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TM Broadband Subscriber Base Dropped, not all customers upgraded to Unifi [4Q18)

Total broadband subscribers of Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), said to be the country’s top fixed broadband provider, dropped by 99k subscriptions in 2018 according to its latest fourth quarter 2018 (4Q18) financial report.

telekom malaysia (TM) broadband subscribers in 2018 Unifi Streamyx

There are now 2.23 million broadband subscribers as of December 2018 compared to 2.33 million it had in December 2017. TM was losing more Steamyx subscribers compared to the number of customers it gained on Unifi. 

In 2018, some 271 Streamyx subscribers terminated their subscription however TM manged to sign up 172k new Unifi subscribers, but it lost 99k subscribers who probably signed with a competitor such as Maxis and Time dotCom. The Maxis fibre broadband service is offered via the same Unifi network owned by TM but available at a much cheaper price for unlimited broadband usage at RM89/month. Time dotCom on the other hand offers the 100Mbps service at just RM99/month compared to TM’s more expensive plan at RM129/month.

UniFi subscribers grew 15% YoY and 3% QoQ to 1.3 million (vs 1.26 million in 3Q18) but was unable to compensate for decline in Streamyx subscribers which declined 23% YoY and 9% QoQ to 936k (vs 1.03 million in 3Q18).

The ARPU for Unifi was RM184 (vs RM193 in 3Q18), Streamyx at RM88 (vs RM87 in 3Q18).

To date, TM said:

  • Some 911,000 Unifi customers are upgraded to 10 times existing speed
  • More than 239,000 Streamyx customers upgraded to unifi
  • More than 181,000 Streamyx customers upgraded to 2 times existing speed where technology permits

Financial and Operational Highlights FY2018, according to TM:

  • TM was impacted by persistent headwinds in the industry and operating landscape over 2018.
  • The Group posted a revenue of RM11.82 billion, 2.2% lower from RM12.09 billion in 2017. Internet revenue growth during the year under review was offset by lower data, voice and other services.
  • Group Reported Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) was at RM64.6 million. During the financial year, the Group has recognised a provision of RM982.5 million for the impairment of fixed and wireless network assets following the continued pressure from challenging business, industry and economic conditions, combined. Group’s Normalised EBIT was RM1.07 billion, within 2018 guidance. PIP2018 initiatives such as cost optimisation yielded improved operating performance despite the lower revenue.
  • Group Reported Profit After Tax and Non-controlling Interests (PATAMI) was at RM153.2 million, whilst Group Normalised PATAMI was RM632.4 million.
  • The total capital expenditure (CAPEX) investment for 2018 was RM2.14 billion, or 18.1% of revenue; which was lower than TM’s full year capex guidance of 19-20% of revenue. By asset type, access comprised 57.4% of total spending, followed by core network at 17.8% and the remaining 24.8% was for support systems. In 2018, investments were focused on expanding connectivity via deployment of broadband ports and mobile coverage, as well as on digital infrastructure for ICT, data centre, cloud and smart solutions.
  • Sustained customer satisfaction with Customer Satisfaction Measure (TRI*M index) score of more than 73, continuing the record of above global telco average of 66.

Imri Mokhtar, Acting Group Chief Executive Officer / Chief Operating Officer said, “2018 was undoubtedly one of the most challenging times TM has ever faced. We worked tirelessly to address the competitive landscape and industry dynamics, without losing focus on our strategies and organisational mission. We took a big hit but this has only strengthened our resolve to make good on what we need to deliver to all our stakeholders.”

“In transforming to become the ‘New TM” by 2021, we will incrementally and continuously improve on how we do things, in a new and simpler way, in order to serve you better. We will be here for our customers as a one-stop shop, enabling them to access our multitude of offerings and effortless support to fulfil all of their digital lifestyle needs,”

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy