Analyst: Higher speed fixed-line broadband at no additional cost will boost subscription

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — The 2017 Budget’s proposal for fixed-line broadband service providers to offer services at higher speeds at no price increase from January next year is set to accelerate its subscription growth, an analyst said. 

Current Analysis Group Senior Analyst, Asia Pacific, Alfie Amir said the expansion of 20Mbps fixed broadband nationwide would enhance internet penetration in Malaysia to 63 per cent by 2021, closing the gap between fixed and mobile broadband. 

“There is a clear divide between fixed and mobile broadband adoption. 

“Mobile data penetration (over population) already exceeded 100 per cent in 2015, while fixed broadband penetration (over household) still stood at 54 per cent,” he said. 

It will also drive fixed broadband market from a total of service revenue of US$1.3 billion in 2015 to US$1.9 billion in 2021, he told Bernama. 

On the proposed increase of broadband speed in public universities to 100Gbps, he said this would enable various cutting edge information and communications technology applications in the education sector such as Internet of Things (IoT) applications and unified communications and collaborations to flourish. 

Meanwhile, IDC Market Research (M) Sdn Bhd Research Manager for Telecom, Nikhil Batra said the backhauls that these service providers had would be enough to support such increases. 

“There wouldn’t be much impact on Telcos in terms of their costs since it will just mean a better use of their backhaul. 

“But this might spark a new wave of competition in the home fibre market and the service providers will now need to rethink their unique selling proposition,” he said. 

He said Time already had a RM149 plan for 100 Mbps, which was its differentiation over Telekom and Maxis whose comparable plans were in the 5-10 Mbps range. 

Hence it remains to be seen who is forced to raise the bandwidth by how much, he said. — Bernama

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