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Malaysia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 1 Oct 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 119

Analyst: Sebastien De Rosbo

Malaysia’s 5G to be supported by new multi-spectrum auctions

Malaysia has developed one of the more advanced telecom networks in Asia, with a focus on deploying new technologies. There is considerable fibre infrastructure in place, while the network operators have made considerable progress in 5G, using a number of vendors. To this end the government and regulator have striven to make available spectrum in a range of bands for 5G use.

Fixed-line penetration in Malaysia has been stagnant for some years though the long-term trend is for it to decline as customers migrate to the mobile platform for voice services. In addition, the growing reach of fibre broadband has reduced the need for people to have a fixed line in order to access broadband services based on DSL.

The telecom sector, whilst still expanding and developing, has undergone a period of consolidation in recent years. Substantial government participation in ICT development has also been a characteristic of the market, with the government having strongly backed the five-year National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan.

The fixed broadband market remains underdeveloped, though Telekom Malaysia’s fibre-based services on the HSBB network has progressed and the company has engaged in a number of wholesale access agreements with other operators to enable them to provide services in areas of the country where their networks do not reach. Telekom Malaysia is itself rolling out a last mile access network based on a combination of FttP, ethernet and VDSL2 technologies.

Malaysia’s mobile market is relatively developed compared to other Asian markets. There was a slight decline in the first quarter and the sector is expected to remain under pressure through to 2021 at least given the measures imposed by the government in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19. It is predicted that 5G will be used widely in Malaysia by 2022-2023. Mobile operators continue to carry out 5G trials as they work towards this date.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key Developments

  • Continued slow growth in broadband penetration predicted during the next few years;
  • Government further develops its National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan;
  • 5G launches to be supported by new multi-spectrum auctions;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data for Q1 2020, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2020, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

Axiata, Maxis Communications, U Mobile; DiGi; Altel; Alcatel Lucent; ZTE, TMNet; Telekom Malaysia; Celcom Axiata; Green Packet/Packet One Networks (P1); REDtone; Asiaspace; YTL; TIME dotCom, Fibrecomm.

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