Redtone targeting the office crowd

KUALA LUMPUR: Broadband service provider Redtone International Bhd is positioning itself as a “broadband expert for offices.”

The way Redtone sees it, SMBs (small and medium businesses) and corporate customers have a serious and stable need for broadband and their demands are different from those of the other consumers.

According to Redtone group chief executive officer Zainal Amanshah, the consumer market is driven by the need to share and learn in a social setting, and oftentimes this market is price sensitive and prone to network congestion.

“We’re not getting into the consumer data-price war zone. Enterprise and SMB customers have demands that we can better cater to,” he said at a media briefing here recently.

The sector is currently underserved when it comes to data and broadband services, according to him.

SMBs represent 92% of total business establishments in the country and have heavy demands for bandwidth, especially when they want to establish connections with their branches everywhere, he said.

Sometimes SMBs may require short-term broadband connectivity, such as when they are handling special projects in a particular location, and Redtone can cater for this kind of demand with its more than 200 wireless basestations nationwide.

“We were able to successfully fulfil that demand for a customer in Kota Kinabalu recently,” Zainal added.

Another ace in Redtone’s hand, Zainal said, is its non-commitment to broadband-delivery technologies. He explained that Redtone uses a combination of technologies — from ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) to WiMAX (Worldwide interoperability for Microwave Access) — to connect its customers to the Internet.

“Whatever the latest trend in broadband technology is, we’ll adopt it,” he said.

Redtone has invested in excess of RM50mil in capital and operating expenditure to cater to the data needs of its corporate clients, and this is paying off.

Zainal said the company started offering broadband and data services in 2007. Then, that bsuiness accounted for 5% of its revenue. Today, its data and broadband services account for 27% of its revenue, and the company expects the business endeavour to make up 50% of its revenue in five years.

As part of its corporate offerings, Redtone is expanding its datacentre which is located in Kuala Lumpur, to cater to its customers’ storage and computational requirements.

“The expansion is a work in progress and the bigger datacentre will be ready sometime in the first half of next year,” said Zainal.

Though Redtone positions itself to be a broadband expert for offices, it has not taken its attention from delivering WiMAX broadband services in East Malaysia. It holds a WiMAX 2.3GHz licence to offer fast Internet in Sabah and Sarawak.

Zainal said the service is receiving good response over there and Redtone will continue to aggressively push the adoption rate.

“Infrastructure costs there are three times what they are here (in the peninsular) and I don’t think we’ll be making a profit anytime soon, but we’re happily managing our costs,” he added.

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