REDTONE Telecommunications, previously known as VMS Technology, is confident of having 10,000 outlets housing its REDtone Payphone within one year.
This is expected to generate revenues of RM10mil in the same year, according to its founder and chief executive officer Wei Chuan Beng.
The payphone, which does not use card or coins to operate, was launched in Petaling Jaya yesterday. They will be placed in outlets such as retail shops, sundry shops, convenience stores, coffee shops, restaurants, handphone shops, clinics and so on, where end-users only have to pay a deposit to use the phone for STD and IDD calls. The balance will be refunded when the call is completed.
We decided to place the payphones in such outlets as it requires a certain level of management and which also helps prevent vandalism, Wei told a press conference after the official launch of the payphone by Energy, Communications and Mul- timedia Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Halim Shafie.
Wei said the payphone also presented opportunities to entrepreneurs to set up call centres, especially in areas with many foreign workers who usually called their home countries from such centres.
REDtone will make the payphone easily accessible to operators who only need to sign up, pay no start-up costs and using any telephone line, begin operations immediately.
He said operators of such centres would earn margins of 20% to 25% of the revenue from the costs of calls made from the payphones that cost only about 10% that of a normal payphone.
Wei also said the calls made from the payphones would be at REDtone's discounted rates, which could be as high as 70% less than normal call rates.
This allows lower income groups and foreign workers to make cheap calls to their families, as well as helping provide better communication facilities to rural communities.
REDtone has already installed 65 payphones throughout the country.
Wei said the company had also signed a joint venture with a company in Bangladesh, Cyber Leap Ltd, allowing the rollout of the REDtone payphone there.
In Malaysia, the payphone business is handled by subsidiary REDtone Network with REDtone Telecom- munications holding a 51% stake and the other 49% held by REDtone Network CEO Law Say Chuan.