NasionCom secures RM20m for expansion

  • Business
  • Saturday, 22 Mar 2003


NasionCom Sdn Bhd, a fast growing telecommunications company, has secured a RM20mil bank facility and is in the process of getting another RM20mil in investment from local venture capitalists to fuel its expansion. 

Executive vice-chairman Datuk Chee Kok Wing told StarBiz the company had secured a RM20mil term loan from Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd early this month to expand capacity and add value to its voice service, which it provides via the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. 

The additional RM20mil from venture capitalists would be used for capital expenditure and to buy more equipment for both its voice and broadband services, Chee added. 

“We've reached 90%–100% capacity during peak hours. The RM20mil bank facility would help us expand our capacity and, at the same time, improve the quality of our voice services as well as introduce some value-added services to our VoIP customers,” he said. 

Chee said NasionCom had invested RM15mil in its voice infrastructure last year and would spend an additional RM6mil to scale that system and double its voice capacity by the end this quarter. Voice services alone accounted for RM18mil last year and the company expects the VoIP revenue to easily jump to RM40mil this year. 

“We've engaged consultants to look at our current network to see how we can improve it and take it to another level,” he added. 

Datuk Chee Kok Wing

NasionCom prides itself on having invested in solid infrastructure supported by proper backend systems from the beginning, which sets it apart from most VoIP players in the market. According to Chee, there are 60 VoIP players in Malaysia. 

“And since we've already spent so much on the infrastructure, why not tap on it to offer our customers some value-added services? These services would really differentiate us from other VoIP players,” he said. 

NasionCom is currently exploring various value-added services to offer to its VoIP customers and expects to implement these services by the third quarter and roll them out to its customers by the fourth quarter. 

Among the services it aims to introduce is IP Centrex, representing to a host of specialised solutions such as Call Forwarding, Three-way Conferencing, Repeat Dialing, Music on Hold, Intercom Dialing (allows user to call extensions by dialling a standard four-digit code instead of the entire eight-digit telephone number), Anonymous Call Rejection and many more. 

It would also be introducing Mobile Phone Gaming, where NasionCom subscribers could engage in games with each other over the mobile phone; and Entertainment Ringback Tone, whereby a user can instruct that when certain people call, they would receive personalised music or messages instead of the normal ringing tone. 

Some of the proposed services are currently being offered by mobile phone operators, or considered to be within their domain, but Chee maintained that NasionCom was not competing with them. 

“We're porting these services over to IP, which is cheaper than if the telcos were to offer them in the circuit world, and offering them as value-added services to our customers. And our services are available to our customers, mobile or fixed lines,” he said. 

NasionCom also plans to introduce a common prepaid card for all its services, including VoIP and Internet access. 

Chee said the company aimed to list on the KLSE Mesdaq market by the second quarter next year. It has engaged CIMB as its merchant banker and was preparing the necessary documents for the exercise. 

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