2 Jul 2015
Fibre broadband start-up MyRepublic, based in Singapore and backed by Indonesian telco Sunshine Network and French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel, has announced the launch of fibre internet services in Indonesia. The newcomer’s Indonesian website is already allowing customers to sign up for services, with prices starting at an uber competitive USD15 per month for the ‘Basic’ plan, up to the most expensive at around USD70 (‘Supernova’) for a 300Mbps connection. With operations already live in Singapore – where it has set out its stall to disrupt the status quo – and New Zealand (since last October), MyRepublic’s online presence suggests that its fibre broadband is live in nine retail locations in Indonesia, including Bahasa, Palembang and Surabaya.
Last month, TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that MyRepublic is also thought to be considering taking its ‘disruptive’ business model to Malaysia. At the time, MyRepublic chief executive officer Malcolm Rodrigues was quoted as saying that his company welcomes market deregulation in the telecoms space which gives opportunity to newcomers to shake up the market – dependent of course on the Malaysian regulators creating an environment conducive to its business model. ‘Every time you have a deregulation event in the market, from opening up the long-distance market in the United States in the 1980s, to the local loop unbundling [LLU] 15 years ago, also in the states, you can see 30% of the market leaving incumbents in virtually every country,’ he said.
Rodrigues believes that Malaysians who feel they are paying too much for their service may welcome the news that MyRepublic is targeting Malaysia as its next south-east Asia market. ‘We want to offer 100Mbps at between MYR60 and MYR70 (USD16 and USD19) a month,’ the CEO said, noting that dominant operator Telekom Malaysia’s current 1Mbps internet plus voice package stands at MYR116.60 a month.
MyRepublic started offering broadband internet services in Singapore in 2011, and in July 2014 received a cash injection of SGD30 million (USD24.1 million) from its owners, as it looks to carve out a niche as the state’s fourth operator. Rodrigues says the start-up’s plan to disrupt the market is beginning to bear fruit in Singapore where MyRepublic aims to take as much as 30% of the fibre broadband segment – not least by offering a 1Gbps connection priced at SGD49 per month at a time when competitors are charging as much as SGD395 for a similar speed service.