Tune Talk is charging local phone calls at 22 sen a minute, at least 33 per cent cheaper than most basic rates offered by other operators
TUNE Talk Sdn Bhd, the newest mobile operator in town, has upped the ante by offering the lowest prepaid rate.
It is charging local phone calls at a rate of 22 sen a minute, which is at least 33 per cent cheaper than most basic rates offered by other operators. Text messages cost 5 sen each.
"We want to bring value and simplicity to our customers," Tune Talk chairman Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes said in Sepang yesterday.
The company, which plans RM40 million capital expenditure over the next five years, expects to be cash-flow positive in as early as six months.
It also hopes to sign up one million customers within a year by leveraging on the Tune group's other businesses, such as aviation, hospitality and financial services.
"We believe it is an achievable target," he said.
Over the next 12 months, Tune Talk hopes to sign another mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deal with an overseas operator, followed by another MVNO deal with a foreign operator every six months.
"We are looking at Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries," Tune Talk chief executive officer Jason Lo said.
Tune Talk is the fourth MVNO to launch its services, after Merchantrade, XOX and REDtone.
An MVNO is a company that offers mobile services, such as voice and text messages, without having to own a spectrum. It rides on the existing mobile operators' spectrum.
In Tune Talk's case, it is riding on Celcom (Malaysia) Bhd's network.
Celcom chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly believes the services offered by Tune Talk will not be a huge threat to its own prepaid services.
"There will be some overlap, but we are comfortable with it," he said.
Celcom's prepaid services are currently more focused on the younger users.
Tune Talk's move could spark a price war among the mobile operators.
"I think Tune Talk will be a bigger threat to Hotlink and DiGi's prepaid services as it could create a price war," an analyst from a local research house said.
Tune Talk also plans to offer data services sometime this month, but they will be limited to general packet radio service connection. There are no plans in the near future to offer third- generation services.