In a regular series, Mobile World Live‘s Asia Editor Joseph Waring provides a regional roundup of news snippets:
Moody’s lowers Tower Bersama’s rating
Moody’s has lowered the rating outlook for Tower Bersama Infrastructure (TBI) and TBG Global to negative from stable.
“The negative outlook reflects our expectation that in the absence of
significant recapitalisation, or a substantial uptick in EBITDA, TBI’s
adjusted gross leverage will remain above 4.0-4.5x, through at least [the] first half of 2016,” said Nidhi Dhruv, a Moody’s analyst.
Acquisitions have been central to TBI’s growth strategy, and Moody’s expects the company to continue to look for acquisitions over the next two to three years as the leading Indonesian operators sell their tower assets.
“Additional acquisitions would make TBI the largest independent tower operator in Indonesia by a significant margin — but a substantially debt-funded acquisition would further strain the company’s credit profile and lead to a ratings downgrade,” noted Dhruv.
TBI is the holding company of the TBG, one of the two leading independent tower operators in Indonesia, with 11,266 telecoms sites as of June. It leases space on its towers to mobile operators on long-term contracts.
Spark back on line after attack
Spark’s internet network is back on line after being hit by malware which overloaded the network on Saturday. The firm, which changed its name from Telecom New Zealand in August, said overseas criminals infected a handful of its customers’ computers with malware.
The company said “it was not possible to prevent another attack”, but the affected computers had been taken off line and it was working with the customers to ensure they were properly protected before being reconnected.
Xiaomi sells out in Indonesia
China’s most popular handset maker, Xiaomi, sold out its lot of 5,000 budget devices within seven minutes of its debut in Indonesia last week. The Jakarta Globe reported that the online shopping platform selling the Redmi 1S went down for 42 minutes after 60,000 people signed up for the new phone.
Singapore pilots e-monitoring initiative
A Singapore hospital is piloting an e-health initiative targeted at heart patients who receive a personal health tablet, scale and blood pressure gauge, asking them to upload their measurements daily to a central system for monitoring.
Changi General Hospital is working with healthcare services providers Eastern Health Alliance and Philips Healthcare on the programme, which started in June.
The hospital said about 40 per cent of heart patients are re-admitted within 12 months, mainly because they do not follow treatment plans. The programme is aimed at reducing this by making monitoring easier and also educating patients through video clips that are sent remotely for viewing on the tablet.
Go to the head of the queue
Hong Kong’s SmarTone has introduced Red Pass, which gives customers priority on new product launches by reducing the wait time in the inevitable long queues for flagship products. The company said Red Pass doesn’t require a commitment, but “the earlier you sign up on Facebook, the closer you are to the front of the queue”.