Malaysia - Major Telecommunications Operators

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Last updated: 2 Nov 2015 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 27

Analyst: Peter Evans


The changing landscape of the Malaysian telecom market has over time witnessed the restructuring of all the main players. The government has been a strong supporter of the rationalisation of what had been seen as an ‘overcrowded’ operator market at times, this concern referring specifically to the mobile segment. A particularly significant merger between Telekom Malaysia and Celcom took place early on, creating a lot of interest. At the same time, but with less fanfare, Maxis acquired Time dotCom’s mobile unit. These changes resulted in the number of mobile operators being effectively reduced from five to three. The 3G licensing process provided a boost to the market and also saw the arrival of another (fourth) player, U Mobile, after it was surprisingly awarded a 3G licence. The allocation of 3G mobile licences also proved controversial with one of the operators initially missing out then picking up a licence in a surprising fashion. More recently, incumbent Telekom Malaysia, as part of a major restructure, ‘decoupled’ its mobile and fixed-line businesses in a move that saw Celcom and its mobile operations become part of Telekom Malaysia International (TMI) which in turn became Axiata. Since then, Axiata has been building an influential regional presence in the mobile segment.

By mid-2015, the mobile operators were locked in close combat: Celcom, with 12.3 million subscribers, had the largest share of the mobile market (31.3%), very closely followed by Maxis with 31% and Digi with 30%.

This report looks at the significant telecom operators across the Malaysian market.

Key developments:

  • DiGi’s subscriber base has been growing strongly, with the operator steadily increasing market share;
  • Maxis continues to lose market share and has lost the number one position to Celcom, which also has been growing strongly.
  • Maxis claims to have the largest 4G population coverage with a target of over 50% coverage by the end of 2015.
  • MyRepublic, a start-up fibre broadband provider in Singapore expects to enter the Malaysian market by mid-2016,
  • Microsoft and Telekom Malaysia announced a partnership to deliver cloud-based digital services.
  • ZTE entered a partnership with U Mobile for the development of 5G mobile broadband technologies.
  • TM said it had achieved 65% population coverage for its 4G WiMAX service.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Telekom Malaysia; Celcom; Maxis Communications; Time dotcom; Axiata; U Mobile; U Telecom; DiGi; TM Touch; TM Cellular; TRI Celcom; Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB); TMNet; MyRepublic.

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