Malcolm Rodrigues, CEO, of fibre broadband provider MyRepublic in Singapore, is taking part in a panel discussion entitled, “Are Service Providers ready for Ubiquitous On-Demand Services and 100% National Coverage?” on Day Two of the Broadband Asia conference, taking place on the 29th-30th April 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Ahead of the show we speak to him about what’s driving the need for its ultra-fast services and on what lies ahead for the provider.
Can you give me an overview of My Republic and its position in the market?
MyRepublic is a next generation telecom service provider purpose built to operate on the national broadband networks that are being built throughout the Asia Pacific region. We are re-engineering the economics of telco through a thin operator model that utilises social media, cloud computing, and open source platforms. This enables us to provide a premium broadband experience for consumers and businesses at the lowest cost-per-bit in the industry.
You’ve recently launched a low cost 1Gb fibre product—how are you able to leapfrog your competitors?
We have no legacy networks and systems to hold us back. By using the latest fibre technology, efficiencies of cloud computing, and a low-cost customer acquisition model, we are able to offer the best products in the market along with a superior service experience at competitive prices.
How can you drive up demand for uptake of faster services?
When we launched with a 100Mbps service in the Singapore market people wondered what they would do with all that speed. Over the last two years, we have seen video on our network rise from 15 to 40 per cent of total traffic. In that same time period we have seen the number of connected devices in every home grow from two to 12. With many of these devices streaming video content simultaneously, we see 100Mbps quickly becoming obsolete. In fact, with more and more video content being available in Ultra-HD formats, we see the demand for our 1Gbps service growing.
As a FTTH provider, what’s your view on those who believe a staggered approach that maximises existing investments is preferable?
It all depends on the competitive landscape. If you are a DSL operator and the only competition is cable broadband, there is no rush. If there is a FTTx provider on the horizon, it may be difficult to hang on and try and compete against a superior technology. It is better to run to the future than get mired in the past for the sake of short term profits.
What would you pick out as the most exciting or innovative technology that will appear in 2014?
The technologies that we are most excited about are decentralized cloud. The advent of decentralized cloud has given rise to consumer applications such as Plex, which enable individuals to share their context with their friends and family across the web. This is driving video streaming usage and making it easier for people to access a wide array of content.
What would you say are the main challenges you facing in 2014?
We have built MyRepublic as a franchise telco that can be replicated in multiple National Broadband Networks (NBN) markets. In mid-2014, we will be launching services in New Zealand. It represents our first expansion market and second NBN country. The lessons learned in setting up our second market will enable us to accelerate our future expansion into Australia and Malaysia.
Where do cloud services fit into your strategy?
We are extremely focused on cloud services on two fronts. As part of our thin operator model, we have built our entire IT platform in the cloud. Our CRM, billing, finance, field force management, and provisioning gateways sit in the cloud and communicate across the different platforms in different countries through open APIs. We service tens of thousands of customers without any servers in our office. When we open up our New Zealand operations, there is no new IT platform to build. We give account access to the new country teams and let them build out the product catalogue, process orders, and bill customers.
Secondly, the proliferation of cloud services is driving demand for bandwidth. It is difficult to have 50 employees access a cloud-based accounting or inventory application across a 10Mbps DSL connection. As a result, as enterprise customers move more applications into the cloud, they are looking for alternatives to acquire higher bandwidth solutions.
Why is the Broadband World Asia conference such an important date in your diary?
The Broadband World Asia conference is important because it gives us a chance to share our story with the industry. There is a wave of change that is coming as NBNs begin to be deployed into more and more countries in the region. We are seeing the demand for bandwidth growing dramatically over the next few years and are excited to see how other operators are preparing for the storm.
The Broadband Asia conference is taking place on the 29th-30th April 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure.