Will Maxis buy Astro?

It is reported this is not the first time questions of such a nature had been raised at Maxis’ shareholders’ meetings, especially so after a recent EGM approving the agreement between DNB and Maxis for 5G.

Maxis began offering 5G to customers on Aug 15, 2023,

is the last among six mobile network operators (MNOs) with access agreements with DNB to do so.

With 5G in play, and Maxis offering existing customers with 5G phones who try out for free for one month by activating a 5G pass and/or choosing to pay RM10 extra a month, the game is getting exciting.

There’s also talk of a second wholesale network for 5G happening early next year.

First, what’s down for Astro in the first quarter ended April 30, 2023: Advertising revenue, subscriptions, share price value and dividend payouts.

Maxis and Astro come under Usaha Tegas, run by billionaire Ananda Krishnan who controls 62.26% of Maxis, along with parties aligned to him, and also has a 41.29% interest in Astro.

His habit of unlocking value with privatisations and back-to-back partnerships with subsequent public flotation is not new.

This inevitably creates new efficiencies, that Astro may need to hold its own.

The elephant in the room is new super brand CelcomDigi.

If Maxis were to merge with Astro, they still can’t be larger than CelcomDigi.

But there is much speculation of many other permutations moving forward.

The Huawei Maxis’ partnership could also rearrange the building blocks for a leading integrated communications and entertainment powerhouse.

With Generative AI, content and streaming screaming head on, a hybrid of AI, Telco and TV could be the final frontier for a communications gateway which evolves into a new telco and TV broadcast ecosystem.

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