This post is brought to you by Maxis.
While the advent of digitalisation shifted consumer behaviour tremendously over the years, the pandemic event the world faced together helped to further accelerate this shift. Hybrid working became the new norm with more people opting to work from home and some education institutions creating virtual classrooms.
Shifting Consumer Behaviours
Due to shifting consumer behaviours, the frequently performed activities have become streaming and web browsing. In fact, video streaming makes the bulk of Maxis’ total network traffic, followed by browsing, social networking, instant messaging, VoIP, gaming, and shopping as more people are consuming entertainment from home.
Not to mention that today’s IoT devices are becoming smarter and more sophisticated, allowing a single product to perform multiple tasks. Meanwhile, digital services like video and game streaming are consuming more data as 4K resolution is becoming the default standard. However, it’s the activity of using multiple apps at a time that’s increasing the demand for higher bandwidth and seamless connectivity.
“In the past two and half years, digital adoption by Malaysians in many ways, from the way we shop to how businesses equip themselves with digital capabilities and channels to reach more customers. We have also seen how quickly many sectors have moved into a hybrid mode of working and learning from home and on-site. We believe a lot of these new practices will remain as the new norm post-pandemic,” says Loh Keh Jiat, Maxis’ Chief Marketing Officer.
There is a huge dependency to be connected in every way possible, whether at home or on the go. For Maxis, the convergence of mobile and home services is key, and its fibre propositions are playing a significant role in meeting the ever-growing demands for a great connectivity experience at home. Maxis’ fibre offerings go as far back as 10 years ago.
Following the implementation of the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing back in 2018, the industry had the opportunity to offer more choices at competitive prices to consumers and businesses. In a first mover advantage, Maxis led the market in new affordable home and business fibre broadband plans through its Fibrenation campaign, with packages up to 65% cheaper than what they had previously offered.
“These new plans had essentially opened a new era of accessible and affordable fibre broadband for even more Malaysian homes and businesses. Today, the demands for Internet consumption have grown tremendously, and our focus has been on providing higher speeds and with greater affordability. Therefore, we started offering 300Mbps up to 800Mbps, even before the pandemic and today we are proud to have the widest fibre footprint which is a result of our own fibre infrastructure and wholesale partnerships,” says Loh.
The Promising Future of Fibre Connectivity
According to Maxis, the fixed broadband segment remained relatively untapped with 65% of homes fiberised and less than 55% of those fiberised homes connected, at the end of 2021. In addition to its own fibre build, Maxis is serving more than 5 million premises.
“We believe there is a great future for fixed broadband in Malaysia, with significant growth potential in this untapped market. Fibre is the best for connectivity for the home. For customers in locations that do not have fibre coverage, they can still enjoy connectivity via wireless broadband. For example, with Maxis Home 4G Wi-Fi, customers will be on our 4G network where they will be able to enjoy unlimited data for all services from work, learning and play.
“They can also get unlimited data for all lines for the whole family by combining any of their mobile lines with the plan. With a Plug & Play, easy setup, customers will be able to connect instantly, with no installation required, and use multiple devices at once. All with the option to add on home devices with zero upfront on our easy device ownership programme, Zerolution,” adds Loh.
Currently, Maxis has a couple of projects under its belt like assisting with the Government’s JENDELA plan, addressing how 4G can help to accelerate broadband availability to homes where fibre infrastructure is not yet available and continuing to evaluate the possibility of more partnerships with infrastructure manufacturers and vendors.
“More and more of our customers are enjoying fibre connectivity and this is evident in the consistent growth of our fibre connections quarter on quarter. As of Q2 2022, we have 638,000 fibre and 4G wireless home broadband connections nationwide due to the strong adoption of our converged packages and wider deployment to underserved areas. Meanwhile, we continue to expand our broadband footprint to secondary towns, via both fibre and 4G to bring connectivity to even more Malaysians,” said Loh.
Consistent Fibre Growth
Maxis attributes its consistent growth in home connections to the success of Maxis Unlimited Postpaid and Fibre, where customers who are on Maxis Fibre have unlimited data on their postpaid lines, with a tremendous sign-up rate since its launch.
“We continue to see very strong YoY growth in data usage and recorded all-time high utilisation of our converged network of mobile and fibre connectivity. What’s interesting is that our fibre network now carries almost 2x more traffic than the mobile network. We believe this is closely linked to the shift in customer behaviour as mentioned and the expectation of service providers to offer more than just either mobile or fixed. And Maxis is here to provide that with the demand for converged connectivity continuing to rise,” says Loh.
Meanwhile, Arjun Varma, Head of Maxis Consumer, says that product innovation has been central to Maxis’ efforts in offering an unmatched personalised experience for its customers.
“Surpassing the half-million subscriber mark was a significant milestone for us in our fibre journey, and we owe this to our sharp focus on innovation around services and home experience propositions, as well as a deep understanding of changing customer behaviour and needs. This had essentially translated into a simplified journey for our customers. For example, we make it very easy for customers to own their favourite home devices with initiatives such as our successful Zerolution programme,” says Arjun.
By listening to its customers, Maxis has designed relevant solutions, underpinned by its high-performing network. The outcome is plans catered to specific segments, such as the Maxis Family Plan which addresses the everyday needs of a family such as data, home internet, or accessibility to new devices.
“These propositions have helped us create extreme relevance in the market. Our propositions are also built with our Rangkaian Kita Rangkaian Malaysia premise in mind, meaning that it caters to Malaysians from all walks of life-based on their diverse and unique requirements. As the digital world continues to evolve, we continue to listen to our customers and review trends in the market against our propositions to ensure we constantly innovate to bring as much value as possible,” says Arjun.
“Another differentiating factor is our fibre service through our dedicated Internet experts, Maxperts, who not only install routers but ensure that the Wi-Fi is optimised for the best connectivity experience for the home. We have dedicated staff, physically, over the phone and online, serving with our expertise, complemented with AI-powered chatbots to serve customers 24-7,” added Arjun.
Fibre Expansion Plans
Loh says that Maxis has big ambitions in expanding its fibre footprint to bring affordable and high-speed connectivity to every home and business premise in Malaysia through building its own fibre network as well as developing partnerships with other access providers in the market.
“For our own fibre build, we will have approximately 400k premise passes to be rolled out over the next 12-18 months as part of JENDELA, including in Tier 2 and 3 areas, which will bring high-speed broadband access to families living in non-urban areas in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, as well as the East Coast regions, Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang.
“We also build fibre networks for enterprises and offer a wide range of business fibre connectivity solutions for a truly converged experience. With an expanded fibre footprint, we will be able to further support more people, businesses, and the government in a rapidly evolving digital economy, as well as the nation’s digitalisation agenda,” says Loh.
“There is a promising future for fibre, as both residential customers and businesses rely heavily on communications, video conferencing and video streaming. For Maxis, we are already playing a key role as a catalyst for digitalisation for individuals, businesses and the nation through our connectivity and digital solutions.
“With our ‘all-ways’ connected proposition, we are committed to bringing together the best of technologies to enable people, businesses, and the nation to always be ahead in a changing world,” concluded Loh.
Head on over to maxis.com.my to learn more about the products and services offered by Maxis.