Celcom guns for more smartphone users

Melissa Chua
25 Apr 2011

Malaysia’s Celcom Axiata plans to spend big to ensure 30% of its customer base is comprised of smartphone users, despite the anticipated effect of high smartphone subsidies on earnings.

According to The Star, CEO Datuk Shazalli Ramly told reporters that smartphone subsidies would pressure ebitda margins, but the firm would have to find ways to overcome this.

Currently, 20% of the operator's 11.2 million customers are smartphone users.

Celcom Axiata’s ebitda had risen 13% to 3.2 billion ringgit ($1.06 million) for the 2010 financial year, compared to a year ago.

Shazalli added the company had been investing in network capacity upgrades over the past year, to cater for anticipated smartphone data demand.

Ericsson Malaysia and Huawei Malaysia had also been appointed vendors to replace Celcom Axiata’s current 2G and 3G network infrastructure with Single RAN technology. The firm was also conducting LTE trials, Shazalli said.

Shazalli told Bernama the upcoming roaming tariff reductions between Malaysia and Singapore are not likely to affect margins significantly, adding anticipated volume increase would help offset the lower prices.

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