Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT), the core telecoms unit of the PCCW group, has launched a new budget-conscious mobile brand named SUN Mobile, operated in partnership with Telecom Digital. The new brand replaces the New World Mobility budget brand, which had also been operated as a joint venture with Telecom Digital, having been acquired by HKT as part of its takeover of CSL New World Mobility. The new SUN Mobile operation forms part of HKT’s three-brand strategy, following its launch of the mass market HKT CSL (‘csl’) brand in July which combined the existing PCCW-HKT brand and CSL’s ‘one2free’ branded operations, while the enlarged company also continues to operate CSL’s premium ‘1O1O’ branded service. New World Mobility Limited, 60%/40% owned by PCCW (HKT) and Telecom Digital, has changed its legal name to Sun Mobile Limited.
‘The launch of SUN Mobile completes the implementation of HKT’s three-brand strategy of meeting the mobile communications needs of Hong Kong people,’ said Alex Arena, HKT managing director and chairman of Sun Mobile. As reported by Hong Kong newspaper The Standard, Arena said there will be minor adjustments in pricing from the now defunct New World Mobility, which had been underperforming, but he added the firm will be cautious as it will target the ‘affordable’ market segment and adopt a different pricing structure and strategy from the csl and 1010 brands. On the other hand, he hinted the brand’s pricing would be marked up to some extent, citing value added services (VAS), inflation and higher spectrum charges imposed by the government. Telecom Digital chairman and Sun Mobile director Alex Cheung added that administration charges will be raised, helping to lift average revenue per user (ARPU), while SUN Mobile users will continue to receive free Wi-Fi at designated locations as per their previous New World Mobility service. However, New World’s previous unlimited web surfing package is likely to be cancelled, as the Sun Mobile management believes it is ‘unsustainable’, the report noted.