Enabling Asia Tech (“EA”), a Mobile Virtual Network Aggregator (MVNA), announced on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 that it has signed an exclusive commercial agreement with U Mobile to provide network connectivity for its MVNA business. The unique MVNA business model is targeted to launch five (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) MVNOs in the first year of operations. EA also launched its own MVNO service – a new prepaid service called “Buzz Me.”
An MVNA like EA lowers entry barriers for MVNOs by providing end-to-end support in technical and operational segments. EA provides all technical, billing, customer service and products features to MVNOs.
Leading French-based Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) – Sisteer, with experience of developing MVNAs and MVNOs in over 30 countries, is technical support partner for EA.
The MVNA model is not new especially in overseas markets like United Kingdom and Europe, where the model has proven to work. Brands like Tesco and IKEA are MVNOs, something unfathomable to the everyday consumer, at least locally. Due to the relatively low entry cost to set up an MVNO service, a brand can launch their very own to complement their existing business and tap into their existing customer base.
EA has the distinction of being backed by some industry heavyweights including Executive Director Ross Chia, one of the key drivers of the success of Maxis; CEO Loke Yee Siong, a telecommunications veteran with key contributions at Maxis, Packet One Networks and TuneTalk and; New Business Development Director Chee Pok Jin, former Chief Marketing Officer of YTL Communications’ Yes 4G.
When questioned during the media Q&A session on the viability of the MVNA model and MVNOs in Malaysia, Chee Pok Jin remarked that the timing is right in Malaysia for the launch of such a service. With a high mobile penetration rate of over 137%, EA believes there is room to compete and grow, and to give consumers choice and value.
The global outlook for MVNOs as highlighted in a report by Ovum, indicates an estimated US$9.5 billion revenue for MVNOs globally by 2015. MVNO in Asia Pacific is expected to hit US$980 million, whereas in Malaysia, US$65 million.
EA Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Abdullah Fadzil said that the company had invested RM20 million to provide the necessary infrastructure for the business, and expects to add an additional RM5 million next year.
U Mobile CEO Jaffa Sany Ariffin said the partnership with EA was a win-win collaboration which would help expand its customer base and reach new customer segments. With the partnership, Jaffa also mentioned that he anticipates U Mobile’s subscriber base to grow from its four million mark now, although no quoted numbers were given. Earlier in the year, U Mobile announced that it aims to capture between 15% and 20% of subscribers marketshare within five years, up from the current 10% it has now.
To kick-off its MVNA ventures, EA launched its own prepaid mobile service – “Buzz Me,” priced at RM10 and RM30 with the prefix 011-34. The service is available nationwide and is supported by a 10,000-strong distribution nation wide network. Buzz Me offers a flat voice call rate of 13sen/30sec (26sen/min) and 10sen/SMS to all local networks. Mobile data is charged at 5sen/MB.
Buzz Me features a unique rewards program where customers can enjoy 20% reward points for every ringgit used (voice/SMS/data), and credit airtime rebates for every reload. Reward points can be used at M8 (www.m8.com.my) a loyalty website with a marketplace that features mobile phones, cameras and electrical appliances.
Visit http://www.buzzme.com.my/ for Buzz Me plans.
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