PHOTOS - Ovum senior analyst, Nicole McCormick.
KUALA LUMPUR, 10 MAY 2011 - Discussion in the lead up to the Broadband World Forum 2011 this week in Kuala Lumpur includes the comment that Malaysia's broadband market is being shaken up by the country's WiMAX firms, according to analyst firm Ovum. Malaysian WiMAX provider Packet One Networks [P1] agrees but that more work needs to be done.
"Malaysia's aggressive WiMAX operators - P1 4G and Yes - are shaking up Malaysia's broadband market," said Ovum senior analyst, Nicole McCormick. "These operators offer valuable insights for the rest of Asia about how WiMAX operators can be strong broadband competitors."
"Incumbent communications provider Telekom Malaysia's [TM's] slow ADSL [Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line] service is under pressure from P1 4G's cheap, high-speed WiMAX service and from Yes' new pay-per-use and postpaid WiMAX tariffs," said McCormick. "P1 4G and Yes have rolled out extensive networks and if these operators fulfill their growth projections they could emerge as serious high-speed broadband players."
However, P1 chief executive officer Michael Lai said Malaysia needs to continue ramping up broadband activity, "Among the pertinent areas for improvement are cost of telecommunications infrastructure, spectrum utilisation and affordability for consumers."
"Malaysia stands out as one of the broadband leaders in East Asia thanks to the foresight of the government particularly in the National Broadband Initiative," said Lai. "Not only has Malaysia exceeded 55 per cent of broadband penetration in just a few short years, we are leading the region in terms of 4G broadband services. This is one of the few windows of opportunity that Malaysia is at the forefront of a cutting edge megatrend technology."
The Broadband World Forum Asia 2011 is being held at the KL Convention Centre on 10 and 11 May and expects more than 2,500 delegates from Asia's telecommunications industry.
PHOTO - P1 CEO Michael Lai.
Malaysia's key lucrative homes
"We wonder how long the mobile broadband players [such as TM, Maxis] will allow WiMAX operators to capture low to middle end subscribers who might have otherwise purchased a big-screen mobile broadband service," said Ovum's McCormick. "The answer ultimately depends on how successful the WiMAX players are."
Meanwhile, TM and mobile operator Maxis are the first to enter the market for the critical first-phase 1.3 million homes that will be connected to the fibre-based HSBB [high-speed broadband] network by the end of 2012, she said.
"Whoever wins the lion's share of these key lucrative homes will have a major advantage over their fibre rivals," says McCormick, adding that Maxis and sister firm DTH operator Astro could come together and offer a compelling HSBB content play. "If that happens, TM could come off second best to a Maxis-Astro combine."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.