Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/13/2014 -- BMI View: Malaysia's telecommunications sector enjoys high levels of service penetration, owing to highly focused investment in advanced broadband infrastructure and supporting services and solutions. Wireless and wireline non-voice services account for an increasingly large proportion of operators' revenues, and this is encouraging them to reinvest heavily in next-generation infrastructure, including fibre-to-the-home and 4G LTE. However, this emphasis on broadband means falling demand for traditional v o ice telephone services has accelerated , while operator-provided mobile voice and messaging services have come under threat from network-agnostic over-the-top (OTT) competitors. As BMI has already noted, this has hit operator financial performance. Tackling the issue will be critical for operators over the medium term.
- Operator and regulatory data showed that the mobile market expanded within BMI's expectations in 2013. We have not needed to amend our forecasts for the overall mobile market, but we have adjusted our mobile ARPU forecasts owing to a small acceleration in ARPU erosion seen in 2013. By 2018, the weighted industry average blended mobile ARPU should reach MYR46.4 (USD14.34).
- Usage of wireless broadband services has been falling since Q412, most likely because customers are increasingly turning to HSPA-enabled smartphones rather than wireless modem-equipped mobile computers. This relates to increased HSPA coverage outside the principal cities, but also to the launch of 4G LTE services. Our broadband forecasts have been amended accordingly, with slower growth for the short-to-medium term before accelerating markedly in the latter part of our 2013-2018 forecast period.
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Key Trends & Developments
In March 2014, Telekom Malaysia (TM) acquired a 57% stake in WiMAX operator Packet One Networks (P1) for MYR350mn (USD106.4mn). The acquisition gives TM access to P1's LTE platforms and vastly increases its spectrum allocation.
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