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Malaysia's XOX, South Korea's Mobligation plan regional mobile blitz

AvantiKumar | Dec. 2, 2015
XOX Mobile has announced two partnerships to develop mobile solutions for Southeast Asia.


Photo - (From left) Alex Junghun Jeon, Executive VP of Mobligation; Nevil Joonmo Kim, CEO of Mobligation; Ng Kok Heng, Group CEO of XOX Berhad; Datuk Eddie Chai, Group MD, XOX Berhad; Dato' Lee Chong Wei; Khoo Chee Kuen, Director, Fotokem Sdn Bhd; and Patrick Chua Wee Chung, Business Development Manager, Fotokem Sdn Bhd.

One of two partnerships announced recently by Malaysian mobile virtual network operator XOX Mobile involves forming a joint venture (JV) company with South Korean mobile technology firm Mobligation to promote and develop a mobile portal and browser solutions for the Southeast Asian region.

During the partnership ceremony, which was witnessed by Malaysia's No 1 shuttler, Dato' Lee Chong Wei, XOX Group managing director Datuk Eddie Chai said XOX Mobile was on a regional growth path to expand its prepaid and postpaid services using a collaboration and partnerships strategy

"XOX Mobile is growing in Malaysia by disrupting the norms of service provider-customer dynamics, in the process benefiting users with a more active stake in the brand, and with more options to monetize their usage. Our planned joint venture with Mobligation is another innovative option to benefit our users and to attract more users to our service," Chai said.

Ng Kok Heng, XOX group chief executive officer, said: "The proposed joint venture will also be a platform to spread the XOX brand to a wider platform that can reach more of Southeast Asia's 618 million population.  IDC forecasts smartphone shipments in Southeast Asia to reach about 100 million units in 2015, registering a 21 percent increase over 2014. This is a market with potential and XOX Mobile has the region specific knowledge and network to give Mobligation's solutions the reach they deserve."

Ng cited eMarketer, the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB Europe) and HIS Technology, which noted that advertising via mobile phones was big business and expected to increase further. Advertisers will spend US$64.25 billion worldwide on mobile in 2015, an increase of nearly 60 percent over 2014. That figure will reach US$158.55 billion by 2018, when mobile ads will account for 22.3 percent of all advertising spending worldwide.

In 2014 advertisers spent US$15.1billion on display advertising and USD14.7 billion on search advertising, to reach the 1.6 billion global mobile phone users.

 JV will tap global market

XOX Mobile also announced a partnership with home-grown retailer of imaging equipment and photo processing, Fotokem, with the introduction of XOX Fotokem Premium Centres.

"The partnership between XOX Mobile and Fotokem will focus on harnessing the strength of both brands.  Fotokem is a strong brand name at strategic locations nationwide.  The first in Malaysia XOX Fotokem Premium Centre will fuel our newly introduced Postpaid Plan," said XOX's Ng.

The subscribers could also take the advantage of registering the XOX Postpaid Plan at Fotokem.   XOX introduced the Postpaid Plan last month, and has more than 15,000 registrations to-date.

"The new Postpaid Plan, unlike what is already offered in the market, comes with a sophisticated program, through XOX's profit-sharing model. XOX Postpaid Plan is designed with a referral concept, where a satisfied XOX subscriber can recommend the same plan to others.  Through this recommendation, the subscriber will enjoy almost cost free usage of XOX Postpaid plan, through the referral incentives that cover the monthly bill for the particular subscriber," he said,

Speaking of the joint venture with Mobligation, XOX's Chai, said that the JV will use innovative solutions including those that will reward users for their engagement with advertisements.

In Malaysia, this move was expected to benefit XOX's 850,000 mobile subscribers with a mobile browsing system that can offer them tangible rewards from various search advertisement tools.

"South Korean youth are keyed towards innovation especially in mobile solutions and have proven to be the engine to Mobligation's growth," said Nevil Joonmo Kim, chief executive officer of Mobligation.

"As we look to expand in Southeast Asia we looked for a partner with a similar customer base that is willing to experiment with new solutions and are keen to be rewarded. XOX Mobile and their customer base have the qualities we are looking," he said. "That we can ride on their on-ground knowledge and network across this region is a definite plus. The synergies between the companies is strong and we are looking forward to the setting up of the joint venture company."

Mobligation, is a Korean-based technology company, specialising in developing mobile portal, mobile browser, application and other related form of technology for smartphone. Mobligation has developed two search engine applications namely Timber Browser and Kong Browser.


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