According to a 2020 telecommunication report on Malaysia, data revealed that about 88% of the country’s total population had gone online and become active internet users. The same report projects that internet user penetration will have reached approximately 90% by 2025.
While these statistics may signify a challenge of stagnant growth within Malaysia’s telco industry, it also indicates that there exists a stable foundation that involved stakeholders can work with. Being able to maintain much of the population as internet users will be important in the years to come, especially as the telco industry is slated to experience an influx of activity.
As per an article by the Straits Times, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) announced that the communications and multimedia sector had suffered negligible damage amid the global pandemic; in 2019, the C&M sector’s total market capitalization reached 144 billion RM, while 142 billion RM was totaled in 2020. Given the industry’s resiliency, the Malaysian government expects a quick recovery especially as the country undergoes development in certain areas.
For instance, 5G connectivity within the country continues to become a prominent topic. Specifically, just last December 2021, the Digital Nasional Berhad – a special-purpose vehicle owned by the Ministry of Finance – announced that 5G services were now commercially available in major cities like Kuala Lumpur. By the end of 2022, the government hopes to reach an estimated 40% coverage in populated cities all throughout the country as per data from Ericsson.
Although some success surrounding 5G connectivity has been achieved, it has been a challenge to completely convince all stakeholders involved – not only in the telecommunications industry but all throughout the public and private sectors. Given that the country has yet to fully recover from the global pandemic, many are worried about the availability of a premium commodity like 5G.
Such worries are inevitable, most especially in a developing country like Malaysia. Thus, it will be important for businesses within the country to refer to unified frameworks, such as the Consolidated Strategy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution for ASEAN.
As discussed in a recent insight article by YCP Soldiance entitled, “Introducing the ASEAN Consolidated Strategy on the 4IR,” this framework presents an aligned vision that aims to guide businesses and professionals from ASEAN countries as they move toward the 4IR. One of the key areas that the consolidated strategy touches on is digitalization in society, which is highly relevant to Malaysia’s telecommunication industry.
Beyond guiding holistic development on a domestic level, those who refer to this framework will also enjoy the benefit of growing in a complementary manner to regional counterparts (specifically those within the ASEAN). Therefore, as the telecommunication industry in Malaysia aims to stimulate growth in 2022, except those involved to proceed with both caution and optimism.