Malaysia's broadband ranking improves — ITU

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 13): Malaysia rose six places from 41st to 35th in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) fixed broadband price basket category, according to the recent 2018 Measuring the Information Society Report (MIS) issued by the union.

The annual report also showed that Malaysia had charted a massive jump from 61st to 36th place in the mobile prepaid handset for 500MB and performed well in the mobile-cellular price basket, moving up three places.

The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in a statement today, noted that Malaysia however fell 22 places in the mobile computer based category, mainly in the use of dongles and USB, stating that the decline was mostly due to consumer preference.

ITU’s ICT Price Basket (IPB) is a composite affordability measure based on three sub-baskets namely fixed telephone, mobile cellular and fixed broadband internet services, computed as a percentage of average Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.

On the same note, MCMC Chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak noted that with approximately 87 per cent internet users and 118 per cent broadband penetration rate in Malaysia, the Government was committed more than ever to ensure that no one was left behind.

"Efforts to increase access and coverage together with lower prices for broadband means more and more Malaysians will be able to access the internet and transform their lives through the use of ICT,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Explaining further, Al-Ishsal said while Malaysian mobile-broadband subscriptions had grown by 23.6 per cent between 2016 and 2017, the ITU also reported that competition continued to intensify in Malaysia with the market-share of the three major mobile operators namely DiGi, Maxis and Celcom having declined from 78.2 per cent to 74.2 per cent in 2017.

"With service providers aggressively and increasingly offering mobile broadband with innovative and competitive data packages that include large data allowances and affordable smartphones, mobile broadband adoption has accelerated, especially over the last one year,” he said.

The competition, Al-Ishsal said was further intensified this year via the Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing allowing more service providers to offer services, thereby driving down prices further with a reduction of 34 to 56 per cent in the fixed broadband category through new packages offered.

“At the same time, MCMC will monitor and strictly enforce the quality of service imposed by the Mandatory Standard on Quality of Service. We will also continue our work to improve digital infrastructure and services in the country,” he said.

According to ITU, by the end of this year, it is forecast that more than half the world’s population will be using the internet, a significant achievement towards a more inclusive information society that delivers new opportunities of development through ICTs.