Monday, December 22, 2008

DiGi a net gainer in MNP

NOT surprising at all.

DiGi.Com Bhd, Malaysia's third largest mobile operator, said it is a net gainer in the mobile number portability (MNP) race so far.

Its chief executive officer Johan Dennelind, in a Business Times interview last week, said the net gain is still "insignificant" so far, it is more of a "morale booster" for the company and is not expected to have a significant reaction on the market.

He also squashed rumours about signing up 5,000 customers from rival operators, saying that daily net gains is in the range of hundreds, not thousands.

Below are the excerpts of the interview:

Q: Any surprises on Mobile Number Portability (MNP), so far?

Dennelind: Back tracking a bit first, just to remind you, leading to mobile number portability, there were no awareness campaigns done by us or anyone. Basically, when we launch, there was very little awareness among the public. We didn't expect a quick pick-up. So, what surprised me was that actually people were porting and changing, and they were trying out new operators. This has given us the opportunity to prove to our existing customers and new customers that we are a good choice. That has pushed us to really deliver on our value proposition. What has surprised me a little bit is that people really appreciate the quality enhancement that DiGi has made over the past years. We have invested close to RM1 billion this year. To have invested heavily on network has paid off on the quality side. So, people porting in are saying: "Wow! Your quality is really better than where I came from." That's the good news, and maybe we should start talking more about our quality than we have done in the past.

Q: How did DiGi perform since MNP was launched?

Dennelind: So far so good, I would say. In terms of numbers, we are net gainers. I'm not going into the details of the numbers, because I still feel it's early days, but we are encouraged by the net gaining position. It's not by much, but it still feels good to know and it's a morale boost for the organisation. Being a net gainer means more people porting into DiGi than leaving DiGi. We won't take any customers for granted, we have to make sure we own the trust of the customers. Every port in is a success, every port out is a failure to us. So, when we are a net gainer, it is more a morale booster.

Q: There are rumours that as many as 5,000 subscribers from other operators port into DiGi daily. Is that true?

Dennelind: It's not true. Those numbers were way too high. We don't port in thousands, we port in hundreds, per day.

Q: Do you think MNP has changed the mobile industry landscape?

Dennelind: It's too early to tell. But, I still think MNP can change the way operators treat its customers, it's a trigger for that. Because we are doing more for our customers now, we are treating them better, we are giving them better service, given them better quality and given them better touch-point experience with us. And, that should pay off. I think indirectly MNP is pushing the industry to be better.

Q: Do you think MNP will be the main play for DiGi to gain market share?

Dennelind: Well, it definitely removes the last barrier for the postpaid segment. Postpaid has been tough for us, because we came in late, and number savvy people want to keep their numbers. I think we don't have that barrier anymore. I hope it will increase our revenue market share for postpaid, and I have seen some encouraging signs in that direction. So, if we do everything correctly over the next few years, and the others don't, we can gain market share (via MNP).Nevertheless, there are still a lot of virgin users out there, people who want to leave prepaid and move to postpaid. A lot of companies using fixed line, they want to go mobile. The penetration rate is not saturated yet, there's still growth in the market.

For more details on his views on other areas such as 3G, 2009 outlook and competition landscape, pls read it at:



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