Telekom Malaysia, Malaysia’s fixed broadband champion, launched a new mobile messaging app called HyppMe on last Friday. Basically the mobile messaging app allows free voice and messaging to other HyppMe users. Local calls to mobile network in Malaysia is charged 8sen per minute and SMS is at 5sen.
HyppMe works on Android and iOS devices. Calls to TM fixed line numbers nationwide are free only when users reload. For reload, it is only available via credit card.
It cost RM5 per download for emotions and stickers.
TM is targeting 3 million HyppMe activation within the next 3 years.
Below are the reasons on Why I think the TM HyppMe messaging mobile app will fail.
1. There’s so many messaging apps out there and TM’s HyppMe is boring.
Messaging is an essential feature on smartphone, but is it necessary to launch “just another ordinary messaging app” ?
Let me be frank, I am not sure what TM had in mind when it decided to launch HyppMe, but the app is so boring. There are millions of Malaysian already on WhatsApp, WeChat, KakaoTalk, Skype, Viber, Facebook Messenger, BBM, Line and the list goes on.
Using myself as an example, I have WhatsApp, BBM, Viber, Skype installed on my Android smartphone. In the past, I’ve tried WeChat, Line and all the other popular messaging apps which I’ve already uninstalled. There are just too many messaging apps out there.
For someone who used these popular apps, I find HyppMe boring. I don’t see any unique feature that is interesting on HyppMe.
TM HyppMe app requires mobile Internet or WiFi to work. TM is not a mobile operator but it offers 30,000 WiFi hotspot around the country. Based on my experience, most of its WiFi Hotspot are either slow or down and its only easily accessible by existing TM customers.
The HyppeMe app comes with free voice and multimedia messaging between HyppMe users, free calls to TM fixed line when users reload, voice calling and SMS to mobile numbers that cost 8sen/min and 5sen/SMS.
Nobody really calls a fixed line these days so asking users to reload to use it makes it further less interesting. Calling mobile numbers from HyppMe is a nice feature to have(I haven’t tested the voice quality) but HyppMe isn’t the only local app to offer this. Yes Life was launched around 2010 and XOX-Voopee in 2012. Both have mobile apps and offers free calls and multimedia messaging among its users. Just like HyppMe, voice calls and SMS to mobile numbers are premium service.
TM only shared one new feature that it will launched on HyppMe —Group Chat—- other than that, there are plans for prepaid reload and that’s about it. TM appears to be secretive about its future plans for HyppMe (or perhaps there isn’t one).
2. Voice is cheap on HyppMe but expensive on TM Fixed Line, Streamyx and UniFi
At the launch of HyppMe, TM said that is targeting its own customers for the HyppMe app, or some 3 million activation in 3 years.
HyppMe voice calls is charged at 8 sen a minute, SMS is 5sen. The chargers are cheaper than what it cost to make a call on TM’s fixed line and UniFi.
Here’s what TM is charging for calls made from fixed line to mobile numbers in Malaysia:
- TM Fixed Line: Starts from 20sen/min up to 50-60sen depending on area
- UniFi: 10sen per minute
UniFi customers pay a minimum RM149/month and they get free nationwide fixed line calls just like HyppMe. As for the TM’s fixed line users, they have to pay a rental fee of RM25/month(excluding voice usage).
It don’t seem fair for UniFi and TM Fixed line users as there’s no monthly fee for HyppMe users(including non-TM customers), but they only need to reload a minimum RM5 to make cheaper calls to mobile plus free calls to TM fixed line.
HyppMe voice calls to mobile number is still 8sen/min when used with other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Maxis, Celcom, DiGi, TIME dotCom.
Perhaps Telekom Malaysia fixed line customers should just terminate their accounts and start using HyppMe.
TM HyppMe app Interface is Ugly
I want to love the HyppMe app, but interface is just ugly. The Graphic User Interface(GUI) of the HyppMe look like it was designed for Android 2.x and there’s no much work done to make it look beautiful. If HyppMe were to be compared to WeChat, WhatsApp, Viber or KakaoTalk, it would fail miserably.
During the HyppMe launch, there weren’t any demo from TM on how to use the app. Perhaps they knew it was ugly(:p).
Check out some the screenshot of the Android app taken today(click the pictures to view):
Opinion: TM should think out of the box.
It looks like TM has a lot of money to spend for fun, because the HyppMe app which they created and invested don’t seem attractive at all. Based on what HyppMe has to offer right now, it shows that the HyppMe product team have not done a good job except for copying other messaging apps.
The broadband champion may be targeting 3 million HyppMe activation in the next 3 years, but I am more interested in the number of actual active users.
In my opinion, I think TM shouldn’t have launched HyppMe on its own. TM says that HyppMe is targeted to its existing customers but HyppMe is highly dependent on mobile Internet and TM is not a mobile operator yet. Instead TM should have collaborated with a wireless Internet company such as P1. TM acquired a 57% stake in P1 early this year.
Work with P1- P1 is a WiMax Internet service provider and it will soon launch its 4G LTE service in the first half of next year. To be specific, P1 will be targeting current mobile users in the country for its LTE service. It makes more sense for TM to work with P1 since P1 will be offering mobile voice services in the future anyway. Plus, in my opinion, P1 has a better track record and experience in content and services. In the past, P1 launched 15 Malaysia, Ruumz and it even had plans to launch WiMAX smartphones. There’s a much better business case for TM to be working with P1 as it would still benefit TM in the end of the day.
Postpaid HyppMe- Since Yes Life and Xox-Voopee already offer a prepaid voice call service, why can’t TM offer a Postpaid HyppMe plan instead? As part of HyppMe Postpaid plan, TM could offer other Value-Added services as well.
Integrate HyppMe with Streamyx/UniFi account for single billing- At the moment, users of HyppMe could link their mobile number to their Unifi or Streamyx account and that’s about it. I think TM should take a step further—– HyppMe users could use those premium service such as voice call and SMS without performing any reload —– and get billed to their TM bill (Streamyx/UniFi). Not only that, since Unifi offers free nationwide fixed line calls, these UniFi users on HyppMe should be allowed to enjoy the same benefit.
Integrate HyppMe with other TM contents and service- TM should give users more reasons to download and instal the HyppMe app. Think of contents like HyppTV streaming for non traditional TM customers, TM Rewards, TM Shop, SaveMe999, news subscription and other. They should also consider other value added service. Also TM doesn’t have a customer service mobile app and its a good place to start.
Solve the biggest problem of messaging app- As far as I know, no mobile messaging apps out there could communicate between apps. For an example, if you are on Whatsapp, you can’t use it to message someone who is not on WhatsApp. The same goes for Viber, Skype and others. That is why people still use SMS because its universal. If TM could solve this problem, it could take over all the messaging apps out there.
This is an opinion based article and it is the personal view of the writer. It does not necessarily represent the view of MalaysianWireless.