NE ASIA Online Powered by Nikkei Electronics Asia

spacer spacer

spacer


China Watch Taiwan Watch Korea Watch Japan Watch Devices Digital Appliances Internet Communications Information Systems Business Site Map

Nikkei BP Corporate Web site

News Web site in Simplified Chinese



spacer
Magazine Readers:
spacer

spacer
Enter an article ID
for quick access.
->help

spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
Search Advanced Search
spacer
spacer
spacer

News from Asia-Pacific

Cell Phone Penetration to Exceed 50%

One in every two Malaysians will own a cell phone by year's end, according to the research unit of Avenue Securities Sdn Bhd in its latest report on the telecommunications sector.

Cell phone penetration stood at 46% or about 11.7 million subscribers by the first quarter of 2004 and is expected to leap to 13.11 million by December.

The rise comes on the back of aggressive marketing and promotions by mobile players, falling handset prices and improved penetration in new target markets outside the Klang Valley.

"We believe there is still room for the industry to record double-digit growth over the next two years before penetration hits 70%, most likely in 2007," according to an analyst with Avenue Securities.

The three-way cellular war in Malaysia began to heat up early this year as service providers slashed prices in a bid to gain market share. Maxis Communications Bhd, Celcom (M) Bhd and DiGi Telecommunications Bhd have reduced sign-up fees and brought short-message services to between 1.3 to 1.8 US cents per message.

The popularity of SMS has been the main driver for the significant spike in mobile data numbers and growth in the prepaid segment of the industry. Latest research numbers suggested that cell phone users in Malaysia send up to 30 million text messages daily or roughly three per user.

Maxis maintained its pole position with a market share of 42%, followed by Celcom with about 38% and DiGi with 20%.

Network Expansion

Erik Aas, head of mobile for DiGi,noted that his company plans to invest more than US$132 million annually on network infrastructure to boost its subscriber base.

"We expect to see tremendous take-up in the Klang Valley and we are looking to expand in the rural areas," he said after launching MobileTV, a service that offers live television programs to selected cellphone users.

DiGi is the only player without a 3G licence. It has requested spectrum allocation in the GSM 900MHz radio frequency band from the government to improve coverage outside the Klang Valley. It currently operates in the GSM 1,800MHz band which has high bandwidth, but low coverage areas.

DiGi also has the least coverage in the country compared with its rivals. It has about 70% coverage in the country, while Celcom and Maxis has about 95% and 85% coverage respectively.

by Julian Matthews

(October 2004 Issue, Nikkei Electronics Asia)
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer

Home Site Map NE Asia Subscription Ad Info Recent News
spacer
Copyright (c) 1996-2004, Nikkei Business Publications Asia Ltd,
Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Contents of this Web site may not be reproduced in
whole or in part without the written consent of the copyright owner.
spacer
Privacy policy

spacer