Saturday, December 22

Happy DiGi!

Now that I'm in still in the festive mood of Eid al-Adha (its 3rd day, and the "formal" celebration for the billion plus Muslims around the world is about to end in less than three hours from now, before Maghrib (dawn) of Saturday, 13th Thw al-Hijjah (the 12th/final month in Islamic Hijri calendar), let's talk about another "Happy"...

[Well, Xmas & New Year's Day is coming up soon, so, it's more Happy Holidays afterwards for the rest of this month...]

This "Happy" (or "h>ppy") I stumbled upon after seeing a Google Adsense banner being displayed on my one of websites...

I'm a DiGi loyal user (for nearly three years now, since first switching to it from Maxis/Celcom back in January 2005, after having being demo-ed its GPRS Edge connectivity by the CEO himself, on Mr Morten Lundal's phone at Gurney Plaza -- hehe, how many people can say that they were sold the telco service by Mr CEO of a BIG3 Telco!), but I only found about this new product from DiGi today, although it has been soft-launched earlier this month on 7 DEC 2007 supposedly, according to a underground announcement on forum. The domain itself was first registered just two days earlier, on 5 DEC 2007 -- THAT has gotta to one of the fastest product/brand launches by a corporation!! And cool brand name too I must say...

Hmm... Did Wind Koh of Hebat Interactive just made tons of money off this domain he previously owned? (This "You don't know Wind?" gentleman who proudly blogged about his recent marriage with Zoyee Lee (another fellow Friendster 'otai') in August 2007, happens to be one of the earliest local domainers having snapped many of cool Malaysia-centric names in his portfolio including, and

By just looking at the website @, not many people would have realized that this is another product from DiGi because it's not mentioned clearly on the site itself. But I just had to find out more about it because it looks so professional and corporate-like funded... (and I'm in the telco/telecommunications consultation business). The press release section both on its Malay and English versions is still empty to-date. And a check at Digi corporate website also lacks anything about this Happy thing on its Media Room/Press Release section. Even the copyright byline only says "Happy © Copyright 2007". The only sections that mention DiGi or DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (DTSB, supposedly fully owned by Bhd) are the Privacy Policy and T&C pages. Good for DiGi to make the site clearly bearing the same theme as its yellow-tubed happy people as on its TV ads!

A further google digging points me to this active discussion at - (these guys are quick!). And Bernama had indeed reported about it back on 7 DEC 2007: "Digi's Happy To Tap New Market In Prepaid Services" and Utusan Malaysia picked up the story a day later with its Malay language reports: "DiGi ceburi pasaran mudah alih caj rendah" (translation: "DiGi enters low-cost mobile market") and "Lebih gembira dengan Happy" (meaning "happier with Happy").

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd today launched Happy, calling it the country's first no-frills prepaid mobile service to tap a new niche market.

Happy was created based on findings that for 90 percent of Malaysian consumers, calls and short messaging service (SMS) were the services most widely used, DiGi said.

Its chief executive officer Morten Lundal said the market trend was rapidly changing, from the situation of three players in the market to many players.

"You will also see this in Europe and globally. We don't mind to be just adding to that market dynamics and introduced Happy to take market share in that new marketplace," Lundal said.

"So, Happy is an insurance to compete in the smaller and emerging markets that people have overlooked from before," he said.

Lundal said Happy marked an experiment by DiGi to tap the new niche market, competing in the marketplace as a separate mobile service.

"There will be several new players in Malaysia and going forward, Happy is an excellent instrument for DiGi to compete with them," he said.

According to Lundal, Happy will not affect DiGi in terms of market share as the company's products are targeted at broader and different markets.

He said Happy was the brainchild of four "rebels" in DiGi who took about six to eight weeks to develop the service.

It will come under these people operating as a separate team but still under DiGi and using the mobile operator's nationwide backbone to roll out the service, he added.

Happy offers a simple plan that enables customers to make call and send SMS to any network for one sen per second up to 99 sen and 10 sen per SMS.

The starter pack is priced from RM5 per pack and available at participating Giant hypermarkets. Customers can also order it online at the website.

Finally, TM (parent of Celcom) gets a good and bold competition for its iTalk! All the best DiGi!!

[in addition to the rather less popular options from TIME, RedTone, NasionCom etc -- I wonder if Maxis has a comparable product in the market or coming up soon...]

BTW, I was commenting earlier on Dr Irfan Khairi's blog on how Malaysia corporations don't seem to 'happy' to join in the world in corporate social responsibilities (CSR) as clearly observed during the 3-day Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) Event on the Future (GK3) which was hosted by the Malaysia-based secretariat for the second time in Malaysia in seven years (the last one was in the year 2000) -- Besides TM (which got in last minute but lacked any major presentation as its corporate booth), MIMOS (running a decent booth, and also represented by its former CEO, Tengku Datuk Dr Mohd Azzman Shariffadee) and KTAK (represented majorly only by its minister, the 'lighter-moments' Dato Seri Dr Lim Kheng Yaik), no other major Malaysia-based corporations (i.e. 'Berhad' publicly listed companies) were well represented in this Malaysia-hosted congregation of nearly 2000 individuals from 150+ countries representing NGOs and other ICT/media-centric business leaders like Intel, Microsoft, Nokia-Siemens, Alcatel, AlJazeera, BBC etc.

When asked by Rinalia Rahim, the Chair of GK3 Working Committee during a Ministerial panel session, Dr Lim responded with and acknowledgment on his ministry do realize the implementation problems on the many existing government policies and added his usual humor, "... an old man like me has to come to events like this, when there are so many agencies already set up to take up these tasks..."

DiGi on the other hand, although did not make an obvious representation, was actually represented by its major shareholding company, Telenor, through Grameen Phone of Bangladesh (also majorly owned by Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank, winner of a Nobel Peace Price in 2006).

And now that DiGi has just donated some 200 cattle for Eid al-Adha 'qurban', perhaps I'll stick longer with DiGi although this company is still charging me arms and legs (same old rates) for SMSes at 15-cent per message to other networks through its DiGi Business plan I signed up long time ago -- almost switch to another telco/mobile broadband provider up to having filled the entire form, but canceled last minute when told that 3.5G/HSDPA service is after all not yet available in my Penang town -- thought Maxis and Celcom advertised aggressively on how they've covered the entire Penang!! Oh well, maybe I'll wait until Number Portability arrives in Malaysia. Until then, it's Happy DiGi still...

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