NasionCom growing its revenue


  • Business
  • Friday, 17 Jan 2003

BY YVONNE CHONG

NASIONCOM Sdn Bhd aims to generate revenue of at least RM55mil this year for its VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and broadband Internet services, said executive vice-chairman Datuk Chee Kok Wing. 

Voice services alone accounted for RM18mil last year and the company expects the VoIP revenue to easily jump to RM40mil this year. Broadband services are expected to generate at least an additional RM15mil. 

“At the start of the year, we had already secured RM3.6mil worth of orders for our value-added data (or broadband) services,” Chee said, adding that he expected demand to rise “exponentially” after its formal launch later this quarter. 

“VoIP is a thriving and profitable business but we don't want to be just a VoIP player. We aim to grow the broadband business. And it's not just broadband connectivity, but end-to-end value-added data services and solutions. Eventually, this will be our main revenue earner,” Chee told Starbiz in a recent interview in Kuala Lumpur. 

The rollout of broadband connectivity will initially centre on the Klang Valley and Perak, with deployment in other states to begin by the third quarter. 

“We have deployed four sites in the Klang Valley and we intend to set up another 16 by the end of this year. We will have four sites in Ipoh by the end of this quarter and more can be added upon demand,” he said. 

Each site can cater to up to 3,000 subscribers. 

The company expects to spend RM50mil over the next five years to develop and deploy broadband infrastructure in Perak alone, following an agreement signed with the Perak State Economic Development Corp (SEDC) in October last year. The joint-venture project is aimed at establishing “intelligent” communities in the state. 

NasionCom's Wireless Broadband Service is a 24-hour, “always on”, premier Internet connection that taps Radio Frequency (RF) wireless technology to connect users to its high-speed Internet backbone.  

The service provides users a high bandwidth of 30Mbps over the private frequency spectrum of 3.5Ghz. 

Subscription to the service starts from RM800 per month for corporate clients and RM98 for individual subscribers. Subscribers would also have the flexibility to increase bandwidth on demand to a maximum 30Mbps. 

“It will be like turning on the tap to get a bigger flow of water only when you need it. It's pay per use. Why pay for a fixed 2MB line when you use the bandwidth only once in a while to watch a streaming video online?” Chee asked. 

The company is currently in the process of setting up the infrastructure for interactive multimedia and targets to launch the first service by the middle of this year. 

“The content would be more educational, such as e-learning. Later, we'll bring in video on demand, video conferencing and others,” Chee said. 

The company had in October last year awarded a S$35mil contract to Singapore-based Horizon Education and Technologies Ltd to set up 330 education/edutainment multimedia centres to be located throughout the Klang Valley and in key institutions of higher learning nationwide. 

The contract, which will run till 2011, involves the provision of software servers comprising e-learning and edutainment content as well as multimedia content billing solutions. NasionCom expects its broadband business revenue to grow to more than US$80mil per year with the rollout of the multimedia centres. 

Chee maintains that contrary to common perception, NasionCom is not competing with established telecommunications companies like Telekom Malaysia Bhd, but complementing them. 

He said VoIP enabled more Malaysians to be connected to the world. 

“In providing wireless broadband service, we are fulfilling pent-up market demand for last-mile connectivity. We are not competing directly with existing telecommunications carriers but are complementing their services by providing last-mile broadband connectivity to areas where customers do not yet have telecommunications coverage,” he said. 

“Also, by offering connectivity over our own access network, we have full control over customers' service delivery, and so provide better service continuity and reliability,” he added.  

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