Telecom Asia Awards 2018: Disrupting the broadband market with customer value

Telecom Asia staff writer
Telecom Asia
Best Broadband Carrier Hong Kong Broadband Network
Best MVNO Hong Kong Broadband Network

HKBN COO NiQ LaiThe Hong Kong broadband market is a competitive marketplace with providers offering multiple products. So, Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) decided to compete on disruption. 

One area where HKBN saw an immediate opportunity is delivering quad-play services - home broadband, home telephone, mobile connectivity and OTT entertainment - with a single bill. The company knew that customers wanted better control over their expenses.

“In Hong Kong, HKBN is the only carrier truly embracing integrated quad-play billing as this emphasizes the great value we are delivering to the households. In contrast there is resistance in the industry to an integrated quad-play billing as sticker shock may come from consolidating total household spend,” said NiQ Lai, co-owner and COO of Hong Kong Broadband Network.

HKBN did not stop there. It also built a brand-new fibre network from scratch, “without any legacy copper telephone network to hold us back,” Lai said. The company also was the first in Asia Pacific to deploy Huawei’s NetEngine 9000 core router for the residential market, increasing its capacity by six times to cope with future growth. 

HKBN completed a network optimization and hub site upgrade with dedicated CDN bandwidth for OTT, while deploying its high-performance WiFi router and IoT gateway, Home Gateway, at customer homes. For businesses, it integrated two separate platforms for diversity and redundancy.

The efforts helped the company win the Best Broadband Carrier award.

HKBN is also disrupting the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market.

“As a new entrant to Hong Kong mobile market, we decided to take a far more disruptive approach, rather than a traditional mini-incumbent-me-too market positioning. Today more than one-third of total households in Hong Kong are subscribers to our fixed-line service. This gives us a massive warm sell base,” said Lai.

The company offers an “unprecedented” price value for customers switching from market incumbents, as well as for customers from our extensive broadband customer base.

“We also deliver norm-breaking services which bring greater flexibility and convenience to our customers. For example, our 12GB high-usage plan is upgradable to unlimited plan as needed; Our CloudSIM technology powered Global Phone is a low-cost alternative to fight against exorbitant data roaming in both personal and business markets,” Lai added.

The approach worked and is the main reason for HKBN winning the Best Mobile Virtual Network Operator award.

Lai acknowledged that competition will only get more intense. But rather than seeing this as a challenge, he sees an opportunity for HKBN to compete through disruption.

“I believe the biggest challenge for the mobile industry in 2017/2018 was the intensified market competition, which to a significant extent was a consequence of HKBN entering into the market as an MVNO.

For a brand new MVNO such as HKBN, this was an opportunity to churn customers, rather than a challenge. Embracing our Core Purpose to “make our Hong Kong a better place to live”, HKBN is committed to changing the status quo, and bringing new services and substantial savings to customers,” added Lai.   

 This article first appeared on Telecom Asia December July 2018 Edition

Telecom Asia Awards 2018 Winners: The complete list 

Commentary

5G and data center-friendly network architectures

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Rémy Pascal / Analysys Mason

The launch of 5G by South Korean operators serves as a first benchmark for other operators around the world