Malaysia has one of the highest mobile subscribers across the region. In terms of data subscribers, it has been growing steadily over the years.
Mobile Data Subscribers
Until 2015, there were 3 main providers of mobile data subscribers which are:
Maxis Leading in mobile data
Maxis, the leading telecommunication company in Malaysia offers 2 types of mobile data services which are Wireless Broadband and Mobile Internet. The latter holds more almost 7 million subscribers in 2013 and has grown to almost 9 million a year later.
Digi meanwhile has the second highest subscribers with almost 5 million accounts. This grew to about 6.5 million in 2014 and then to more than 7.5 million in 2015. TM’s Unifi is around 600,000 in 2013 and grew to almost 800,000 in 2015.
Mobile Phone subscribers
The telco with the highest subscribers would be Maxis which has more than 12 million accounts on both prepaid and post-paid platforms in 2013. It has been hovering around this figure for the next 2 years. Celcom too has such figures. Digi’s subscriber base has been growing steadily in that 3 years starting from 10 million, 11 million and 12 million respectively. Meanwhile, over 65% of mobile subscribers are attached with the telco on 3G and 4G services.
There are in total 43 million mobile subscriptions in Malaysia is 142% more than the total population. Among those, more than 75% are pre-paid customers. More than half of the subscribers are on mobile messengers while more than 40% of them use their mobile devices to watch streaming videos. In other areas, almost 40% of mobile subscribers use the devices for mobile banking and map services.
The number of internet users in Malaysia has been rising over the last decade. After all, the National Broadband Initiative has been put in place to increase internet usage in the country. The total population in Malaysia has been rising steadily since 2014 with 30.29 to 30.49 at the end of the second quarter of 2015.
Surge in penetration rates
For every 100 inhabitants, there were around 23 who had broadband internet access in Q3 of 2014 and then surged to 68.3 in Q4 that year. This then grew exponentially in 2015 which came to 91.7 out of 100 inhabitants in Q2, 2015.
Meanwhile, the internet penetration rate among households was steadily around the 70 point throughout 2014 to 2015. This simply means that in every 10 households, about 7 of them have some form of internet access.
Broadband access across Malaysia
It is remarkable to note that across the entire country, broadband access is enjoyed by about 62% of the population at the end of Q2, 2015. The lowest is in Perlis, the smallest state in the country which is at 39%. The rest of the states enjoy at least 47% of the population with broadband access.
The Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya meanwhile have the highest percentage of internet users which are as follow:
– Federal Territory of Putrajaya – 98.5%
– Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur – 80%
Government Efforts to promote information literacy
There has been several initiatives that have been put in place to promote information literacy among the people. This includes the 1MIC or 1Malaysia Internet Centre which provided avenues for communities to access the internet. In total, there were 562 centres operating across the country. This is translated to almost half a million (471,855) members.
Among the states, Sarawak has the most 1MICs as it has a lot of rural areas. Sarawak operates 89 centres while neighbour Sabah has 77. The state of Pahang in Peninsular is the one with the highest 1MICs which is at 79 centres. It must be noted that such centres were put in place to provide more avenues for the people to gain access to the internet so as to grow the local communities and socio-economic landscape.
Wi-Fi Communities in Malaysia
There are in total 5,860 Wi-Fi communities in the country. Sabah and Sarawak both have the highest of such communities with 1,171 and 1,263 each. This was contributed mainly because of the many rural areas around the 2 states and to bridge the digital divide.
Internet Users and demographics
The division of internet users among gender is quite equal. In 2013, there were 58.3% male users and a year later, this has dropped to 51.4% male users and 48.6% female users. The largest group of internet users in Malaysia are those between the age of 21 and 24.
Similarly to the percentage of internet penetration, the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya have the highest users of computers, laptops and tablets.
Smartphone with data usage and SMS
Malaysia has more male users with smartphones than females across 2013 and 2014. In both years, there were about 57% of male users. The most widely used text communication platform currently is IP based apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.
However, SMS still remains as one of the popular tools. More than 30 million SMS messages were exchanged throughout 2014 while this has reached 16 million in the first half of 2015 alone.
All about Broadband Internet Services
Providing the platform for people to connect to the internet using a mobile or digital device is what internet access is all about. This is most important to gain access to internet services like browsing the web, checking emails and other communication applications.
Internet access is usually offered by licensed or authorized agencies known as internet service providers (ISPs). What started out in the 1990s when dial-up internet access was mostly used has grown to become a multi-billion dollar industry with super-fast speed broadband and wireless internet access. In 2014, it has been reported that broadband is the main standard with average connection speed at over 4Mbit/s.
High Speed Internet
When it comes to internet access, the speed is always an issue talked about. This is usually defined in terms of bit rates and measured in seconds. In this case, the higher the bit rate, the faster the speed which means that downloading and uploading are both faster.
In the 1990s, internet access was only at 64 kbit/s and that was considerably fast. Today, broadband internet access has changed the landscape. Internet service providers are competing frantically to garner as much market as possible by providing higher internet speed that could go up to 20Mbit/s.
Congestion and Fair Use
One of the biggest issue with any broadband or cable internet access is network congestion. While you can be connected up to 10Mbit/s, it does not mean that you will be using the full bandwidth. As such, it is very common for the network infrastructure to be shared among the users. This is still very much up to the discretion of the service provider.
This means that an aggregation strategy will be implemented where users are given access to their full connection speed at certain periods of time. However, when too many users are connected (thereby known as peak hours) at a given time, it could lead to overloading of the bandwidth. Hence, the provider could throttle back the bandwidth intentionally to free some for other users.
Availability of Internet Services
Availability of internet access today is very different from previous years. LANs are available in offices and schools while users demand to be provided with internet access all the time. Wi-Fi is where smartphones and laptops can tap into the network and enjoy services. This has become quite common in hotels, public areas and on transportation.
Meanwhile, you will find Wi-Fi access at coffeeshops, cafes and restaurants too. For smartphone users, having access to the mobile network means they have data access to stream internet services directly to their phones.
This is one of the most recent type of technology implemented for internet access. Fiber-to-home is perhaps the most popular as the internet service providers connect devices through using optical fiber platforms.
Because of this, broadband internet access is now available in homes, corporate companies and any other locations. With super high-speed access, the premise owner can now sub the services through Wi-Fi routers, additional hubs and other repeaters so that internet services can be shared and enjoy among those who are in the vicinity.