Maxis wants to be price-maker for broadband services

Maxis Bhd wants to be a price-maker in the telecommunications sector, and not a price- taker as is commonly perceived of cellular network service providers.

Maxis chief executive officer (CEO) Robert Nason said it was the first to reduce broadband prices in line with the government’s push for lower prices for higher network speeds, before the rest of the market followed suit.

“Maxis was the first to market with the new prices, so we are leading the market and the price reductions. There’s no mandated retail price out there and there’s no one telling us what the price should be. Maxis has set the price. The rest of the market is subsequently following,” he told a press conference yesterday.

“We acknowledge that we have been relatively passive in this area in the past but we are not anymore. We have ambitions to get more speeds, to have new offerings and we will be a market leader in this space, taking advantage of the new provisions that are available.”

Nason also noted that Maxis is the only network access seeker in the fixed broadband market.

“In terms of the new changes that have been introduced, we have essentially got two access providers which are Telekom Malaysia Bhd and TIME dotCom Bhd, and one access seeker which is Maxis — there is no one else in the market. There has been some miscommunication about this.

“Maxis has been in this broadband market for some time as an access seeker, and plans to seek access from every access provider in the market. So our ambition is to be able to go to any customer and say ‘we will find fibre broadband that’s near you and we will connect you up from wherever that might be, including our own fibre’. We are the only ones doing that,” he observed.

Nason said the group is taking proactive steps to roll out new pricing and network speeds that have been effective from Sept 13 to its entire customer base, but stressed that this would take some time to implement considering that it has 200,000 customers.

The move would also require new routers for higher speeds.

“We also have investment in our network to do the interface, to make sure the new speeds work and that takes time,” he explained. “To be clear, we did not know whether the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing was coming or not. It was rolled out in January, which was when the new announcements were made by the regulator. We had a five-month period with the old government where we didn’t know if that was happening or not.

“So it was only in August when we were able to secure agreements that this was going to take place. Within two weeks of having that agreement, we announced our pricing in record time for any operator in any market,” he said.

After the announcement of its new pricing, Nason said Maxis had 40,000 requests to take advantage of these new prices from the market, and had hired an additional 100 staff.

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