Reflections on Volume

Big volume without further upside equals distribution
Big volume without further downside equals accumulation

Volume tends to peak at turning points
Volume often precedes price movement
Volume is a relative study

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coming up Friday 4G service, five times faster than current 3G


Launch set to make big impact on high-tech market

KUALA LUMPUR: It will be five times faster than the current 3G network but the price will be compatible ... very affordable and the best price.

That is all YTL Communications Sdn Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Francis Yeoh will say for now about the rates of the much-anticipated 4G wireless broadband service or Yes to be launched Friday.

It will have the lowest rate in the industry with no monthly commitment and conditions, he said, in an interview with StarBiz, adding that the product line-up for the launch would include a 4G smartphone developed with Samsung (called Yes Buzz), USB dongle, MiFi device and a desktop WiFi router.

Yes, the next generation high-speed data service, is expected to have a coverage of up to 65% of the peninsula from day one while the states or areas which are not yet included will be covered not too long from now, according to Yeoh. The company has spent some RM2.5bil for the Yes 4G infrastructure.

“It will be five times faster than the current 3G network but the price will be compatible ... very affordable and the best price,” says YTL Communications Sdn Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Francis Yeoh during the interview with StarBiz.

Tomorrow's launch has generated much excitement. Yeoh stressed that YTL Comms, with a staff strength of 2,000 built up over the past year, will be the first in the world to offer a converged 4G network voice, mobile Internet and mobile broadband.

Unlike current offerings where mobile data and voice are separated, we will bring everything into one plan with no additional charge. There will also be mobile TV at the end of next year, he said.

Yes will put Malaysia on par with the South Koreans, Singaporeans and Japanese on the technology front, Yeoh said, adding that the multiplier effect of such a technology was that it raised efficiency and productivity. With every 10% increase in broadband penetration, this increases the GDP by 1.3%, he said.

The response has been more than encouraging so far. Even prior to the launch, YTL Comms has received tens of thousands of pre-registrations three times above expectation which Yeoh said could partly be a reflection of the frustrations over the current wireless Internet speed.

3G is a legacy service. It is developed using voice technology and it can't cope with the massive amount of data that consumers are demanding. Devices such as iPhone and iPad have put a massive strain on current 3G networks. How many times have we tried to open files and experienced the buffering and streaming taking forever? The speed of our Yes' network is just amazing. Once people taste it, they won't go back to the old service, Yeoh said.

Under the Education Partner Programme, YTL Comms is providing free broadband services to 400,000 university students.

Quite interestingly, YTL's 4G network will be SIM-less. Simply put, Yeoh said the network runs on a user ID that comes with its own mobile number.

You don't need a SIM card and you're not locked on to one device. All you need to do is log-on using your user ID (we call this the Yes ID) and all your information is accessible on any device. You can log on to multiple devices, all at the same time. It's possible for you to receive a call and have it ring on your hand phone, your computer ... or your home phone, all at the same time. You pick the device most convenient to answer the call or make a call from, he said.

Yeoh said the market is spoilt by the voice network and that Malaysia's mobile call rates are far more expensive than Indonesia's. So many people make so much money on voice. That is why there is no innovation on data, he elaborated.

Under the mobile number portability, existing mobile phone users of other operators can port over their numbers to YTL Comms to enjoy 4G performance and innovation.

Internet is here to stay. That's the business of the future. We are targeting the youth market ... to engage the students. They are the customers we want. We are not targeting customers like my father, he said.

On how YTL's 4G differentiates from existing data networks, Yeoh said that Yes is a fully converged mobile network, and there is no other WiMAX operator in the country that is mobile.

In fact the services offered by Yes are among the first in the world. And this is just the beginning. We will continue to innovate and bring new services into the market, said Yeoh.

For 2011, Yes will offer the world's first wireless quad-play service giving its subscribers access to voice, data and television all on a mobile network.

The next big thing is making the Internet relevant. This entails looking at creating content and developing applications and service to take advantage of the enormous flexibility that the Internet has to offer, and we are ahead of the curve on this. Eventually, everyone will focus on this, because performance will be a given. Speed is fundamental but everyone will eventually be able to deliver this. The differentiator will be what can you go with that performance, how easy it will be for subscribers to use and how to make it as affordable as possible for everyone, he said.

Analysts expect YTL Comms' entry into the telco sector to galvanise the industry further, heightening competition particularly in the cellular broadband space, given the company's strong financial backing and track record.

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