The Malaysian Mobile Market has four main Mobile Network Operators(MNO)s and has a total of 12 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) and counting. Based on our research, we have identified that Celcom has 8 MVNO Agreements, while Maxis Communications Berhad has 2 MVNO Agreements utilising its network. Both DiGi and Telekom Malaysia‘s U Mobile currently have no MVNO Agreements.ICT consultancy & research firm; Ovum expects Malaysia as one of Asia Pacifics most successful MVNO markets. A key reason for this being that Malaysian MVNOs have found a willing network partner in the form of Celcom, which views MVNOs as a new revenue source instead of as competitors. This is principally because Celcom sees MVNOs serving unmet customer segments. And, while Malaysian MVNOs may not have lived up to local expectations in terms of impact, the fact that Tune Talk has surpassed half a million subscribers alone makes it one of Asias largest MVNOs, she adds. Tune Talk is helped by the fact that it has AirAsia and sister group Tune Hotels brands in its fold to cross-sell to.

View a brief overview on the Malaysian Telecommunications Market, or Download:
MCMC’s Communications Market Report Q’1’10, or Communications Market Report Q’2’10 and finally the MCMC – USP Report 2009.

We have listed most known and Active Malaysian MVNO companies (where possible). If you have updated information about the companies listed below, or are not listed then please send an email to: mvnolist (at) prepaidmvno (dot) com..

Malaysia Mobile Operators(+60)
Celcom Malaysia Sdn Bhd
DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd
Maxis Communications Berhad
Telekom Malaysia and U Mobile Sdn. Bhd.

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7-Eleven SpeakOut Wireless
7-Eleven SpeakOut Wireless in April 2004 7-Eleven became the first retailer to launch proprietary prepaid wireless service program called 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless. 7-Eleven expanded its proprietary prepaid wireless program to Canada, Singapore and Malaysia.
MVNO; Network: DiGi ; Services: Pre+Postpaid; Status: Active

Baraka Telecom
This is a company that started out as a Malaysian MVNO network via a signed agreement in May 2009 under host MNO DiGi Telecomunications. Owing to commercial differences of opinion on how the target market should have been addressed, Baraka Telecom terminated their agreement with DiGi in May 2010 and changed their business plan to become Asia’s first MVNE instead. The company is today operational and is actively engaged in assisting new MVNOs start in South East Asia. They offer the first dedicated MVNE solution in the region. The Baraka Telecom solution features Tier 1 carrier grade equipment and advanced prepaid and BSS solutions required by new MVNOs and offer a flexible modular architecture allowing MVNOs to scale as required. Baraka Telecom is a part of the Reach Telecom Holding group.
MVNE; Networks : Maxis ; Services : Prepaid, Core network, OSS, BSS; Status : Active

Celcom Axiata Berhad
Celcom Axiata was awarded an MVNO licence in June’11 and they Provide mobile communication services for customers in Malaysia. It offers voice, mobile broadband and email, roaming, and IDD services, as well as telemetry and fixed wireless desk phone solutions. The company also provides a unified messaging service that allows users to view a fax message via Web; and AirCash services, which provide instant access to money via client’s mobile phone. Celcom Axiata Berhad was formerly known as Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad and changed its name in December 2009. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Celcom Axiata Berhad operates as a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad.
MVNO; Network: Celcom ; Services: TBC; Status: Scheduled

Happy Mobile
Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd. (Digi Telecommunications), is a mobile service provider based in Malaysia. The company provides a variety of mobile communication services including Voice under their prepaid plans & postpaid plans, SMS, data plans and services, international roaming, international calling card and WAP services. individual and corporate customers. The company was formerly known as Mutiara Telecommunications Sdn Bhd and changed its name to DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd in January 1999. It operates as a subsidiary of DiGi.Com Berhad. The company is also active as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) under a new brand called Happy Prepaid. Digi Telecommunications is headquartered at Shah Alam in Selangor, Malaysia.
MVNO; Network: Celcom ; Services: Prepaid; Status: Active

Merchantrade Merchantrade Asia Sdn Bhd (Merchantrade) is a one of the largest non-bank remittance service provider based in Malaysia. It is also active as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) based in Malaysia that operates on n Celcom network, which is based on GSM, GPRS, EDGE UMTS, HSDPA network. The integrated operation of remittance and prepaid mobile services provides money transfer facility to foreign workers working in Malaysia. It enables its users to remit their money to their beneficiaries in their home countries including Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Pakistan and others, through Merchantrade’s branches. It operates through 55 branches in Malaysia. Currently, there are over two million foreign workers in various industries such as construction, plantation, manufacturing and service sector, While Merchantrade serves about 94,000 subscribers.
MVNO; Network: Celcom ; Services: Prepaid; Status: Unknown

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MY Evolution Sdn Bhd
MY Evolution has introduced Malaysia‘s first Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service. The new service enables communication for machines and devices using DiGi’s network. MY Evolution Sdn Bhd is a Machine-to-Machine MVNO which provides specifically adapted Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Data Access and Connectivity Solutions embedded as a Service. MYEvo is the first company in Asia to provide M2M Connectivity Services and Data Coverage to business customers to manage communication between their IT systems and remote communicating equipment. MYEvo provides Tailor-Made pricings, Real-time provisioning and monitoring, secured network and static IPs Connectivity Services along with M2M simcards & Data Access, which are dedicated to the specific needs of Application Providers from various segments, such as providers of Fleet Management, Smart-Metering, Payment Solutions, Resources & Back-Bone Monitoring, and Industrial applications. For more information please visit http://www.myevolution.my
MVNO; Network: DiGi ; Services: Pre+Postpaid; Status: Active

REDtone Mobile Sdn Bhd
REDtone International Bhd. ist a full-service communications provider located in Selangor, Malaysia. The Group through its subsidiaries engaged in provision of telecommunications services and solutions and office communication solutions. It operates as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) using Celcom network, providing broadband, data, voice and VAS (value-added services) under the brand RED. Additionally, it also engaged in research, development, manufacture and market of computer-telephony integration products, multimedia solutions, technology-based product and investment holding.
REDtone offers MVNO postpaid services for the business market
MVNO; Network: Celcom ; Services: Pre+Postpaid; Status: Active

Salamfone
Its target community segment is the Muslim market. Guided by Shariah principles, they possible will be the first Shariah compliant telecom operator in the world. Salamfone has a signed MVNO agreement with Malaysia host telecom operator Maxis from September 2010. Most of their core systems and offerings are in place and they are currently in the process of ramping up their final go to market readiness. They are currently looking for good company people who will share in the same passion. They are also looking for an exceptional Muslim CEO to lead the company through the launch and regional expansion across the Asia Pacific and Middle East markets. Salamfone is a part of the Reach Telecom Holding group.
MVNO Network : Maxis; Services : Prepaid; Status : Active

Talk Focus Sdn Bhd
Talk Focus is targeting at least 100,000 subscribers by end of June next year. If this materialises, it means that the company will have reached the 100,000 mark earlier than some of its peers.
MVNO; Network: DiGi ; Services: Pre+Postpaid; Status: Active New 08-11-11

Time DotCom
Time Dotcom Berhad (Time Dotcom) is a telecommunication services provider based in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia. Time Dotcom is an investment holding company. The company is engaged in providing fixed line, voice and data communications and other value-added services. The company offers its services under the ‘TIME’ brand. The company’s fixed line and broadband business deals with four principal product categories, namely, Direct Access, which handles the products that require the company’s infrastructure to be built into customers’ premises; Indirect Access covers products that do not require the building of infrastructure; Broadband; and Managed Network systems.
MVNO; Network: Celcom ; Services: Pre+Postpaid; Status: Active

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Tune Talk
Tune Talk Sdn. Bhd. (Tune Talk) is a wireless telecom reseller company. The company is engaged in offering prepaid mobile services and voice, SMS and data services on a 2.5G platform. Tune Talk is positioned operates as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that operates on the Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad network, which is based on GSM, GPRS, EDGE UMTS, HSDPA technology. Tune Talk entered into an MVNO agreement with Celcom in December 2008. It targets to serve the under-served segment of the market with super low calling rates and exciting incentives. The company is a member of the Tune Group. Additionally, the company is also looking to enter into MVNO deals with network operators in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines between 2010 up to 2013. This will enable the company to deliver a better roaming proposition to its customers.
MVNO; Network: Celcom ; Services: Pre+Postpaid; Status: Active
Tune Talk Surpasses One Million Customers in Just Over 10 Months of Commercial Service
Tune Talk Selects Brand Ambassadors, and Celebrates 2 Millionth Subscriber

U Mobile
U Mobile Sdn Bhd was formerly known as MiTV Networks Sdn Bhd, is a wireless telecommunication and entertainment service providing company based in Malaysia. U Mobile is positioned as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) operates on Celcom network, providing mobile telephony, mobile data, mobile live tv and others. In addition, the company also owns HSPA network as well The company is a subsidiary of U Television Sdn Bhd. In March 2008, the company introduced its first publicly available data only plan called Surf with U and two new postpaid services U68 and U98, as well as the 018 Prepaid service. U Mobile market its products through U store, Dealers and U Frens.
MVNO; Network: Celcom ; Services: Pre+Postpaid; Status: Active

U Mobile is not really 100% MNO, although they have the license of MNO, but their radio spectrum are few less, that’s why they have partner with Celcom to let their users enjoy the network coverage same as Celcom (Domestic Romaing).

XOX
XOX Com Sdn Bhd. (XOX) is a wireless telecommunication service provider. The company is engaged in offering postpaid, prepaid or hybrid mobile calling cards targeted to the Chinese community in Malaysia. It offers a full suite of mobile phone services under the XOX brand. XOX anticipates to reach 500,000 subscribers in the next three years. The company is positioned as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that operates on Celcom network, which is based on GSM technology. Till October 2009, the company has served around 100,000 customers. Additionally, the company also launched radio compagin, to expand its services. The company is headquartered in Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
MVNO; Network: Celcom ; Services: Pre+Postpaid; Status: Active

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Malaysian Telecommunications Market Brief

View a brief overview on the Malaysian Telecommunications Market, or Download
MCMC’s Communications Market Report Q’1’10, or Communications Market Report Q’2’10 and finally the MCMC – USP Report 2009.

New data from the national regulatory authority – the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) – have been incorporated into our forecasts for 3G and wireless broadband subscriber growth. We have therefore taken the opportunity to marginally revise upwards our expectations for the broadband market and significantly ramp-up our short-term forecasts for the 3G sector. However, we do not expect rapid growth in 3G take-up to last for long as services will remain too expensive for many consumers outside the major cities.

The 3G data from MCMC show that there were 7.347mn subscribers at the end of 2009, much higher than the 3.72mn we had been estimating. This represents an increase of 68.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) from 4.366mn subscribers in 2008. It also shows that almost one quarter of mobile subscribers in Malaysia took 3G services at the end of 2009. Interest in services has been driven by intense pricing promotions and the bundling of high-end handsets and other mobile multimedia devices with postpay services. A rapidly growing number of mobile broadband subscribers (totalling at least 1mn at the end of 2009) will ensure that 3G growth rates remain strong over the next few years, although the comparatively high cost will deter more cost-conscious consumers for a while yet. We expect to see an 11.6% improvement in 3G uptake this year, with the growth rate slowing further in the period to 2014, when 28.9% of mobile customers will be on 3G networks. In the meantime, operators are beginning to trial 4G LTE technology, although it may not be until 2012/2013 that LTE becomes commercially available in Malaysia.

Nicole McCormick, senior analyst of Ovum based in Australia points to Malaysia as one of Asia Pacific’s most successful MVNO markets. A key reason for this being that Malaysian MVNOs have found a willing network partner in the form of Celcom , which views MVNOs as a new revenue source instead of as competitors. This is principally because Celcom sees MVNOs serving unmet customer segments. ‘And, while Malaysian MVNOs may not have lived up to local expectations in terms of impact, the fact that Tune Talk has surpassed half a million subscribers alone makes it one of Asia’s largest MVNOs,’ she adds. Tune Talk is helped by the fact that it has AirAsia and sister group Tune Hotels brands in its fold to cross-sell to. 

Despite Tune Talk’s success, Ovum’s growth projections for the Malaysian MVNO scene is nothing to shout about. Revenue is expected to increase from US$44 million based on 374,000 connections in 2009 to US$65 million based on 65 million connections in 2015.

According to McCormick, the key challenge for operators to grow beyond the forecast by Ovum is to find a niche within the incumbents’ own segmentation strategies. ‘As the market matures, Celcom, DiGi and Maxis are also fine-tuning their customer segmentation strategies. MVNOs will need to fit into the operators’ segmentations and demonstrate value to both customers and operators to find a successful market niche.’

As current segmentation strategies so far have focused on tapping the Chinese community, foreign workers and the low-end prepaid market, McCormick believes there are still opportunities for the existing players and even new MVNOs. The key challenge, McCormick notes, will be to ensure that they can scale to cover the fixed costs of running a separate marketing channel.

Asked if MVNOs face a perception issue ie of being for the bottom of the pyramid, McCormick acknowledges that this may be the case for some, such as Merchantrade and Tune Talk. On the other hand, REDtone Mobile offers a postpaid service which targets the Chinese enterprise segment. Ultimately, ‘whether MVNOs are at the bottom of the pyramid depends on the success of their segmentation and marketing strategies, and the value proposition they make,’ she says.

The regulator reports that there were 30.794mn cellular telephone subscribers in Malaysia at the end of March 2010. This represented a quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) rise of 2.2% and a y-o-y improvement of 9.2%. The regulator also believes that mobile penetration rose from 100.1% in March 2009 to 107.1% a year later. The regulator’s figures are a little different to the data reported by the country’s three main operators, which amounted to 31.019mn as of March 2010, a q-o-q rise of 2.9% and a y-o-y rise of 12.4%. The overall figure would be higher still if the activities of 2G reseller/3G operator U Mobile were included. We believe that the regulator’s figures exclude a small number of inactive subscribers. Much of the sector is dominated by the prepaid subscribers, leading to falling ARPUs, which leave operators vulnerable to falling profits. We are seeing efforts by operators to reverse this trend, largely in the form of strong investments in the mobile broadband sector, through the introduction of highspeed networks such as HSPA+ and even LTE trials taking place. This is encouraging, and postpaid customer growth during 2009 and H110 has outstripped that of prepaid, indicating that customers are willing to migrate if services are attractive and affordable. Furthermore, the greater introduction of compatible handsets and the arrival of smartphones should also encourage greater postpaid growth later on.

View more details on the report: Malaysia Telecommunications Report Q4 2010

Resources
Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) website.

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