Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finally... Tune Talk is launched.

ON AUGUST 19, Tune Talk Sdn Bhd - a Tune Group company - launched its much-anticipated no-frills mobile services.
The launch was held in a hangar in Sepang, at about 3.30pm. I must say, the place is HUGE. As you enter the hall, you have the press registration counter on the right and on the left, you can sign up for a Tune Talk number.
There could be easily 200 people attending the event. Most of the media representatives were there, there were bloggers too (although i cant identify most of them), there were many Celcom staff there as well. Also attended the event include Tune Hotel CEO Mark Lankester and Green Packet's CEO Puan Chan Cheong.
Highlights of the launch:
1. Speech by Jason Lo (CEO of Tune Talk). I must say, it's one of the longest speech i ever heard.
2. Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes giving his speech on the wing of his new Airbus.
The mobile services - which uses the 010 prefix as well as riding on Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd's network - has a few main key differentiators:

1. Call rates of 22 sen a minute. To anyone, anywhere and anytime within Malaysia. That's at least 30 per cent cheaper than the basic rates offered by most mobile operators. (basic rates exclude those Friends and Family rates)

2. Its IDD rates are about 10 per cent cheaper than most operators', it claimed. Will look into their IDD offering soon.

3. Tune Talkers may receive up to RM1 million worth of AirAsia e-gift vouchers. The vouchers will be given to the daily top 10 callers. (promotion lasts for 12 months)

4. Personal accident insurance coverage of RM100,000. (Hmmm... does it mean, im covered if i got into a car accident while talking on the mobile phone?)

However, the company does not plan to offer 3G services anytime soon. This means, Tune Talk is really focusing on offering basic services to customers. I believe the "lack of 3G" will not be a huge hurdle for Tune Talk -- because it is offering prepaid services, and let's get real, how many prepaid users (using 3G sim card) will use the 3G services (such as Internet browsing and video calls) on a regular basis?

I am sure the company and Celcom, which owns 35 per cent stake in Tune Talk, have done sufficient research before embarking on such plan.

No doubt. The 22 sen a minute offering will get people excited. The main question now is, how will DiGi and Maxis react?

Below are some of the key takeaways from the press conference:

1. To sign-up 1 million subscribers within a year.

2. To be cashflow positive within six months.

3. To secure another MVNO partnership in another Southeast Asia country within 12 months.

4. Capex of RM40 million for the next five years.


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