Here is How Malaysian Internet Use Changed in 2021
Malaysian internet usage has steadily increased with the times. According to a recent report by Digital Business, Malaysia is ranked among countries with the highest internet penetration rates in South Asia. As of 2021, the nation’s internet penetration rate stood at 84%.
It’s estimated that by the close of quarter 4 of 2021, the drastic changes witnessed due to COVID-19 containing measures imposed by the government will result in approximately 84.7% usage penetration. We’re here to assess how much internet usage has changed for Malaysians, and how important connectivity will continue to prove to be for Malaysians, regardless of age, location or occupation.
How has Malaysian internet usage grown?
Malaysian internet usage has grown over the years due to the improvements in the country’s internet infrastructure and related technologies. Statistics released by DATAREPORTAL show over 27.3 million Malaysians being active internet users for their daily activities. This represents a significant increase of 73,000 users (2.8%) between 2020 and 2021.
The rapid growth of the Malaysian telecommunications industry is also considered to be responsible for this growth. Within the last decade, telecom providers have made significant investments to improve their network infrastructure. This increased the number of broadband subscriptions, offering high-speed internet access to more Malaysian users.
Today, more than two-thirds of Malaysians are connected through mobile technologies, rather than landline devices. This has resulted in significant growth in the demand for LTE services that offer faster data transmission speeds, among other superior features. Malaysia ranks among countries with the largest number of LTE subscribers in Southeast Asia, as revealed by a report from Ericsson.
Our internet growth is also influenced by the fact that more Malaysians are becoming aware of the value of Internet usage. E-Commerce activities are the main driving force for this online trend. By the close of 2020, a report by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission showed that approximately 22 million Malaysians were shopping online. This was a significant increase of more than 25% between 2018 and 2020.
The continued proliferation of smartphones in Malaysia has also contributed to such developments. It is estimated that at least 60% of Malaysians’ internet usage was through their handheld devices. This resulted in 66% of mobile subscribers in Malaysia by 2021, compared to 23% in 2015.
The demand for bandwidth is also attributed to the imposition of various government policies, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19. To contain the spread of the virus, the government implemented the Movement Control Order (MCO) to restrict movements. This shifted the dynamics of doing business, learning and communication within and outside Malaysia, which eventually led to an imperative need for high bandwidth.
The strict enforcement of MCO, which included remaining indoors at all times, led to a 23% increase in internet traffic countrywide in the first week. The second week registered an 8.6% increase, with emerging complaints of slow internet speeds. This could be as a result of high numbers of active internet users.
With COVID-19 numbers still on the rise, we are likely to witness continued demand for bandwidth. This directly translates to more internet usage and increased penetration rates for the coming years.
Here’s How Malaysian Internet Habits Have Changed
Ever since the MCO began keeping people home, the use of video streaming services has increased significantly. This is due to restricted mobility, which affected cinema visits. This has seen exponential growth in social sites such as YouTube and Netflix, which demand more bandwidth.
But that’s not all video is being used for. The rising number of employees choosing to Work From Home means more and more meetings are being done online, which contributes to rising bandwidth usage in homes as well as offices.
To meet the demand for such content, ISPs are now investing more in installing fibre optics to their networks. Many are looking at ways to upgrade existing infrastructure or increase the number of towers for better connectivity.
Increased E-Commerce activities
The movement restriction order also saw walk-in stores close for a period of time to limit physical interactions and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As a result, Malaysians have turned to online commerce, increasing the demand for more bandwidth.
The growth in e-commerce activities has also provided job opportunities for many home-based workers, who require robust internet connectivity.
With physical gaming spots closed, online gaming’s popularity grew as a safe outlet for Malaysians to socialize while observing COVID-19 regulations. With gaming now advancing from social stigma to relevant public entertainment, more and more Malaysians are also picking up e-sports as a profession, both as casual income streamers and professional competitors.
A recent statistic by Statista showed that 42% of gamers aged between 16-24 years play online games daily. With a large amount of current games being multiplayer, they also require higher bandwidth speeds to support more users playing together in a single instance.
With the uncertainties of schools reopening, home internet use for online learning has led to increased demand for more bandwidth. Learners are currently using learning aids such as edX, Khan Academy and Lynda for their studies. Teacher-student interactions using video conferencing systems also.
Businesses have also resorted to outsourcing services to freelancers. This has led to an increase in the demand for soft skills. More Malaysians enrolled for Open Online Courses (OOCs), increasing bandwidth usage, and creating employment opportunities.
We’re Here to Bridge the Divide
While habits and needs may change with the times, Allo’s role has never been clearer. We play an important role in delivering high-speed connectivity to Malaysians around the nation, through our ever expanding fiber rollout that is reaching into more homes and businesses than ever before.
As Malaysians grow more and more reliant on connectivity to service their daily needs, you can be sure Allo will be there for you.
Partner with us today!
At Allo, we constantly strive to deliver world-class service and quality broadband connectivity to all our users. Get in touch with us today to solve all your business technology needs and have more time to focus on the core of your business operations.