Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/09/2014 -- Malaysia's telecommunications sector enjoys high levels of service penetration, owing to highly focused investment in advanced broadband infrastructure and supporting services and solutions. Wireless and wireline non-voice services account for an increasingly large proportion of operators' revenues, and this is encouraging them to reinvest heavily in next-generation infrastructure, including fibre-to-the-home and 4G LTE. However, this emphasis on broadband means falling demand for traditional voice telephone services has accelerated, while operator-provided mobile voice and messaging services have come under threat from network-agnostic over-the-top (OTT) competitors. As BMI has already noted, this has hit operator financial performance. Tackling the issue will be critical for operators over the medium term.
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- Operator and regulatory data showed that the mobile market expanded within BMI's expectations in H112. We have not needed to amend our forecasts for the overall mobile market, but we have adjusted our mobile ARPU forecasts owing to a small acceleration in ARPU erosion seen in H113. By 2017, the weighted industry average blended mobile ARPU should reach MYR41.20 (US$0.30).
- Usage of wireless broadband services has been falling since Q412, most likely because customers are increasingly turning to HSPA-enabled smartphones rather than wireless modem-equipped mobile computers. This relates to increased HSPA coverage outside the principal cities, but also to the launch of 4G LTE services. Our broadband forecasts have been amended accordingly, with slower growth seen in the short- to medium term before accelerating markedly in the latter part of our 2013-2017 forecast period.
Key Trends & Developments
On September 2013, VMMEA partnered with Malaysian partner Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd to enter the Malaysian prepaid market under the brand FRiENDi. The new prepaid mobile operator is said to be targeting the East Malaysia market to tap into Sarawak's population of 2.5mn people. According to FRiENDi, the firm has close to 1,000 SIM card distribution points and a 90% mobile coverage zone. FRiENDi mobile is currently operating on Maxis' network, while in terms of its 3G service, it is using U Mobile's network. Besides targeting the local population in Sabah and Sarawak, FRiENDi hopes to be the mobile operator of choice for migrants working and studying in the Borneo State.
Telekom Malaysia (TM) has launched My1Hub, a one-stop hub which connects Malaysia to the rest of the world via its submarine cable investments. The latest infrastructure development is aimed at meeting the greater demand for data and services. Together with Cahaya Malaysia submarine system and Iskandar International Gateway (IIGW), TM has launched a total of three initiatives to bolster its international connectivity capabilities.
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