U Mobile investing RM1.5bil to expand network

KUALA LUMPUR: Telecommunications company U Mobile Sdn Bhd is investing RM1.5bil to expand its network by another 2,000 new 3G and 4G LTE sites, the majority of which will go live from the second quarter of 2015.

Its chief executive officer Wong Heang Tuck said the roll-out would involve 1,000 3G and 1,000 4G LTE sites which were targeted for completion by the end of next year.

“The expansion is aimed at enhancing U Mobile’s quality of service through wider network coverage while delivering the best mobile experience through more innovative products and services,” he said when unveiling U Mobile’s expansion plans.

He said the expansion would be funded through a combination of internal funds and vendor financing.

Wong said the company expected to aggressively grow to a targeted market share of 10% and increase its revenue by 50% by end-2015.

He also told StarBiz that an initial public offering (IPO) was definitely on the cards but placed the timeline within the next five years.

“We want to focus on delivering more sustainable performance first before going to the market,” he said, adding that it was still too premature to talk about its listing plans.

He added that the company had recently completed an upgrade of its business support systems, entailing a migration to a new billing platform to enable end-to-end real-time tracking and customer fulfilment.

Once the expansion is complete, U Mobile’s new network roll-out will cover key cities and strategic areas including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Seremban, Port Dickson, Nilai, Ipoh, Lumut, Penang, Johor Baru and Batu Pahat.

U Mobile chief technology officer Too Tian Jen said the upcoming 3G and 4G LTE sites would expand its total sites to 6,400.

He said the number of 4G LTE sites would comprise around 20% of its total sites once all were live.

U Mobile chief marketing officer Jasmine Lee said the new network expansion would help it achieve a wider customer base from its existing five million subscribers.

“We are aiming to add another two million subscribers by year-end,” she said.

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