BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru) will begin offering mobile services in January 2020 through its newly-launched subsidiary, imagine.

TelBru announced Friday that it has appointed Suzanna Suharju as imagine’s chief executive officer, becoming the first Bruneian woman to head a telco.

During the launch of the subsidiary at The Garden’s Veranda, imagine said it will provide mobile and broadband services to meet the increasing demand for data connectivity in Brunei.

By next year, mobile subscribers of the two other telcos in Brunei will be able to switch to imagine’s mobile services while keeping their existing mobile numbers.

The creation of imagine comes after Darussalam Assets announced last February that all network infrastructure in Brunei would consolidated under a single entity called Unified National Networks (UNN).

Darussalam Assets — the only shareholder of Brunei’s three telcos: DST, Telbru and Progresif — said the move would level the playing field for each company, making the telco sector more competitive.

imagine said it will go beyond TelBru’s fixed line, data and broadband services and explore other lifestyle and technology choices “for home, work, and on the move”.

It also promised “new competitive and enhanced packages” for existing and new customers by January next year.

Suzanna said, “We are working to make sure the rates we are offering to the public are competitive… The difference now is that not only you have the ability to choose between the current service providers, but you will also have us to choose from.”

Vice-president of imagine’s marketing, Dona Johan, said competitiveness does not necessarily mean reduced rates, but enhanced value in their offerings.

The rates and packages will be available to the public in January. TelBru’s existing customers have the option of sticking to their existing packages or subscribing to the new packages.

The telco said it is also working on offering phone bundle deals with its mobile packages.

Commenting on speculation of wide-scale layoffs due to the consolidation of network infrastructure, Suzanna said “we stand by and honour our shareholders, that no one will be out of jobs”.

The CEO went on to say that the transformation of the TelBru brand and the telco sector was an “exciting” prospect for Brunei.

“Firstly the challenge for us is how to make this as efficient and effective as we can? We are trying to find creative ways to ensure that we come up with an organisation that is effective and efficient, and being able to offer consumers what they want,” Suzanna added.

TelBru was incorporated in 2002 as a public limited company and became fully operational when the government’s Department of Telekom Brunei — the country’s first telco body established in 1952 — was fully corporatised in 2006.

All TelBru branches will now carry the imagine branding and the ongoing transformation will be visible on its social media platforms, billing design, website and other assets.