PETALING JAYA: Telecommunications giant Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) sees a possible partnership with Elon Musk’s Starlink, a satellite constellation that provides broadband-level internet access.
Group CEO Amar Huzaimi Deris said today a potential collaboration between TM and Starlink opens up avenues for novel retail ventures.
“There are many ways Starlink can play in the market. TM as a network or infrastructure provider, for instance, forging (a relationship) with Starlink to offer similar services in the industry,” he said during a media briefing on TM’s second quarter financial results.
“This would allow both entities to tap into a broader consumer base by providing cutting-edge connectivity solutions,” he added.
Starlink recently expanded its satellite-driven internet service to Malaysia, which became the 60th nation to be included in Musk’s SpaceX satellite project. The move follows a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and Musk on July 14.
In an announcement on July 20, communications and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil revealed that a license had been granted to Starlink for the provision of local internet services. Its entry is expected to facilitate the nation’s efforts in augmenting its internet penetration rate, particularly in remote and rural sectors.
Starlink is a plan by SpaceX to put 12,000 satellites into low earth orbit offering high-speed, low-latency, cheap internet access to anyone anywhere on the planet.
TM’s Q2 earnings surge
Meanwhile, TM posted its highest quarterly earnings since Q4 FY2011 when it recorded a 50% rise in net profit of RM568.7 million in its second quarter ended June 30 (Q2 FY2023) from RM378.1 million in the same period last year.
The telco had posted a net profit of RM598.3 million in Q4 FY2011.
The sharp improvement in its quarterly earnings was on the back of lower net finance cost and the recognition of tax credits from unutilised tax losses, the group said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.
Revenue for the quarter edged up 0.3% to RM3.1 billion, supported by Unifi’s expansion which saw a substantial increase to 3.11 million fixed broadband subscribers.
It said the earnings growth was also due to TM Global’s solid 10% revenue growth driven by higher demand for domestic and international data services.
The company declared a higher interim dividend of 9.5 sen per share from nine sen previously, to be paid on Sept 29.
For the first half ended June 30, 2023 (H1 FY2023), net profit grew 25.2% to RM898.83 million compared to RM717.9 million in the same period last year, while revenue was up 1.14% to RM6.05 billion from RM5.98 billion in H1 FY2022.
The group’s capital expenditure (capex), stood at RM942.8 million for H1 FY2023, accounting for 15.6% of the overall revenue for the expansion of network infrastructure to enhance nationwide coverage.
Moving forward, TM plans to lead sector expansion by embracing digital transformation and concentrating on projects that yield significant outcomes.
Amar Huzaimi said TM expects to face a more challenging marketplace, but is confident in its overall positive financial performance.
“We also remain committed to continuously investing in expanding our network to enable the nation’s progress towards a Digital Malaysia. TM will continue to collaborate closely with the government to grow Malaysia’s overall connectivity and digital ecosystem, including 5G,” he said in a statement.
At the close of trade, Telekom Malaysia’s share price was unchanged at RM5.06, valuing the group at RM19.34 billion.