BUZZME, a Malaysian-based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), is celebrating its third anniversary with an eye to expand its presence into the South-East Asian markets beginning with Thailand.
An MVNO does not own the wireless network infrastructure, but rather, work with regular mobile network operators to obtain access to their network services at wholesale rates and repackage them under their own brand.
Enabling Asia Sdn Bhd and Buzzme chief executive officer Loke Yee Siong aptly called the moment a milestone for the company.
“As our target is a niche market, the young generation and millennial, we do not feel that we are directly competing with mobile network operators, but instead, complementing them.
“Thailand is also a good place to start our expansion as they already have a MVNO model, and it was just a matter of buying over an existing MVNO company to start,” he said.
Loke added that the brand’s Thai partner providing the service was IEC-3G. It’s similar to the arrangement with U-Mobile in Malaysia.
They also hope to expand to Indonesia by the end of the year, the Philippines by the middle of next year and Myanmar by the end of next year. This will give them access to a market of 500 million people.
Buzzme consumer marketing head Andrew Kok explained that users on their network would be able to enjoy a special service when they are in other countries.
“For instance, when customers on the Buzzme network here land in Thailand, the network will automatically assign them a local number and they can purchase prepaid add-ons at local rates offered by Buzzme, without changing their SIM card.
“The plan, if they aren’t able to use up, will be available to them for 365 days. This means that if they return to the country within that time, they can continue using the plan,” he said.
Kok said in Malaysia, Buzzme had a RM10 and RM30 starterpack.
Company chief business controller Kewell Yap talked about the rebranding efforts which they had embarked on from the end of last year.
“We were approaching our third anniversary, and we felt that refreshing the brand was called for, in order to stay relevant to our consumers as well as the industry. We should be more engaging. So we came up with a more eye-catching logo, among other things,” he said.
The brand also has a new tagline – “Beyond mobile. Enriching life.” – which embodies its commitment to go the extra mile and rededication to be its customers’ lifestyle companion.
To this end, Buzzme launched its BuzzStyle campaign whereby a minimum reload of RM100 will give the subscriber a chance to win prizes from one of its elite partners, including Breakout Malaysia, Centro Hair Salon, Sandisk and ZTE Malaysia.
It also offers various rewards to customers, including providing 20% credit back whenever a customer consumes data, voice and SMS traffic at a pay-per-use rate, cheaper online reloads and more.
Loke said the company would also be launching its 4G LTE service soon.
“We were waiting for the 4G network to be more stable before offering it to our subscribers, and now is the time for it,” he said.