According to Nitin Bhat, Partner & Senior Vice President of the Frost & Sullivan ICT Practice Asia Pacific, the mobile subscriber market is heading towards saturation and all market players are looking at mobile broadband as a growth driver.
"While Malaysia’s mobile market is saturated with a subscriber penetration rate of 117% in 2010, mobile broadband and 3G services still represent significant opportunities with wireless broadband having the potential to achieve up to 5.6 million subscribers by 2015," he says.
Wireless broadband has been fast gaining popularity over fixed broadband with almost 2 million wireless broadband subscribers compared to 1.65 million fixed broadband subscribers in 2010. In 2009, fixed broadband dominated over wireless broadband with 1.4 million subscribers to 0.9 million subscribers.
Still, fixed broadband will gain market share in 2011 and 2012 due to the introduction of high-speed broadband and wholesale deals by Maxis and Celcom. Governmental support for high-speed broadband will also help drive the fixed broadband market. The Malaysian fixed broadband market is expected to reach 2.2 million subscribers in 2015.
The increasing use of smartphones, driven by rapid price decline and application richness, has increased demand for mobile broadband. Smartphones access the internet via a 3G connection, allowing users to be connected on the go without the need for dongles.
"With the Internet user base to reach 23-25 million by 2015, it is expected that 70% of them would have access to a personal internet connection. The smartphone strategy will be the big bet of all mobile operators going forward especially when almost 13 million broadband users are expected to access the internet via smartphones by 2015," says Nitin.
Other areas of interest include the enterprise services market which consists of data center services, M2M services, IT/System Integration services, and WAN services. The enterprise services market earned revenues of RM2.7 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach RM5.8 billion in 2015, making it the fastest growing ICT market in Malaysia.
"The Malaysian Data Center Services market is set to grow at 16.0 percent CAGR with Cloud Computing to be an important driver of growth as Malaysian enterprises demonstrate increasing interest in Cloud services," says Nitin.
SaaS, the dominant segment of the Cloud market, is set to witness strong growth powered by CRM, Collaboration and HRM applications in the Malaysian market.
Nitin adds,"Enterprises in Malaysia have recently begun embracing the SaaS delivery model. Their interest is primarily driven by the lower total cost of ownership in the services model, the conversion of CapEx to predictable OpEx and the ability to scale up or down depending on business needs."
Motivated by the growing interest, an increasing number of global participants are showing high level of activity in the country, which is helping improve awareness levels across enterprises.
"However, enterprises continue to remain skeptical of Cloud adoption due to Security and Privacy concerns. This, along with the low reliability of broadband internet in the country, may hamper BAaaS adoption in the short-term. The government’s efforts towards building a knowledge economy and improving broadband infrastructure may alleviate these challenges in the long run," Nitin says.
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