An Interview with U Mobile’s CEO Dr. Kaizad Heerjee Part 1
By Mobile88 Editorial
28 May 2012 - U Mobile Sdn Bhd’s Chief Operating Officer Dr Kaizad Heerjee answers our question about Malaysia's fledging telecommunications company.
1. Winning the Frost and Sullivan’s “Most Promising Service Provider of the Year” must be a huge milestone for the company, how do you feel about it?
It is indeed, a milestone. Being recognised by the industry is very important to U Mobile because we have always strived to be the most innovative and dynamic telco in the country.
With this award, U Mobile joins the ranks of other outstanding players in the ICT industry, whose achievements earned them the prestigious recognition from Frost & Sullivan, one of the world’s leading and reputable market research firms.
2011 was a big year for U Mobile. Our bold business and marketing strategies manifested in a string of many firsts, including the launch of 42Mbps mobile broadband service which is the fastest mobile broadband in the country.
Our success was also due of our three-pronged strategy – expanding network infrastructure, strengthening our brand through innovative product offerings and thirdly, widening distribution channels. This business strategy helped us win the Frost & Sullivan award but more importantly, help us to secure 2 million subscribers, an amazing achievement we’ve announced recently.
2. Will U Mobile be expanding its 42Mbps coverage across a few more major towns?
We are constantly working to expand our network nationwide. So yes, the 42Mbps coverage will continue to grow. We have our own-built 3G network and concentrates on the 42Mbps high-speed network infrastructure in core cities in the central, northern and southern regions of Peninsular Malaysia. This independent network is capable of upgrades of up to 100Mbps for the LTE roll out in 2013.
As a 3G operator, U Mobile currently has over 1900 network sites in the Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, Penang, Port Dickson and Negeri Sembilan. For areas that do not have U Mobile's 3G network, we have embarked on a synergistic cooperation with Maxis for the 3G RAN sharing which is the first of its kind in Asia that allows U Mobile customers to enjoy seamless coverage for the usage of voice, SMS and 3G data nationwide. As a result, U Mobile customers have access to a quality network, no matter where they are in the country.
3. What about those in the East Coast and East Malaysia?
Currently U Mobile provides 2G service to East Cost & East Malaysia. However with our 3G Ran Sharing with Maxis, we would be able to provide our 3G service by 2013.
4. When do you expect to rollout LTE commercially?
2013 is going to be the year of LTE in Malaysia. Once the spectrum is officially allocated by MCMC, which is required for LTE, U Mobile will be ready to commercially roll our services at selected locations. As mentioned earlier, our home grown network was built with LTE in mind. Hence we are very well prepared.
5. What is the wireless 4G standard that U Mobile will be deploying?
U Mobile will be deploying FD-LTE, which is the most common 4G standard for 3G telcos. The majority of 3G players in the world will be operating on FD-LTE which will help to standardise and facilitate services including international roaming.
6. In addition to Maxis, will U Mobile be working with anyone to increase LTE coverage throughout Malaysia?
The government has encouraged companies who are awarded spectrum to work together. U Mobile is a leader in that regard having demonstrated that commitment with not just the 3G spectrum but also a possibility to do the same with LTE. We will evaluate this and make the right announcement at the right time.
7. How will U Mobile continue to differentiate against competitors like TuneTalk, XoX, etc?
U Mobile has outstanding products and we will continue to push ourselves to be innovative and dynamic to ensure we remain competitive.
Our prepaid products offer nationwide on-net free calls, free SMS, unlimited mobile internet and zero roaming charges in Singapore. We are the first mobile communications network operator in Malaysia to offer local rates for calls made in Singapore, with no roaming charges and lowest data roaming rate.
Our postpaid package is just as compelling, being the first to combine voice, SMS and data plans in a single package. It is widely acknowledged as the best value for money postpaid package in the market.
As the only 3G operator to offer mobile broadband speeds of up to 42 Mbps, U Mobile presents a very compelling proposition to current and potential customers.