Asias Wireless Broadband Alliance—a collaborative effort of the areas most powerful telcos looking to provide seamless wireless connectivity and roaming across the region—continues to grow and expand. But with the growth of the organization comes concerns about the impact of new alliance initiatives on existing competition. To address the matter, and the importance of the alliances efforts, Kyong Yu, chairman of Wireless Broadband Alliance and senior vice president of StarHub Interactive, sat down with eWEEK Asia editor Stephen Yeo for a one-on-one interview.
eWEEK Asia: Suppose you have a valued partner who, for competitive reasons, opted not to join the alliance. How would you propose to work with such a partner, if at all?
Yu: The Wireless Broadband Alliance certainly welcomes operators to join the Alliance. However, we are also working on ways in which [walk-in] customers from non-Alliance operators may be able to benefit from some of the Alliances initiatives. In addition, the Alliance doesnt prevent individual operators to work with their partners that are non-Alliance members. We anticipate that the benefits of joining the Alliance will entice many leading operators to seriously consider how they can partner with us to improve their core product offering for the benefits of their customers.
eWEEK Asia: Suppose, also, if an alternative alliance comes together, how would the Wireless Broadband Alliance deal with the situation? Would it attempt to co-opt the new alliance? Would it try work out a peaceful co-existence and risk confusion or unnecessary competition?
Yu: The Wireless Broadband Alliance is primarily a customer-oriented grouping looking at ways in which customers of the Alliance members can benefit through innovative solutions and services that will be enabled through this collaborative effort. We expect that many of these services will also be available to walk-in customers in general. However, customers of the Alliance members will experience added value.
For members of the Alliance, they will be able to benefit from the synergies derived from working in a collaborative fashion. We expect this will reduce investment cost for individual operators that would otherwise be much higher if they would to do it on their own.
So, it wouldnt essentially compete with any other bodies. The Alliance aims to gather like-minded companies that have a shared vision for wireless broadband and to discuss ways in which customers can benefit from using wireless broadband as part of their working lifestyle.