HKBN implements more flexible broadband tariff plans

The company says it added 34,000 residential subscribers even as overall numbers narrowed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 6:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 6:00am

Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) plans to ratchet up the competition in fixed-line and Wi-fi services for the city's residential and corporate markets, following strong revenue growth in its first year after a management buyout.

"We are proud to break the market norm and give Hong Kong people the choice they deserve," HKBN chief executive and co-owner William Yeung said yesterday.

HKBN, the city's second-largest broadband services provider behind PCCW's HKT, offers a diversified portfolio of residential, enterprise and carrier services in broadband and Wi-fi access, communications and entertainment to about 1.4 million subscribers.

In its financial year ended August 31, HKBN increased revenue by 18.6 per cent to HK$1.92 billion, from HK$1.62 billion in its last full year under City Telecom in 2011, on the back of new subscribers to its residential high-speed broadband services. The company's high-speed services start at 100 megabits per second.

"We outperformed the [overall] broadband market by adding 34,000 new subscriptions to our base amid a contraction of 39,000 subscriptions in the total residential market," Yeung said.

HKBN reported that its operating cash flow - calculated as earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation minus capital expenditure - was up 34.6 per cent to HK$393 million.

Yeung said HKBN will offer from today to January 31 its "Free-To-Go-Anytime" 100Mbps broadband and Wi-fi plan at only HK$188 a month. The plan comes with a 24-month price-cap guarantee, and if a subscriber wishes to terminate the plan, only a day's notice is required. An installation fee of HK$380 applies to new subscribers.

"Fair pricing, world-leading internet connection speed, longer cooling-off periods, and now, flexibility in the hands of customers, define the standard of good broadband service," he said.

HKBN was sold by City Telecom in May last year to Metropolitan Light, a company owned by the general partner of funds advised by Hong Kong-based CVC Asia-Pacific. Following that May 30 deal, 79 senior HKBN managers agreed to invest about HK$160 million of their own money in a management buyout arranged by CVC Asia-Pacific to acquire a 14 per cent stake in the broadband network operator.