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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     September  13,  2016  

TelBru bets big on wireless

TELEKOM Brunei (TelBru) set out a goal to be known as more than a fixed line operator.

Its latest offering, TelBru WiFi, has seen good progress and is expected to grow its user base having seen two new introductions to the service; a prepaid account and seamless log in.

Here, The Brunei Times reporter Leo Kasim speaks to Lim Ming Soon (pic), Chief Marketing Officer of TelBru, on the latest developments of the wireless service and the capability of the telco’s infrastructure to support such an undertaking.

Since the rollout of the wireless service, how has the company been perceived with regards to its objective of wanting to be seen as more than just a fixed line operator?

Some people may think that we’re competing with the mobile operators. Actually we are not. We are trying to offer our service, as a fixed line operator, on the move. A lot of customers have told us that our data is very inexpensive at home and expressed that it would be great to utilise that outside.

That is exactly what we did. We have received a lot of feedback on it and we're giving more options to customers. We're going into the wireless segment not the mobile segment.

I think that this development helps offload traffic from the mobile operators as well. If we’re in a very crowded area the traffic will be congested. What we’re aiming to do is to improve the experience for the customers in general when they use the internet.

With our new introductions of the prepaid cards and also with the seamless login, users can enjoy a better connection and better internet experience because they’re using their own bandwidth.


How have you seen your user base in the wireless segment increase?

At first, it wasn’t that great and that was mainly because it was a hassle for customers to have to log in their information everytime they want to use the service. Since then, we’ve worked with our technical teams and vendors to come up with a solution that enables the users a seamless login.

Now, when they walk into a TelBru WiFi hotspot, they don’t have to log in their details. We’ve only rolled it out about three weekends and we saw an increase of about five or six times in terms of connections and that was just from last week’s results.

When users are mostly busy in a shopping centre trying to handle something else, they don’t want to have to trouble themselves by figuring out how to log in everytime and that is what we’ve done for them.


Is the current infrastructure able to support the wireless service?

Our fibre rollout has progressed very well. Since we’ve launched (TelBru WiFi), we’re installing a lot of WiFi hotspots in the country including in commercial buildings. Of course, if the backhaul is not that big, we may not be able to offer speeds of five megabytes per second per user.

But we’ve been able to do that so far because of the fibre network that is installed. So all of the sites where there is TelBru WiFi is backed by a fibre infrastructure. We’ve had lots of requests from others that want to partner with us but they’re located in an area where the fibre infrastructure is not there yet.

As much as we want to install the wireless service, we do not want to disrupt the experience which would be slower on the sites where there is no fibre backhaul. However, we are taking note of the requests from companies and businesses but we will have to put things on hold in certain locations until there's fibre infrastructure in place.

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