This Singaporean Telco Plans To Enter Malaysia By Offering 100Mbps For Just RM60 A Month

The question is, can they?

Cover image via TechinAsia

Malaysia has one of the highest broadband penetration rates in ASEAN according to the UNICEF

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The overall broadband penetration for every 100 households in Malaysia stood at 67.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year (2014); an amount that reflects various initiatives taken by the government to tackle the digital divide between the rural and urban communities.

“With an 8.4 fixed (wired) broadband penetration per 100 inhabitants as well, it has placed Malaysia above many other Asean countries,” said UNICEF in its desk review titled “Exploring The Digital Landscape in Malaysia”, here.

Although Malaysians are highly connected to the Internet, it seems that consumers have been paying more for lesser speeds compared to broadband rates in other countries

Telekom Malaysia, the nation's biggest Internet service provider says the high cost of Internet connectivity is influenced by factors like the size and geographical factors of the country

Image via alexallied

Meanwhile, on claims of high Internet connectivity cost in Malaysia, TM said it should not be seen as an apple-to-apple comparison as the deployment costs of network infrastructure were influenced by various factors including geographical factors and the size of the country.

Singaporean telco MyRepublic aims to change that by disrupting the Malaysian telco market

Image via techinasia

Singapore-based MyRepublic is pretty much a disruptive fibre broadband player in South-East Asia, and its chief executive officer Malcolm Rodrigues loves one trend that seems to accompany any market deregulation in the telco space. Small wonder that Rodrigues says, “We want to be very, very disruptive in the market."

“Every time you have a deregulation event in the market, from opening up the long-distance market in the United States in the 1980s, to the local loop unbundling 15 years ago, also in the States, you can see 30% of the market leaving incumbents in virtually every country.

The company's CEO, Malcolm Rodrigues wants to offer Malaysians speeds of 100Mbps between RM60 to RM70 a month. In comparison, TM's 1Mbps Streamyx package retails at RM116.60 per month.

The good news for Malaysians who believe they are paying too much for their fibre broadband services is that Rodrigues is planning for MyRepublic to serve the Malaysian market as well.

“We want to offer 100Mbps at between RM60 and RM70 (about US$16 and US$19) a month,” says the self-professed serial entrepreneur, who launched MyRepublic after having raised S$2.5 million (US$1.9 million) from 21 investors.

Right now, Rodrigues is waiting for Malaysian regulation to allow ​his business to enter Malaysia, which he expects will take place from now until 2018

Image via Digitalnewsasia

However, the would-be market entrant’s plan is dependent on Malaysian regulators creating an environment conducive to its disruptive model. Specifically, Rodrigues is waiting for the government to require that Telekom Malaysia open up its networks to other operators via full LLU, a process that could take place between now and 2018, he said.

The Singaporean based company in the past has successfully disrupted the Singaporean market by offering consumers 1Gbps speeds for just S$49 a month. This was a huge deal considering the same package offered by competitors was around S$395.90.

Image via Vulcan Post

Naturally, as MyRepublic is neither a crappy nor a boring company. Rodrigues’ goal is to take as much of the 30% as possible in a market where it made a huge splash by offering 1Gbps at a disruptive price of S$49 (about US$36) a month, in May 2014.

Singapore rival StarHub was offering the same service at S$395.90 (US$294) then.

MyRepublic's pricing successfully disrupted the market and by February 2015, all of MyRepublic's competitors offered the same package from S$49 to S$69.90

By February 2015, every fibre broadband player in Singapore was offering the service at prices ranging from S$49 to S$69.90 (US$52).

Today, the firm’s rivals have all followed suit by slashing their broadband speeds in order to compete, and Rodrigues now says that Malaysians who feel they are paying too much for their service may welcome the news that MyRepublic is targeting Malaysia as its next south-east Asia market.

Previously, the Malaysian government and telcos promised that broadband rates would be cheaper by almost 60%. Have they kept their promise?

If you can't wait to upgrade your Internet speed, there's a 50Mbps plan for you now

Did you know: Malaysia is one of the MOST expensive places to get a degree in!

Speaking of making things affordable...

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