clear indication of a possible high take up rates for mobile broadband.

A survey done by Ericsson ConsumerLab in 2004 revealed that the majority of consumers preferred a mobile phone as compared to a fixed phone.

Fixed technologies are where most of the broadband access is currently available.

Findings of the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) stated that Malaysia's mobile phone subscribers grew by 31 percent to 14.6 million last year, reflecting a 58 percent penetration rate.

Noting the government's call to raise the country's low broadband penetration to 10 percent by 2008 from the present one percent, Persson said mobile broadband was the most effective way to accelerate broadband penetration n the country.

Broadband service is deployable with any third generation mobile services (3G) technology namely EDGE, CDMA2000 (Code Division Multiple Access2000) and WCDMA (Wide CDMA).

DiGi is already offering EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) services while Maxis and Telekom Malaysia would offer the 3G/WCDMA services this year.

Ericsson, the world leader in radio network technology had supplied 35 out of 56 commercially launched WCDMA networks. The company is the holder of the largest WCDMA essential patent portfolio.

-- BERNAMA
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Old April 11th, 2005, 02:21 PM   #149
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Ericsson Awarded Contract To Manage Maxis 3G Network
April 05, 2005 15:58 PM




KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 (Bernama) -- Maxis Communications Bhd, the largest mobile operator in the country, has awarded the contract to Ericsson to manage its third generation (3G) network.

Under the agreement and with immediate effect, Ericsson will operate Maxis' 3G (WCDMA - Wide Code Division Multiple Access2000) network for an 18-month period, after which the operation of the network will be transferred to Maxis.

Maxis chief operating officer, Edward Ying said Maxis would be launching its 3G services in the second half of this year.

Ying explained that Maxis awarded the managed services contract to Ericsson because Maxis did not have the expertise to run the network at this point of time.

"We engage Ericsson to tap on its expertise to deliver a very effective, efficient and good network for customers to use from day one," he said at a press conference after the signing of the contract agreement, Monday.

"We don't want a trial and error network, when we introduce 3G," he added.

"It is not about savings but competency. It is a brand technology and we need the expertise more than savings," he said.

He said it was a sizeable contract showing how serious Maxis was about bringing 3G to the market.

Both Ericsson and Maxis had agreed not to disclose the value of the contract.

With the contract, Maxis becomes the first operator in Asia that employs a managed services solution for its 3G network, while managing its own 2G network.

This is the second managed services contract that Ericsson signed with Maxis. The first was for Ericsson's mobile music portal, M-USE, which is the platform for Maxis' mobile music services offered under MyMaxis, which is hosted, integrated and managed by Ericsson.

On Maxis' 3G strategy, Ying said more would be revealed at a press conference to be held within the next 10 days, where the company would explain the progress of its 3G network at the moment. Details such as how many base stations have been set up, the first service to be introduced, the date of the full commercial launch and network of coverage would be revealed then, he added.

He said in the first year, Maxis would not expect many customers.

"Being a new technology, we must make sure our network is good, otherwise there will be no subscribers. I think initially, we are not looking for a lot subscribers but it will be sizeable enough to ensure that it is a good network," he said.

Meanwhile, the president of Ericsson South East Asia and country manager of Ericsson Malaysia, Kristian Tear, said Ericsson would also offer its services to manage the network of other mobile operators in the country.

"We are used to handle multiple customers in one market," he said, but declined to disclose who Ericsson was talking to at the moment to offer such services.

He said since 2002, Ericsson had officially announced over 40 managed services with operators worldwide.

He said Ericsson was a supplier to 35 out of the 56 operators who have launched commercial WCDMA services.

He said such managed services contracts offer savings of 10 percent or more to the customers, and some cases reach as high as 20-30 percent.

-- BERNAMA
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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #150
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Maxis to launch 3G network in 2H
By Doreen Leong




Maxis Communications Bhd, which has invested RM200 million in the first phase of its third generation high-speed mobile services (3G), is planning to launch the services in the second half of the year.

The government gave Maxis and Telekom Malaysia Bhd the go-ahead to begin building 3G mobile networks in 2003, after the two telcos won their 3G licences the previous year.

Maxis chief operating officer Edward Ying said the company would furnish more details on the 3G services within 10 days, following its tie-up with Ericsson (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

Under the tie-up, Ericcson Malaysia will operate Maxis’ 3G network for 18 months, after which it will be transferred to Maxis.

Ying was speaking to reporters after a signing ceremony between Maxis and Ericsson on award of managed services contract in Kuala Lumpur on April 11.

He said Maxis was the first operator in Asia to employ a managed services solution for its 3G network, while managing its own 2G network.

Ericsson will transfer knowledge in 3G to Maxis. It will also provide network consulting services to develop service level agreements and key performance indicators.

Ying said the contract with Ericsson was “sizeable”, worth millions of ringgit. “We do not have the expertise, which is why we want to tap into Ericsson’s expertise to help deliver effective and efficient services to our customers,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ericsson president and country manager Kristian Tear said in most cases, its customers enjoyed savings of more than 10% by employing Ericsson’s managed services.

He said the company, which supports more than 450 networks globally, was also hoping to service other local telcos as well. “We are making our portfolio available for everybody,” Tear said.

Ericsson has over 40 managed services contracts with operators worldwide since 2002 and is currently managing networks that serve over 35 million subscribers globally.





Ericsson South East Asia president & Ericsson Malaysia country manager Kristian Tear (2nd right) exchanging documents with Maxis Bhd COO Edward Ying (2nd left). Looking on are Maxis Bhd CTO Rolf Marthinusen (left) and Ericsson Malaysia VP for Key Account Maxis Arun Bansal (right)
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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:04 PM   #151
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TM Net to launch SMS payment services next month
By Reese Loh




Internet service provider TM Net Sdn Bhd is targeting to launch the country’s first “Xecure Message Service” (XMS) product in a month following the signing of a collaboration agreement with NSS Msc Sdn Bhd on April 11.

TM Net chief executive officer Datuk Baharum Salleh said the XMS would be the first-of-its-kind product launch in the local market that enabled end-to-end security in mobile messaging involving payment transactions.

“We plan to launch the first XMS product within a month from now by offering payment transaction for TM Net’s users,” he said after the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.

The technology will aso enhance TM Net’s existing credit card- and debit card-based bill payments in which an SMS-based interface will be developed to enable TM Net users to provide their card details securely to the bank or TM Net’s interface.

It would also allow bill payments for any of TM Net’s services to be made through SMS, he said.

Baharum said TM Net and NSS would collaborate to market the new product targeting at government agencies, telecommunications companies and financial institutions.

He said TM Net had targeted to launch the fully secure m-Commerce platform in the integrated payment system through the use of XMS by the third quarter of the year.

Baharum said TM Net and NSS would be finalising their collaborative agreement platform within three months before deploying the full range of XMS products.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 11:50 AM   #152
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Telekom's New Brand Identity Ceremony Can Be Viewed Online
April 14, 2005 14:09 PM




KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) -- Telekom Malaysia's new brand identity, to be launched today by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, can be viewed worldwide via the www.tm.net.my and www.bluehyppo.com websites.

The ceremony, due to kick off at 5pm local time, will be attended by about 4,000 people, mainly staff of the telecommunications group.

Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik and Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop are also scheduled to attend the historic ceremony.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Telekom group chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar said the new identity would signify the universal brand that could be made applicable to Telekom's various investments overseas.

"Telekom is no longer focusing on domestic operations. We have grown to become a regional company. We have expanded our operations to other parts of Asia, thus there is a need for us to adopt a more universal brand," he said.

Abdul Wahid said the new brand identity would also bring new vitality to the company's overall image as well as instilling a fresh approach to its customer service culture.

"The rebranding will also seen in some changes which are currently happening within Telekom itself. Changes that we have started and changes which are continuing," he said.

"The changes cover various areas from the way we work, cultural practices to the way we treat our customers," he added.

Abdul Wahid said the new identity was the company's second visual identity change since 1990 when it became a public listed entity.

The telco's first identity change occurred in 1987 when the company moved from being a government department to a corporatised body known as Syarikat Telekom Malaysia (STM).

This was followed by another change to its name and identity which was Telekom Malaysia Bhd when it listed on the Main Board of the then Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on Nov 7, 1990.

"I think it is time that we give the group a new brand, a fresh and more energetic look, to move within the fast changing pace of the telecommunications industry itself," Abdul Wahid said.

This year marks Telekom's 15th anniversary as a listed entity on Bursa Malaysia, and hence the rebranding exercise seeks a sense of renewal to the company's overall brand identity, he added.

-- BERNAMA
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Old April 14th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #153
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JARING To Push Broadband Phones With Low Rates
April 14, 2005 14:12 PM
http://www.jaring.my/







KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) -- JARING is on a drive to help phone users save money on local and international calls through its discounted broadband phone services, targeting at 100,000 new subscribers over the next 12 months.

In a statement here, JARING said for the first time Malaysians would be able to get their own phone number and make free calls up to RM10 to anywhere by signing up for a free trial with JARING.

JARING phones make and receive calls using the prefix 015, delivering what it describes as "crystal clear" calls using Internet telephony technology also known as voice Internet protocol or VoIP.

Chief executive of JARING, Dr Mohamed Awang Lah said they had the technology to push 015 phones with a mix of free calls, low rates and promotional packages.

Mohamed added that calls made from one JARING phone to another JARING phone enjoy a single global rate over the JARING MY015 network.

He said there would be just one rate for the entire world for subscribers calling one another under our Community Call Plan.

"This is already included in the MY015 subscription, so in effect you can get to make free calls among MY015 subscribers, where ever they are in the world," said Mohamed.

JARING will start an aggressive promotion campaign where after RM10 free trial calls have been made, users can top up a minimum of RM25 valid for 30 days beginning this week.

The MY015 free starter pack CD includes RM10 worth of free phone calls. The CD contains MY015 Soft Phone which can be installed on a PC or laptop.

Mohamed said that there are about three million Internet dialup subscribers in Malaysia and it might exceed its 100,000 subscriber target over the next 12 month.

-- BERNAMA
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Old April 14th, 2005, 07:25 PM   #154
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BRAND NEW... Telekom Malaysia employees posing with the company's new logo after the launching of its new brand by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at Menara Telekom, Kuala Lumpur, Thursday. The rebranding of Telekom Malaysia include the name change of the company to TM Bhd. Pix: Mazlan Samion


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Old April 15th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #155
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Telekom's New Brand Identity Ceremony Can Be Viewed Online


KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) -- Telekom Malaysia's new brand identity, to be launched today by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, can be viewed worldwide via the www.tm.net.my and www.bluehyppo.com websites.

The ceremony, due to kick off at 5pm local time, will be attended by about 4,000 people, mainly staff of the telecommunications group.

Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik and Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop are also scheduled to attend the historic ceremony.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Telekom group chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar said the new identity would signify the universal brand that could be made applicable to Telekom's various investments overseas.

"Telekom is no longer focusing on domestic operations. We have grown to become a regional company. We have expanded our operations to other parts of Asia, thus there is a need for us to adopt a more universal brand," he said.

Abdul Wahid said the new brand identity would also bring new vitality to the company's overall image as well as instilling a fresh approach to its customer service culture.

"The rebranding will also seen in some changes which are currently happening within Telekom itself. Changes that we have started and changes which are continuing," he said.

"The changes cover various areas from the way we work, cultural practices to the way we treat our customers," he added.

Abdul Wahid said the new identity was the company's second visual identity change since 1990 when it became a public listed entity.

The telco's first identity change occurred in 1987 when the company moved from being a government department to a corporatised body known as Syarikat Telekom Malaysia (STM).

This was followed by another change to its name and identity which was Telekom Malaysia Bhd when it listed on the Main Board of the then Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on Nov 7, 1990.

"I think it is time that we give the group a new brand, a fresh and more energetic look, to move within the fast changing pace of the telecommunications industry itself," Abdul Wahid said.

This year marks Telekom's 15th anniversary as a listed entity on Bursa Malaysia, and hence the rebranding exercise seeks a sense of renewal to the company's overall brand identity, he added.

-- BERNAMA
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Old April 15th, 2005, 08:08 PM   #156
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Telekom spends RM9m on new brand identity
By HO SIEW YEE


TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd has spent some RM9 million to create its new brand identity — ‘TM’.

Unveiled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yesterday, the new branding is aimed at showcasing the company’s increased focus on customer service and its role as an international player.

Telekom group chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar said the immediate focus is to build positive perception and brand value for the new TM brand.

The launching of the new brand also marked the 15 years of Telekom’s listing on Bursa Malaysia Bhd.

Chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Radzi Mansor said Menara Telekom will also be renamed Menara TM.

The rebranding of Telekom is timely because it sets a fresh path for the company as this marks the 15th anniversary its listing on the main board, he said.

He said the new brand will help as Telekom is expanding its operations internationally, especially in South and South-East Asia.

Muhammad Radzi said the branding exercise comprises a training programme for 5,000 front line staff in providing service delivery, including installation and fault restoration, call centres and retail outlets.

He also said Kedai Telekom will now be renamed TMpoint to reflect a new image and customer service orientation.

“TM customers will get to enjoy mobile broadband through the third generation (3G) technology that will be launched in the second half of this year,” Muhammad Radzi said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Wahid said the proposed listing of its Sri Lankan subsidiary MTN Networks (Pte) Ltd on the Colombo Stock Exchange is still in the early stage.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #157
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Maxis sees 10,000 3G users
Tuesday April 19, 2005




MAXIS Communications Bhd, the first local company to commercially launch its third generation (3G) mobile telecommunications service, is looking to secure between 5,000 and 10,000 users for its Maxis 3G Connect high-speed laptop data card service by the year-end.

Chief operating officer Edward Ying said the data card was Maxis' pioneering product that set in motion the fulfilment of its 3G promise to customers.

“It is significant in our 3G roadmap as it anticipates the arrival of more Maxis 3G applications,” he said at the launch of Maxis' first commercial 3G service in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The Maxis 3G Connect card comes with data transfer speed of up to 384kbps, which is 10 times faster than that for general packet radio services (GPRS) and three times quicker than Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution (EDGE).




Edward Ying

“Our target customers are corporate users but we believe this is a very attractive application for customers who are looking for a truly mobile solution anywhere in Malaysia,” Ying said.

Maxis 3G Connect offers its users greater speed and mobility with seamless connectivity and convenience.

The Maxis 3G Connect PCMCIA card allows users to connect seamlessly to both 3G and 2.5G networks.

When customers are outside of the 3G network coverage which is currently available in the Klang Valley, Maxis 3G Connect automatically links up with Maxis' nationwide GPRS network to ensure connectivity.

“We have also bundled the data card with free access to our over 160 Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) hotspots and a software solution that ensures that users can roam seamlessly between 3G, WLAN and GPRS networks, always on the highest speed available.

“This means customers with a laptop can work and play practically anywhere without ever having to look for phone lines or WLAN connections again,” Ying said.

Maxis has invested RM200mil to set up 300 sites in the Klang Valley under the first phase of its 3G network programme.

Ying said Maxis was on schedule to introduce its full suite of mobile 3G services including voice and video calls by the second half of the year.

“We will ramp up our 3G network rollout to cover Penang and Johor Baru by the end of the year,” he said.

Ying said the demand for 3G services was growing at a fast pace in Europe and Asia.

“We anticipate demand for 3G services in Malaysia to follow a similar pace,” he said.

Maxis has selected Astro, Ericsson, LogicaCMG and Siemens as strategic partners in the deployment of 3G network and services across the Maxis' coverage area.

The Maxis 3G Connect data card is available at Maxis i-Centres in KLCC, Taipan Subang Jaya, Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Ampang for RM1,599 with monthly access fee at RM149.

Customers who sign up before June 17 will enjoy a monthly access of RM120 until the end of the year.

Maxis head of 3G and wireless broadband Dr Nikolai Dobberstein said 3G technology was more complex compared with the existing 2G technology.

“We want to address all technological issues before we roll out 3G voice services. This is to ensure that our customers will enjoy optimum performance when they use our 3G voice services,” he said.

He said that 71 operators in 33 countries had launched 3G services.

“There are already 25 million users of 3G (in the world) as at the first quarter of this year,” he said.
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Old May 12th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #158
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Celcom To Provide Largest 3G Network Coverage In Malaysia


PUTRAJAYA, May 11 (Bernama) -- Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd is set to launch its 3G or Third Generation mobile services in the country on May 17, with its 3G network expected to cover several states in the peninsular.

Celcom will provide the 3G services in the Klang Valley, Penang, Johor Bahru, Melaka and Kedah areas, making it the most extensive 3G network coverage in Malaysia.

"We are offering 3G network on Motorola and Nokia models and we are planning to roll out 3G network for more mobile phone brands gradually," Celcom group chief executive officer, Datuk Ramli Abbas told a media Briefing, here Wednesday.

He also said that Celcom was talking to telecommunication players in Singapore for the integration of its 3G international roaming services in Singapore.

"We are keen to extend our integration with other countries that have strong 3G market such as Hong Kong, Australia and UK," he said.

"We intend to provide competitive rates with interesting contents such as entertainment, education, news, traffic position (realtime) in Klang Valley, Johor Bahru and Penang, women lifestyle and health features as well as music," he said.

He said Celcom has also tied up with six stock broking firms to enable the provision of realtime stock quotes and trading.

"We are targeting existing high-end customers such as GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) based customers, to switch to our 3G services," he said.

Celcom has 500,000 GPRS customers currently.

-- BERNAMA
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Old May 13th, 2005, 03:45 PM   #159
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Maxis identifies video-based services for July launch
Thursday May 12, 2005
BY SURAJ RAJ





Dr Nikolai Dobberstein (left) and Datuk Jamaludin
Ibrahim showing to the media the capabilities of 3G.




MAXIS Communications Bhd would unveil services on its 3G platform by July and has identified video calls, video mail, video streaming and video clips as offerings that it would launch initially for its Maxis3G service.

Chief executive officer Datuk Jamaludin Ibrahim said at a briefing yesterday the company “wants to launch a product that has high quality, good coverage and applications that were beneficial to the consumers.’’

He said Maxis would strive to ensure customer superiority in network and services; provide good content; and provide a differentiated service.

The four would be initial offerings but as the take up rate for the service picks up, Maxis would continuously introduce more services, he added.

He also identified three major groups that the company was targeting as its customers for the 3G offerings.

“The first will be the data-hungry youths, usually between the age of 20 and 30 years old.

“The second group would be professional which are in the 35 age group and above; and new data users.’’

The company has over 850,000 GPRS (global system for mobile communications) users, of which 430,000 were from the Klang Valley. Company officials said about 100,000 fitted into the active data users category that Maxis is aiming to be early adopters of the 3G services.

The mobile data business contributes about 16% to its revenue of RM5.6bil as at end last year and with 3G, company officials are expecting it to increase.

Maxis expects its Maxis3G services to be available in Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, and the KL International Airport when the service is launched in July.

However, the service would be extended to parts of Penang and Johor Bahru next year. At the point of launch, the data transmission speed should be about 100 to 200kbps.

On pricing, Jamaludin said Maxis was still working out the details. He said the availability of cheaper handsets would be the single biggest reason for mobile users to move to 3G.

He expects 3G handset pricing to come down to about RM1,000 by next year. Now 3G handsets are retailing above RM1,400 to RM2, 800.

He said the introduction of 3G services in Malaysia places Maxis at par with 73 other operators worldwide in around 33 countries that have already adopted 3G services to 25 million users globally.

Maxis head of 3G and wireless communications Dr Nikolai Dobberstein said the company received encouraging response to its recently launched 3G connect data card.

He said there were already 150 units sold and was confident sales would continue to grow.
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Old May 13th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #160
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maxis
http://www.maxis.com.my/





The uniqueness of Maxis 3G Connect is that there are instances when you do need to be truly mobile, such as in a traffic jam at the back of a taxi, on the ERL/LRT or on a bus from KL to JB. Stay connected through 3G (in Klang Valley) or GPRS (nationwide).




But that's not all. Maxis 3G Connect is an all-inclusive data package which includes WLAN*. So whenever you are in a WLAN* hotspot, such as having a cup of coffee at Starbucks or meeting a customer at a hotel lobby, you will automatically enjoy high-speed access.


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