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Malaysia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Malaysia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Malaysia’s broadband household penetration passes 70%

There has been strong growth in Malaysia’s telecom sector over the last decade, but the growth has not been consistent across the sector. The number of fixed-line services, after growing rapidly at first, had been relatively static for around ten years; then we have seen clear evidence of a shrinking fixed subscriber base. Penetration has dropped from around 17% in 2010 to 12% in 2015. There were no real signs that the fixed-line market was going to pick up again, this despite the government still having some rather ambitious targets in place. The national fixed-line network nevertheless remains an important element in the building and ongoing operation of the country’s telecom infrastructure.

In the meantime, with a mobile penetration of 145%, the mobile operators were locked in close combat: Celcom, with 12.3 million subscribers had the largest market share of the mobile market (31.3%) by mid-2015, very closely followed by Maxis with 31%. Digi followed in third place with 30% market share. Although total subscriber growth has slowed considerably in the mobile market, the move by the operators into next generation platforms and mobile broadband has seen vigorous activity in the market, with strengthening ARPUs. The momentum surrounding mobile broadband was continuing with the roll-out of 4G/LTE licences.

At the same time, the broadband internet sector has been boosted by the advent of mobile broadband. With an effective combination of fixed and mobile broadband, household broadband penetration in Malaysia had reached 72% by mid-2015, according to the MCMC. The long awaited surge in internet demand had arrived, this happening after a period of slower than expected development. Fibre-based broadband services are expanding rapidly and started to impact the market; at the same time DSL subscriber numbers were flat or in decline.

The country’s broadband strategy was given a major boost when the government chose Telekom Malaysia (TM) to roll out a National Broadband Network (NBN). In what was referred to as the High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) project, TM has been busy building a fibre-based open system. Coming into 2015, the operator registered 1.5 million premises passed by its HSBB network, this being out of 6.2 million premises in the country. As part of its 2014 budget announcement, the government had committed a further US$1 billion for the second phase of the HSBB project.

Over the last two decades Malaysia has been working towards a clear national objective to see it ranked as a fully developed nation 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 task of building an advanced telecom sector has been regarded as central to achieving this national objective. It has also been a matter of national pride. For a period in the 1990s the country was busy promoting itself as a regional high technology hub. In recent times, however, it has adopted a quieter profile and simply gone about the task of putting what might be described as ‘a technologically progressive economy’ in place. With the widespread application of modern technologies such as fibre optics, wireless transmission, digitalisation and satellite services, Malaysia has been steadily moving towards achieving its national goals, at the same time climbing the global rankings.

Key highlights

Malaysia’s population of 30 million had a mobile penetration of 145% by early 2015;
after a slow start following launch, next generation mobile services (3G, 3G+, 4G) are having a big impact on the mobile and internet markets in Malaysia;
since the issue of 4G/LTE licences at the end of 2012 the operators have been working to maximise population coverage with this platform;
the key indicator broadband household penetration had surged to 72% by mid-2015 (note: this figure included both fixed and mobile access services);
the MCMC’s target of 75% household broadband penetration by 2015 appears within reach;
the building of a National Broadband Network is well underway, with Telekom Malaysia implementing a rapid roll-out of the government-sanctioned High-Speed Broadband (HSBB);
as well as building an open network, Telekom Malaysia was also signing up subscribers to its own ‘UniFi’ fibre-based service;
the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) undersea cable launch was pushed back to early 2016;
the MEASAT-3b satellite was launched in September 2014;
growth in Malaysia’s fixed-line services was in decline, with national fixed-line penetration having fallen to around 12%.

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; Green Packet/Packet One Networks (P1); REDtone; Asiaspace; YTL.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2015
    • Table Telephone network statistics - June 2015
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2014
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2014
    • Table Mobile statistics - June 2015
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
      • Background
      • Economy
        • Table Malaysia's GDP real growth rate - 2006 - 2016
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
    • TENTH MALAYSIA PLAN AND ICT
    • BACKGROUND TO DEVELOPMENT
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
      • Telecom legislation
      • Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
      • MCMC policy
    • PRIVATISATION AND LIBERALISATION
    • UNIVERSAL SERVICE PROVISION (USP)
    • LICENCES
    • REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS
      • Digital Terrestrial TV Broadcasting (DTTB)
      • Investigation into business activity by Maxis in India
      • Regulator's appeal to online users
      • Alcatel-Lucent bribery case
      • Allocation of 700MHz frequency spectrum
      • Allocation of 2.6GHz frequency spectrum
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Quality of Service (QoS)
      • Review of pricing of communication services
  • MAJOR OPERATORS
    • OVERVIEW
    • STATISTICS
      • Table Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - June2015
      • Table Total mobile subscribers and market share by operator - June 2015
    • TELEKOM MALAYSIA
      • Overview
      • Corporate structure
        • Table Telekom Malaysia at a glance - 2015
      • Financials
        • Table Telekom Malaysia's by product segment - June 2015
        • Table Telekom Malaysia's revenue share by product segment - 2008 - 2015
        • Table Telekom Malaysia's ARPU - by service category - 2011 - 2015
        • Table Telekom Malaysia's capital expenditure - 2007 - 2015
      • Background
      • Fixed-line services
        • Table Telekom Malaysia's fixed-line subscribers - 2007 - 2015
      • Broadband
        • Table TMNet's broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2015
        • Table TM's broadband subscribers - FttX v. DSL - 2013 - 2015
        • Table TM's UniFi broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2015
        • Table TMNet broadband subscribers - business v. residential - September 2013
      • Celcom/Telekom Malaysia merger
    • AXIATA
      • Overview
        • Table Axiata's total mobile subscribers - 2010 - 2014
      • Tower assets
      • Corporate structure
        • Table Axiata's major shareholders - August 2013
      • Financial performance
      • Operations
    • CELCOM
      • Overview
      • Operating statistics
        • Table Celcom mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2015
        • Table Celcom - prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2011 - 2015
        • Table Celcom ARPU - prepaid and postpaid - 2008 - 2015
        • Table Celcom's 3G mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2013
      • Financial Performance
      • Business strategies
      • 3G development
        • Table Celcom's mobile broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Celcom's smartphone penetration - 2014 - 2015
      • Network development
      • Altel
    • MAXIS COMMUNICATIONS
      • Overview
        • Table Maxis at a glance - 2015
      • Financial performance
        • Table Maxis capital expenditure - 2007 - 2015
      • Background
      • Maxis/Time merger
      • IPO
      • Mobile services
        • Table Maxis mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2015
        • Table Maxis 3G mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2013
        • Table Maxis mobile subscribers - prepaid v. postpaid, - June 2014
        • Table Maxis mobile subscribers - prepaid v. postpaid, - June 2015
        • Table Maxis mobile ARPU - prepaid, postpaid, wireless and blended - 2007 - 2015
        • Table Maxis' smartphone penetration - 2014 - 2015
        • Table Maxis' wireless broadband subscribers - 2009 - 2015
      • Fixed services
    • DIGI COMMUNICATIONS
      • Overview
        • Table DiGi at a glance - 2015
        • Table DiGi's top 10 shareholders - November 2013
      • Operating statistics
        • Table DiGi mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2015
        • Table DiGi's 3G mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2013
        • Table DiGi's mobile subscribers - prepaid v. postpaid - June 2014
        • Table DiGi's mobile subscribers - prepaid v. postpaid - June 2015
        • Table DiGi's ARPU - prepaid, postpaid, blended - 2008 - 2015
        • Table DiGi's mobile internet subscribers - 2009 - 2015
      • Financial performance
        • Table DiGi capital expenditure - 2006 - 2015
        • Table DiGi service revenue - proportion of voice v. data - 2009 - 2014
      • Background
      • Development
      • Business strategies
      • 3G - licensing and development
      • 4G / LTE
      • Fixed-line and other services
    • UMOBILE
      • Overview
      • Corporate structure
      • Operational statistics
        • Table U Mobile subscribers - 2008 - 2015
      • Service launch
      • Network development
    • TIME DOTCOM
      • Overview
      • Background
      • Corporate structure
      • Financials
      • 3G licence
      • Fixed network
      • Broadband
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK DEVELOPMENT
      • Fixed-line networks
        • Table Historical - fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2005
        • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2006 - 2015
        • Table Fixed-line household penetration rate - 2000 - 2015
      • Forecasts - fixed-line subscribers - 2015; 2017; 2020
        • Table Forecast fixed-line subscribers - 2015; 2017; 2020
      • Sharing / leasing of infrastructure
      • Microwave Links
      • Fibre optic backbones
      • Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
    • HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND (HSBB) NETWORK
      • Telekom Malaysia's HSBB project
      • Other HSBB proposals
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • International gateways
      • Malaysia-Thailand
      • Submarine cable networks
        • Table International submarine cable systems with landing points in Malaysia - 2015
      • Submarine system developments
      • Proposed submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
    • VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VOIP)
      • Background
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
    • NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN (NBP)
      • Table Historical - NBP broadband penetration targets - 2007 - 2010
    • BACKGROUND TO BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT
    • BROADBAND AND INTERNET STATISTICS
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers - 2002 - 2014
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • Table Total broadband subscribers and household penetration - 2009 - 2015
      • Table Broadband subscribers by access type - March 2014
      • Table Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration - 2007 - 2015
      • Table Historical - Internet users - 1995 - 2004
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers and households - 2014
      • Table Internet users and penetration - 2005 - 2015
      • Table Historical - total internet subscribers - 1995 - 2005
      • Table Total internet subscribers - 2006 - 2015
      • Table Historical - dial-up internet subscribers - 1997 - 2009
      • Table Total international internet bandwidth - 1999 - 2015
    • FORECASTS - FIXED BROADBAND INTERNET SUBSCRIBERS - 2015; 2017; 2020
      • Scenario forecasts
        • Table Forecast - fixed broadband internet subscribers - 2015; 2017; 2020
    • HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND (HSBB) NETWORK
      • Background
      • Commercial launch and operation
        • Table TM's UniFi broadband subscribers and premises passed - 2010 - 2015
      • Second phase
      • Regional comparison
      • Latest Developments
    • DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTERNET IN MALAYSIA
      • Overview
        • Table Malaysia's ICT rankings - 2008 - 2014
      • Background
      • Malaysian Internet Exchange (MIX)
      • Other developments
      • Government control
      • E-Government
      • Tablets
      • Internet of Things (IoT)
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL)
      • Table DSL subscribers - 2001 - 2014
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-HOME (FTTH)
      • Table FttX subscribers - 2001 - 2014
    • WIRELESS BROADBAND
      • Background development
        • Table Wireless hotspots and hotspot subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • WiMAX: 2.3GHz licences
      • WiMAX: other developments
      • WiMAX operators
        • Table Packet One WiMAX subscribers - 2009 - 2014
        • Table YTL's WiMAX subscribers - 2011 - 2014
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • BROADCASTING MARKET
      • Overview
        • Table Key broadcasting statistics - 2014
        • Table Overview of major Malaysian broadcasters and their channels
        • Table Broadcasting sector households by technology and revenue - 1997 - 2014
        • Table Overview of programming
      • Regulatory environment
      • Digital TV
      • Cable TV
      • Satellite TV
        • Table Astro DTH pay TV subscribers - 2003 - 2014
        • Table Astro pay TV ARPU - 2010 - 2014
      • Interactive TV (iTV)
      • Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
        • Table IPTV subscribers - household v. non-household - 2010 - 2014
      • Free-to-Air TV
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • Table Historical - mobile subscribers, annual growth and penetration rate - 1995 - 2005
      • Table Mobile subscribers, annual growth and penetration rate - 2006 - 2015
      • Table Mobile services revenues - 1993 - 2015
    • FORECASTS - MOBILE SERVICES - 2015; 2017; 2020
      • Scenario forecasts
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - 2015; 2017; 2020
    • REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS
      • International roaming
      • Service tax on prepaid services
    • THIRD GENERATION (3G) MOBILE
      • Background
      • Bidding and auction
      • Network planning and development
      • Service launch
        • Table 3G mobile subscribers and market share - 2006 - 2009; 2012 - 2013
      • Further development
    • FOURTH GENERATION (4G) / LONG TERM EVOLUTION (LTE)
    • FIFTH GENERATION (5G) NETWORK DEVELOPMENTS
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNOS)
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid services
        • Table Postpaid and prepaid mobile subscribers and market share - 2002 - 2015
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • MOBILE DATA SERVICES
      • Short Message Services (SMS)
        • Table SMS volume and subscriber ratio - 2002 - 2015
      • General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
      • Mobile TV/Video-on-Demand (VoD)
      • Smartphones and tablets
      • Blackberry
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • M-commerce (micropayments)
      • Airline services

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