YEN (7184) - Taiwan company Gemtek’s plan to turn around Malaysia's Yen Global

PETALING JAYA: Taiwan-listed Gemtek Technology Co Ltd plans to make Yen Global Bhd its hub and business partner in growing the “Internet of Things” (loT) business in Asean, said Gemtek deputy spokesperson and senior business development director Henry Huang.

Gemtek recently added another 20% stake in Yen Global to bring up its stake to 30% in the loss-making apparel maker.

Yen Global’s share price has also gone up 70% on a year to date basis at its current price of 74 sen, reflecting the entry of the new shareholder.

Huang told StarBiz that Gemtek was a firm believer that IoT would be the trend over the next decade.

In the past, the IoT scope was limited due to lack of technology and equipment, but these issues have been addressed by Gemtek and other Low Power Wide Area (LoRa) players.

“For a start, we will establish several LoRa trials in Malaysia. We will also start a few proof of concept (POC) networks within the next four to six weeks with the intention of commercialising it.

“By year-end, we hope to have two cities in Malaysia running on the LoRa technology,” said Huang.

To date, Gemtek has rolled out the LoRa network in six cities in Taiwan, China and Japan. It is also supporting the POC network and equipment for several clients in the United States and Europe.

LoRa is an open standard for LPWANs (low power wide area network), which are created to connect low-power devices such as sensors over a wide area at lower prices.

According to Huang, Gemtek’s relationship with Yen Global started from the distributor agreement that was inked between the two parties earlier this year.

“We signed a distributor agreement with Yen Global’s subsidiary Atilze Digital Sdn Bhd, which will market our telecommunication products in the area of broadband and IoT,” explained Huang.

In January, Yen Global said it was moving into the telecommunications space with the acquisition of VLT Wholesale Sdn Bhd, which is now renamed Atilze.

Subsequently in April, Atilze inked a partnership with Gemtek to market the latter’s telecommunication products in the area of broadband, LTE and IoT.

“It was Yen Global’s intention to grow its business in Atilze as its main driver of growth, which made us decide to take on Yen Global as our strategic partner,” said Huang.

Last month, Atilze announced that it was partnering with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) to “build city-wide IoT sensor networks using LoRa technology”.

“This is also in line with Gemtek’s vision,” said Huang.

Gemtek is a pioneer member of the LoRa Alliance, a market-leading LPWAN technology, especially for IoT based on the LoRa technology.

IoT has been touted as the next big digital revolution, connecting millions of objects using inexpensive microsensors and is expanding the online universe to ordinary pieces of the physical world such as thermostats, cars, door locks and even pet trackers.

However, the revenue model is still not proven as to how it would enhance the bottomline of companies making such ventures.

The LoRa Alliance is an open, non-profit association of members which believed that the Internet of Things era is now.

Its members are collaborating together and sharing experience to drive the success of the LoRa protocol, LoRaWAN, as the open global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWA connectivity.

“We do have a business model on how we intend to monetise the LoRa network. We are still in the initial stages.

“However, in China for example, we intend to charge subscription fees,” said Huang.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Yen Global executive chairman and major shareholder Goh Kok Beng said he was quite pleased with the outcome after having met up with Gemtek officials earlier this week.

“We are now discussing the details. We will both invest in making IoT a reality here in Malaysia,” he said.

Gemtek is the world-leading provider of Wireless Broadband solutions.

For its financial year ended Dec 31, 2015, Gemtek recorded relatively flat revenues of TWD17.53bil (RM2.17bil) from TWD17.64bil (RM2.18bil), although its net income jumped 188.46% from TWD71.644mil(RM8.85mil) to TWD206.67mil(RM25.54mil).

In Taiwan, IoT and the LoRa technology are the next big things which are rapidly being executed by the big technology players.

The main players include Asia Pacific Telecom, the Hon Hai Group and Gemtek.

Gemtek and Taipei City are teaming up to establish 12 LoRa hotspots and creating Asia’s first capital city IoT platform with LoRa.

YEN (7184) - Taiwan company Gemtek’s plan to turn around Malaysia's Yen Global