Tron Group to raise RM20m for ex­pan­sion in IoT sec­tor

New Straits Times - - Business - DATUK SERI ERIC YAP

KUALA LUMPUR: United States­based Tron Group Inc, an as­so­ciate of lo­cal mo­bile vir­tual net­work op­er­a­tor (MVNO) Talk Fo­cus Sdn Bhd, is rais­ing RM20 mil­lion this month via a pri­vate place­ment.

Talk Fo­cus chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Seri Eric Yap said the funds would be used for the ex­pan­sion into the In­ter­net of Things (IoT) sec­tor by its par­ent Tech­nol­ogy Revo­lu­tion On Net (Tron).

Yap told NST Busi­ness it had be­come in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pa­nies to ex­pand into the IoT sec­tor as the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions mar­ket was al­most reach­ing sat­u­ra­tion point.

“We are look­ing into phys­i­cal de­vices, or rather smart de­vices em­bed­ded with elec­tron­ics, soft­ware, sen­sors, ac­tu­a­tors and net­work con­nec­tiv­ity that en­able them to col­lect and ex­change data — re­sult­ing in im­proved ef­fi­ciency, ac­cu­racy and eco­nomic ben­e­fits, in ad­di­tion to re­duced hu­man in­ter­ven­tion.”

Yap said Tron planned to grow the com­pany by 80 to 100 per cent in the next five years by ven­tur­ing into the IoT busi­ness.

Tron re­ceived a full-fledged Net­work Ser­vice Provider li­cence from the Malaysian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Commission in 2011.

It aims to in­crease its sub­scriber base to three mil­lion in the next five years, from the cur­rent 400,000 (which rep­re­sents 10 per cent of the MVNO mar­ket share in Malaysia).

The com­pany had gained en­try into the US through a re­verse takeover of a listed com­pany.

Yap said Tron Group was listed in the OTCQB mar­ket on De­cem­ber 28 last year.

OTCQB is the ven­ture stage mar­ket­place for smaller or early-stage com­pa­nies that re­port to a US reg­u­la­tor.

It is the mid­dle tier of the three mar­ket­places for trad­ing of the over-the-counter stocks pro­vided and op­er­ated by the OTC Mar­kets Group.

Yap said telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions was con­sid­ered one of the most prof­itable in­dus­tries but there was in­tense com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the play­ers be­cause of cur­rent mar­ket con­di­tions.

“Mo­bile net­work op­er­a­tors such Maxis, Cel­com, Digi and U Mo­bile are fight­ing for mar­ket share.

“MVNOs are also fac­ing a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion that con­trib­utes to a price war.

“We do not agree on a price war. We look at the com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages of our prod­uct of­fer­ings, dis­tri­bu­tion net­work and cus­tomer sup­port,” added Yap. Sharen Kaur

MVNOs (mo­bile vir­tual net­work op­er­a­tors) are also fac­ing a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion which con­trib­utes to a price war.

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