2016 Malaysia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 1 Nov 2016 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 51

Analyst: Phil Harpur

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Malaysia’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the Telecoms Infrastructure, mobile, fixed broadband, and Digital Economy sectors. Subjects include: 

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Broadband, VoIP
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, wireless);
  • Mobile and broadband forecasts to 2021.

Researcher:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- November 2016 (22nd Edition)

Executive Summary

Malaysia’s Broadband Segment Dominated by Mobile Broadband

With its widespread application of modern technologies such as fibre optics, wireless transmission, digitalisation and satellite services, Malaysia has built one of the more advanced telecom networks in the developing world. Of course, the country has a national objective to see Malaysia ranked as a developed country by the year 2020. This Vision 2020 was a concept introduced by the former Prime Minister Mr Mahathir in 1991 when he launched the Sixth Malaysia Plan.

The penetration of fixed lines in Malaysia continues to fall as the mobile segment continues to expand and dominate the market, especially the mobile broadband segment. Market penetration has dropped from 15.7% in 2012 to 14.0% in 2016.

The country’s telecom sector, whilst still expanding and developing, has undergone a period of consolidation with its telecom companies operating in an ever increasingly competitive and changing market. Substantial government participation in ICT development has also been a particular characteristic of the Malaysian market. It has strongly backed the roll-out of a national broadband

In a similar strategy, Maxis took steps towards securing its position in the mobile market when it moved to acquire one of its rivals, TimeCel. With this acquisition, Maxis was well positioned to maintain its leading role in the mobile industry, even allowing for the impact of the Telekom/Celcom merger.

Thus, in a short period of time, Malaysia’s fast-consolidating mobile industry had seen the number of operators reduced from five to three, thanks to a combination of government prodding and the desire of the operators to remain competitive.

Since 2014 there has been a contraction in mobile subscriber penetration in Malaysia, due to a saturated market and challenging market conditions. After peaking in 2014 at 149%, market penetration has dropped to 146% in 2015 and 138% in 2016. In particular the two largest mobile providers Celcom Axiata and Maxis Communications have seen a significant reduction in their mobile subscriber base. A slight rise in mobile penetration is predicted for the next five years to 2021. Mobile subscriber market penetration is predicted to rise to between 140% and 144% by 2018 and between 145% and 149% in 2021.

The broadband market in Malaysia is booming. With the mobile market reaching a saturation and growth easing, broadband, and mobile broadband in particular, is seen as a growth driver in the local telecom industry. Of similarly great importance has been the roll-out and uptake of fibre-based services on Telekom Malaysia (TM)’s High Speed Broadband (HSBB) network. Malaysia has become a regional leader in this key segment of the market.

The Malaysia broadband market is currently dominated by mobile broadband driven by strong growth in the mobile sector. There has been very strong growth in the mobile broadband subscriber base in Malaysia since 2012. Penetration has increased from 12% in 2012 to 58% in 2013, 74% in 2015 and 95% in 2016. Growth has been driven by a strong and mature mobile subscriber market and high data caps.

Malaysia has however only seen moderate growth of fixed broadband from a relatively small base. Market penetration has increased from 10% in 2014 to 10.4% in 2015 and 10.8% in 2016. Market growth in the fixed broadband segment will continue to be moderate over the next five years to 2021.

The government in Malaysia has a strong commitment to developing a technological society. As part of this strategy, it has encouraged a large number of high tech companies from around the world to set up a presence in Malaysia, especially through its MSC project. Malaysia is continuing to promote itself as an Information Technology hub in the Asia region.

Key developments:

  • Strong subscriber growth was continuing on the HSBB service (Malaysia’s NBN).
  • The Malaysian government released a National Internet of Things (IoT) Strategic Roadmap.
  • Telekom Malaysia secured a 20-year contract to help construct, deploy and manage a new submarine cable system.
  • Telekom Malaysia arranged to establish a new Point of Presence (PoP) in Laos in collaboration with the Lao National Internet Centre (LANIC).
  • Telekom Malaysia signed of two public private partnership (PPP) agreements with the Government of Malaysia.
  • The ten year HSBB 2 project encompasses the deployment of additional access and core capacity covering state capitals and selected major towns throughout the country.
  • Telekom Malaysia agreed to provide fibre backhaul to support U Mobile’s LTE rollout.
  • Celcom Axiata, Telekom Malaysia and Packet One Networks (P1) announced three core deals being related to TM Next-Gen Backhaul (NGBH), High Speed Broadband (HSBB) (Access) and domestic roaming services.
  • DiGi had introduced LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) technology to 29% of the nation’s population.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telekom Malaysia; Maxis Communications; Celcom; DiGi.com; Time dotcom; Axiata; Alcatel-Lucent; U Mobile; Packet One Networks; YTL Communications; MyRepublic.

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