Telco business continues to drag down YTL Power

YTL’s telecommunication business continues to drag YTL Power International’s earnings in 2020, the edge reported earlier this year.

YTL Power’s net profit was marginally lower at RM70.26 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2019, dropping 2.11% from RM71.77 million.

According to the report, for the first six months ended Dec 31, 2019, YTL Power’s net profit dropped 30.51% to RM137.62 million from RM198.05 million, mainly due to the wider losses in the telco segment while partially offset by better performance of its investment holding activities.

YTL Power has said its telco segment incurred lower revenue and wider pre-tax losses in the absence of a project in the quarter under review.

Meanwhile, YTL, the company that first rolled out 4G/LTE in the country, said it was upbeat on its mobile broadband network as it continues to drive market innovation.

“Our mobile broadband network divisions is well positioned to continue to expand with the prospective allocation of the low band 700MHz spectrum by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission,” YTL chairman Francis Yeoh said in the company’s annual report.

“Last year our mobile broadband network division undertook Asia’s first trial of Terragraph, a gigabit wireless network built together with Facebook.

“The network is a technological breakthrough that utilises existing infrastructure to enable rapid deployment of fibre level connectivity, which saves the time and cost of laying new fibre and represents the future of high speed mobile network development,” he said.

The pilot project successfully powered free public WiFi in 50 popular landmarks in George Town, Penang, enabling users to experience a world-class public WiFi service with an average downlink speed of 160 Mbps.

Last month, it was reported that YTL with its advanced fleet management offered built-in WiFi services for First Ambulance Services’ fleet of smart ambulances.

First Ambulance said it would be utilising the built-in WiFi to transmit critical patient data to the hospital while the patient is still en route.

Recently, the movement control order (MCO) did not perturb the division’s innovation and commitment towards the nation.

YTL Communications updated its operator signal bar which displayed ‘YES StayHome’ to remind all Malaysians to stay at home and zeroised all phone calls for its mobile 4G brand “YES” to emergency helplines during the MCO period, the New Straits Times reported.

YES, a WiMAX provider, is the first and only 100 per cent 4G mobile operator in Malaysia.

Focus Malaysia in a Jan 2016 report, foresaw that the mobile broadband network business may continue to be a drag on YTL Power’s financial performance.

According to the report, analysts believed the 60%- owned unit’s turnaround plan may not be materialised in one to three years due to long gestation and tough competition among telecommunication providers in the country, that vie for a bigger slice of market share.

They said for YTL Communications to turn around, it must find its own niche to compete with others.

YTL Communications’ YES 4G, they said, was competing directly with UniFi services offered by Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and Maxis Home Fibre offered by Maxis Bhd.

JF Apex Securities, back then, viewed the outlook on mobile telcos to remain unexciting due to aggressive pricing of their products and services. – Sept 13, 2020

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