Tuesday, March 07, 2006

There's Something About DIGI

OK, the silence on DIGI is deafening. I thought the thing was so obvious, I don't know what else I could add to the fray. How can the government NOT give to DIGI (a block of the 3G spectrum)? So many questions, so few rational minds... so many wink-wink, so many shaking heads... My take (which will be repeating much of what has been said):

1) How can the government NOT give to DIGI? Please explain.

2) How can the government award it to MiTV? Please explain.

3) How can two non-mobile operators use the 3G spectrum more effectively than DIGI?

4) Why are there so many players in 3G, I thought we are trying to consolidate. Certainly 3G has NOT proven to be a profitable venture for any telco (just go search every single country, maybe some operators in Japan and Korea MAY be profitable...just) - it is for companies who are in it for the long haul, with huge sums of capital invested ... like DIGI. Is it because its the only telco with some foreign shareholding - what kind of message are we sending out to long term foreign investors?

5) I can safely say that DIGI and I will be hapy to see how TTdotCom and MiTv will incur huge losses (mark my words) - first they have ZERO customers, ok I am exaggerating, but they will never get close to critical mass, and on 3G!!?? Its like asking my pisang goreng fella to go see a French film festival... not going to happen man.

6) What I fear is that the authorities will ask DIGI to piggy back on the favoured ones for 3G access - DIGI has stressed that they won't. If DIGi won't do that, those two can start pouring money into a black hole - there's a brilliant Cantonese saying - "If you want to go and die, why should I stop you".

7) To me, it does not matter if DIGi gets the 3G or not, but if on merit alone, DIGI should get it. On a business sense, DIGI will also be happy NOT to get it - 3G will cause the licensees to lose money (pretty sure about that) cos we do not have critical mass no matter how you cut it; its a demanding cost-revenue structure; a high capital investment. The only reason why DIGi is unhappy that they didn't get it is that some other do-do bird got it ahead of them, like the French would say... where is the egalite.

8) It is also good DIGI does not get it cos the cost will come up to RM600m-800m in capex. DIGI should not need the 3G as DIGI is very very strong in the prepaid market, which is certainly not fussy about getting into 3G. The sad thing for not getting the 3G spectrum for DIGI is that it is still a strong value-added strategy for the future, albeit a loss making one.

9) Would absolutely hate it if DIGI is forced to buy the license from one of the 2 rent-seekers - please, please don't do that, at least let them lose a few hundred million ringgit first, ok. Why do we never learn?

Be fair, be truthful, be transparent ... oh... just be-have!!

No comments:


The Leakers - Helmed by the often brilliant Herman Yau Nai Hoi (whom I believe was from Malaysia who became a great success in HK films). 7...