As fixed broadband consumers in the country are now enjoying speeds up to 1Gbps, Maxis, the Telco which claims “market leadership” said that it is now offering “Superior 4G LTE Experience” with speeds over 5Mbps in key market centres.
The Telco did not say where these “key market centres” are located however it indicated that about 9% of the time, speeds of its “Superior 4G LTE” network will be below 5Mbps for customers.
The “superior” 5Mbps speed is much slower than what Maxis used to claim over the past one year and more which is an average 20Mbps speed nationwide, indoor and outdoor [Screenshot and Google Cache, as of 5 April 2019].
Recently, Maxis proudly announced to the public that it recorded close to 3Gbps download speeds during its 5G trial. The speed was measured in a controlled environment where a single device was used in the 5G network. However, these mobile speeds may not be available to end users in the near future.
The Telco recently announced its First Quarter 2019 (1Q19) financial results last week. There are now 10.89 million mobile subscribers.
Maxis saw its Prepaid subscriber base shrink by 127k to 7.44 million during the first 3 months of 2019 (vs 7.57 million in 4Q18). ARPU for Prepaid was lower at RM35 (RM-2) in 1Q19 compared to RM37 in 4Q18.
Postpaid subscriber base increased to 3.32 million postpaid (+131k) between January-March 2019, up from 3.19 million it had as of December 2018. However ARPU for Postpaid was down to RM88 (-RM6) from RM94 in 4Q18.
There are 120k wireless broadband (WBB) users.
In terms of Revenue Generating Subscribers (RGS), Maxis has 9.84 million mobile subscribers including 6.47 million on prepaid and 3.26 million on postpaid. Maxis revenue generating subscribers (RGS) are defined as active line subscriptions that excludes those without revenue generating activities for more than 30 days.
Some 8.4 million Maxis mobile Internet users consumed an average 11.7GB in 1Q19 (vs 10.92GB in 4Q18). The average data consumption for Prepaid users was 11.47GB while it was 12.17GB for Postpaid users.
Some 85% of the Maxis Mobile Subscribers are smartphone users, this includes 84% of the prepaid base and 88% of the postpaid base.
Home Fibre subscribers base are now up 25k to 251k from 226k it had as of December 2018.
The Maxis network team did not expand its 4G LTE outdoor coverage for the past few months. Its 4G LTE human population coverage remains unchanged since December 2018 at 93%.
Financial highlights Year-on-Year (YoY) – Q1 2019 vs Q1 2018 (According to Maxis):
The company’s overall performance in Q1 2019 showed a resilient core business and healthy EBITDA, EBITDA margin and profits.
- Continued to grow and lead the market in postpaid, with revenue growing by 1.5% to RM1,000 million from RM985 million
- Strong subscriber growth with 349k added from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, bringing total subscribers to 3.3 million
- Firm ARPU of RM88 within expectations, driven by Hotlink Postpaid Flex growth.
- Hotlink Postpaid Flex and Flex PLUS are attracting budget conscious customers including migration from Prepaid.
- Delivered another quarter of strong growth in fibre subscribers, adding 31k fibre connections from Q4 2018, bringing a total of 280k.
- Service revenue dipped 1.7% to RM1,947 million for Q1 2019. Excluding wholesale revenue, largely attributed from the network sharing agreement, service revenue was up 0.9% on a YoY basis, reflecting a stable underlying core business. This result was also affected by MCMC’s mandated drop in mobile termination rate and hence reduced mobile termination income
- In a declining market, prepaid business is stabilising in line with expectations and enhanced use of big-data analytics for segmented and personalised offers and rewards. Prepaid ARPU was stable at RM40 due to high 4G penetration, increasing Mobile Internet usage, and as higher value subscribers moved to the entry level Hotlink Postpaid Flex plan
- Normalised EBITDA was RM953 million, with a solid margin on service revenue of 48.9% for Q1 2019; driven by a continued focus on profitable segments and cost optimisation initiatives. The decline of 6.6% from Q1 2018 which was attributable to factors including the decline of wholesale revenue due to the expected termination of the network sharing agreement, continued investment in Fibrenation and mobilisation of Enterprise business growth opportunities
- Normalised profit after tax for Q1 2019 declined 20.8% to RM404 million as compared to RM510 million a year ago, in line with the decline in EBITDA
- Capex at RM127 million compared to RM107 million in the same quarter last year. Continued to invest in capex to maintain our superior network, offering the best in coverage, speed and quality
- Growth capex of RM1 billion over three years as announced last quarter is largely enterprise customer driven, which will accelerate periodically
- Stronger free cash flow at RM264 million, increasing by 60.0% YoY
- Declared a first interim dividend of 5 sen net per share.
In a media statement posted to Bursa Malaysia, Gökhan Ogut, CEO-designate of Maxis said:
“We are pleased with our performance and the progress of services development during the quarter. We had a stable Q1 performance which was a quick recovery from Q4 2018. We are starting to deliver on the expectations of our ambitions, systematically building a momentum in executing our new growth strategy. Customer take up of our converged, fibre and enterprise services has been strong, with results that have exceeded our expectations. In terms of our people, we have reorganised ourselves to get everyone aligned towards a common goal. There is a lot of energy in the company, and while we have done a lot during the quarter, it is just the beginning of what we see as an exciting future for Maxis.”