Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Friendi looks to get into Malaysia as MVNO

Shah Alam: Jun 19, 2012

Perangsang Telco Sdn Bhd (PTSB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Berhad (Perangsang Selangor); entered into an Investment and Shareholders' Agreement with Samena Telecom Limited (Samena), Connect Mena Limited JAFZA (FRiENDi Group) and Ceres Telekom Sdn Bhd (Ceres) for the proposed investment in a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) business via a 30% equity stake in Ceres.

“The proposed Investment provides the Perangsang Selangor Group with the opportunity to participate in the future expansion of the MVNO business in Malaysia. The Group is investing in a company (Ceres Telekom Sdn Bhd) with all the necessary licenses, thus, providing an immediate entry into the telecommunications industry in Malaysia.” said Suhaimi Kamaralzaman, Director, Perangsang Telco Sdn Bhd.

“PTSB was set up as an intermediate holding company for investments in the telecommunications sector. Pursuant to FRiENDi's expansion into the Malaysian telecommunications sector, PTSB was offered the opportunity to invest in Ceres or FRiENDi Malaysia, the newly local entity operating the MVNO. Moreover, FRiENDi Group is a leading MVNO in South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) region, with existing operations in Oman, Jordan, South Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” said Suhaimi.

FRiENDi will explore the Malaysian market entry with a new Kuala Lumpur office, a newly appointed CEO and Perangsang Telco. Heading up the new venture in Malaysia for the newly formed group will be telecommunications and Virgin Mobile MVNO Veteran, Jonathan Marchbank.  Marchbank was most recently COO of Virgin Mobile in the USA, an MVNO with over 5 million customers.

"Malaysia is a melting-pot of mobile opportunity. There are plenty of MVNO's but none have really executed to become a true segment leader. The wholesale mobile market here in Malaysia is still not well exploited. There are clear opportunities for both FRiENDi and our other brand, Virgin Mobile in multiple segments for us to exploit" said Jonathan Marchbank, Chief Executive Officer of FRiENDi Malaysia.

“Host operators are seeing slowing growth in their retail markets and limited scope to expand their own brands into growth segments.  Wholesale channels represent a new avenue to provide incremental customer differentiation, improved network utilisation and revenue growth" added Jonathan.

FRiENDi’s philosophy is to empower people from multi-cultural backgrounds to stay connected to their circle, locally and internationally, by promoting segment specific calling, data and SMS offers. In other markets FRiENDi & Virgin Mobile have expanded the mobile users’ telecommunications landscape forever” said Jonathan.