LIVE FROM HUAWEI MBB FORUM, BANGKOK: Thomas Hundt, chief strategy and technology officer at Axiata Group, outlined the company’s efforts to reduce operating costs, as it grapples with the challenge of managing rising capex.

Hundt insisted operators can better handle the “capex tsunami” by collaborating and sharing infrastructure and offloading tower assets.

He highlighted Axiata’s aim to become a platform company which requires building new technical capabilities. “We are very much engaged in transforming our IT” to improve efficiency.

As data demand grows exponentially, ARPU has been relatively flat and even declining, with sub-$2 ARPU in some of its markets, he said.

The price of a 1GB of data has fallen significantly every year since 2020, but at the same time the yield is declining. “At the end of the day, the yield and the costs are not giving us a fantastic data margin, which we have to address through structural transformation.”

While Axiata has not launched commercial 5G services in markets in Asia, he said it is preparing for rollouts, adding in the next year it aims “to unlock the power of 5G”.

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