Maxis to nurture local developers


  • Business
  • Saturday, 16 Aug 2003

By B.K. SIDHU

MAXIS Communications Bhd, in order to tap a key area of growth, plans to spend RM30mil over the next five years to nurture local mobile content and application developers. 

“Maxis will develop content providers under its MDP (Maxis Developer Programme) so these creative companies will become key contributors to Maxis and the country’s growth,’’ its chief executive officer Datuk Jamaludin Ibrahim said at the MDP launch in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

He said there was no reason why Malaysians cannot emulate such development in South Korea, Japan or China and excel in this segment on a regional scale given Malaysia’s booming mobile data business.  

Datuk Jamaludin Ibrahim and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission chairman Tan Sri Nuraizah Abdul Hamid at the launch of the developer programme.

Maxis is working with 40 out of the 120 content providers in the country. Eight of the 40 are pioneers will receive support under the MDP to design, develop, test and market mobile application and services not just for Malaysia but also for other regions. 

Quoting Strategy Analytics, a US-based market research and consulting firm, Jamaludin said revenue from mobile data services in the Asia Pacific region reached US$7.8bil last year. 

Locally, the industry generated more than RM500mil in revenue last year and is expected to grow by 50% to RM750mil this year. More than 50% of mobile users are active SMS users. 

Maxis' mobile data traffic grew by 200% last year and revenues by about 240%. Revenue from mobile data amounted to RM245mil, the bulk of which came from SMS (Short Messaging Service) traffic that totalled 1.4 billion messages last year. 

On a monthly basis, 200 million SMS messages are billable and Maxis would not be surprised if total traffic hits two billion this year. 

Although mobile data was now dominated by SMS , Jamaludin felt this will change by 2006 when GRPS services become more important.  

He added that MDP would immediately focus on Java technology for mobile phone applications such as messaging applications, games, personal productivity tools and enterprise applications. 

Available applications now deal with translation of Tamil, English and Bahasa Malaysia , Islamic prayer times in Malaysia, hotel reservations, stock portfolio and games. 

In the future, MDP will support other types of operating systems and programming languages as they become more widely accepted on mobile devices. 

Maxis has spent close to RM3mil to set up test labs for developers. The company will also allocate 100% of content revenue generated by mobile data applications to selected participants. The arrangement with MDP participants is non-exclusive.  

Stock watch on Maxis

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