Photo - Todd Ashton, Todd Ashton, Head of Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
According to communications solutions provider Ericsson's recent Mobility report, the Internet of Things (IoT) is emerging across industries in Malaysia.
Todd Ashton, head of Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka, said IoT is set to overtake mobile phones as the largest category of connected device by 2018.
"We are witnessing IoT growing at a rapid pace as device costs get more competitive and ground breaking applications emerge. IoT is coming to life within many industries and we already see that in Malaysia with the Connected Mangroves project," said Ashton.
"4G is here now and with it, many industries have the opportunity to leverage digital technologies to innovate their business and provide customers with amazing experiences," he said.
Ashton said between 2015 and 2021, the number of IoT connected devices is expected to grow 23 percent annually, of which cellular IoT is forecast to have the highest growth rate. Of the 28 billion total devices that will be connected by 2021, close to 16 billion will be IoT devices.
Globally, smartphone subscriptions continue to increase and are forecast to surpass those for basic phones in Q3 this year, he said. "In Malaysia, smartphone subscription surpassed basic phone subscriptions in 2015. By 2021, smartphone subscriptions for Malaysia will almost double, from almost 25 million in 2015 to more than 40 million."
The global report also noted there were 5 billion mobile subscribers - unique users - in the world today, which is testament to the phenomenal growth of mobile technology in a relatively short period of time, said Ashton.
He added that in the Southeast Asia and Oceania region, smartphone subscriptions are expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15 percent, up until 2021.
"The rise of mobile broadband is attributed to a number of factors, including the affordability of devices, as well as the increasing popularity of data-intensive apps, such as video," said Ashton. "Consumers have moved the attention from voice coverage to app coverage. Voice now constitutes less than five percent of mobile traffic and while excellent voice coverage is a hygiene factor, application coverage and performance is what consumers want. You will see in the report that in Malaysia, almost half of consumers with a smart device access social networking, instant messaging and online videos on a daily basis."
Mobile subscriptions in the region should grow annually at about 4 percent between 2015 and 2021 - to reach about 1.2 billion by the end of 2021. In 2016, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore and Thailand will pass 100 percent subscription penetration for mobile broadband.
In addition, he said the region has been seeing a growth in middle income households that will drive the demand for high speed broadband services in residential areas, especially in emerging markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. Fixed broadband subscriptions for Malaysian households and small medium enterprises have reached more than 30 percent penetration and are expected to increase almost 10 percent annually by 2021.
The report also noted that LTE subscription should continue to grow in the region to about 100 million LTE subscriptions in 2016. In Malaysia, LTE subscriptions over total subscriptions currently registers at 21 percent and is expected to increase to 61 percent by 2021. Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand are among the countries in the region that are rolling out LTE and continuing to improve coverage.
The full Ericsson Mobility Report, Traffic Exploration Tool and regional reports for South East Asia & Oceania, North East Asia, North America and India can be downloaded at ericsson.com/mobility-report
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