HKBN's big hairy audacious offer

Robert Clark
05 Nov 2009

Up-and-coming Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) is nothing if not ambitious.

Indeed, its ambition is tacked high on the mast and in blazing neon. HKBNers call it their Big Hairy Audacious Goal (or B-HAG), which is to become Hong Kong’s number one NBN provider in customers and revenue by 2016.

There’s a good reason for its confidence: it’s the only broadband player in Hong Kong that’s growing.

The telco added 34,000 subs in the first half of the year, overtaking i-Cable on the way to become the city’s no. 2 ISP. Rivals Hutchison and i-Cable lost customers.

Market leader PCCW added 3,000 new customers – a rounding error on its 1.3 million total.

It has a big break over HKBN, which is on 391,000, but the underlying reason for HKBN’s confidence is its low cost base. It has spent just $400 million on the network in the last ten years to get coverage of two-thirds of Hong Kong’s 2.3 million homes.

That’s the reason why it is now offering 100 Mbps for just HK$100 ($13) a month. That’s 100 Mbps symmetric, thanks to HKBN’s pioneering use of Metro Ethernet to connect Hong Kong’s high-density urban areas.

And did I mention that ARPU is growing. How many telcos can say that?

We’ll see this afternoon, when the company – listed on HKSE as City Telecom (CTI) – issues its latest result.

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