Whether it’s a direct response to the sudden price/data war amongst our telcos or otherwise, Maxis has officially responded with a limited time offer. Currently, the leading telco has a solitary data-centric offering – SurfMore 50 which delivers 2GB of data at RM50/month. To entice data-hungry subscribers old and new, Maxis is doubling data quota to 4GB for six months.
Maxis is a reluctant participant in the price/data war initiated by Celcom recently, and subsequently Digi and U Mobile. And understandably so. Data isn’t cheap. Building a network isn’t cheap. Price slashing is a short-term strategy that will see some subscriber gains over the short term but may not be sustainable in the long run.
Quality data over cheap data
When I asked Maxis CEO Morten Lundal when he first took over the helm, “Will we get cheaper data?” he responded, “No. It’s not about cheap data. It’s about quality data, best network experience and the best customer experience. People who value quality data will pay for it.” That being said, Maxis is investing over RM1 billion to upgrade and expand its network, more than any other local telco. Maxis expects its 4G LTE network to cover over 50% of the population by the end of this year. It has even put Maxis CTO Morten Bangsgaard in dangerous situations just to prove a point. And gone blind drifting, too.
So, Maxis’ sloth-like pace in the price game does seem warranted given the reasons aforementioned. Having said that, the current 2+2GB offer will pacify some quarters, at least for now.
In a peculiar move early in January, Maxis discontinued its SurfMore 75 plan, which was a class-leading postpaid plan that offered 5GB of data for RM75/month. With current trends pointing to higher demands for data, the move was a blow to mid- to high-usage consumers.
To add salt to the wound, data top-ups became expensive, costing as high as RM35 for 1GB.
With added focus on the MaxisONE Plan that gives unlimited voice and text, the SurfMore portfolio pared down to leave just the SurfMore 50 plan to satisfy the data-hungry.
More data, same price
The current offer is a lauded move, though. Applicable to new subscribers who sign up between 25 June to 31 July 2015, current SurfMore 50 subscribers will also get to enjoy this deal. Existing SurfMore 50 subscribers should have received an SMS notification about the offer, and the extra data will be credited within seven days. The extra 2GB offer will last for six months. More info about SurfMore here.
I’m awaiting an official response from Maxis regarding what transpires after the sixth month of the additional data allocation. Will it stay permanent or revert? Will keep you posted.
[UPDATE] After the promo, the offer we will revert to old rates. However, Maxis will look into ways to provide more value to its subscribers in the near future.