Celcom spending RM400mil to boost capacity and speed


  • Business
  • Thursday, 12 Jun 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM400mil out of the RM950mil allocated by Celcom Axiata Bhd in capital expenditure (capex) for this year will go into upgrading its network to be 4G-enabled.

The amount will allow Celcom to have 2,014 active fourth generation long term evolution (LTE) sites nationwide by year-end which allow users to have higher capacity and speed for data.

Celcom Axiata chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly told reporters yesterday that of the RM400mil, about RM100mil has been used thus far.

The rest would be used for its IT upgrade and network utilisation, Shazalli said.

“We always put customers at the centre of everything we do and it is crucial for us to undertake measures that will significantly help us meet customer needs and enhance customer experience.

“We are determined to bring all our resources and put together the right infrastructure, people and culture to drive our transformation agenda,” he said after a media briefing on the company’s financial performance for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014.

He said the company had seen strong improvement in data traffic, which registered a 57% growth, driven by the availability of smart devices as well as faster network and popular applications.

He added that Celcom was also working closely with its partners to strengthen its network optimisation programme.

The company also wants to target specific market segments this year and will be launching several products this year for women, as well as small and medium enterprises.

“For the elite customers, they would be addressed with the capability of our new IT back-end system. While we doing well in enterprise and solutions and we want to expand into offering new generation services to grow our profit,’’ he said.

Celcom, which recently announced its first quarter ended March 31 financial results, saw its net profit rising 0.2% year-on-year to RM515mil.

However, its revenue was slightly lower at RM1.91bil, down 3.6% due to lower Universal Service Provision revenue and the festive season which led to lower device sales.

Celcom Axiata chief financial officer Christopher Tiffin said the first quarter was traditionally a slower quarter versus the third and fourth quarters.

Celcom’searnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation margins were sustained at 44% led by its cost management initiatives last year, which continues into this year.

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