Celcom poised for strong second half

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 01 Aug 2007

New products to boost customer base

KUALA LUMPUR: Celcom (M) Bhd is poised for better performance in the second half ending Dec 31, thanks to a line-up of new products, including “affordable” high-speed data connectivity, to boost its customer base. 

Chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly said the company planned to launch several new packages before National Day and expected them to deliver some impact on its full year results. 

Speaking at the launch of Celcom Broadband yesterday, he said: “We are quite optimistic about achieving stronger results in the second half.” 

In the first half, Celcom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia Bhd, chalked up 15.7% growth in revenue to RM2.5bil from RM2.2bil in the previous corresponding period. 

Satuk Seri Shazalli Ramly

In the second quarter ended June 30, the mobile operator added 160,000 subscribers to its customer base of 6.4 million. However, during the same period, it lost 45,000 post-paid subscribers and it has rolled out products to rebuild this segment. 

Among other things, Celcom recently reduced call rates from 38 sen to 35 sen and introduced its 1+ 3 Plan targeted at families. 

“We have the widest network coverage of 97% of the country while our 3G spans 58% of populated areas,” Shazalli said, adding that the company leveraged on its 56 branches and network of dealer outlets that shot up to 6,000 recently from 2,000 in 2005. 

He said the post-paid segment was turning around in July. 

Celcom is also banking on RM1.1bil in capital expenditure for 2007 with the bulk of it going towards the building of its 3G and 3.5G mobile infrastructure. 

The group had TM Net to concentrate on cellular operations, allowing Celcom the luxury of focusing on mobile connectivity in recent years - it now boasted 1,815 high-speed data packet access stations, currently the most among the mobile operators - versus some 1,010 set up by the nearest competitor, Shazalli said.  

Meanwhile, Celcom claims its newly-launched 3.6-Megabit per second broadband service is currently the fastest in the country. 

The service, prompted by an unexpected surge in demand from broadband users, is targeted at information technology professionals, business travellers, expatriates and residents in areas without fixed broadband services like Streamyx. 

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