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Cheaper smartphones double internet usage, Malaysian Internet Exchange reveals

AvantiKumar | April 8, 2014
Industry body MyIX Chairman Chiew Kok Hin said the doubling of internet consumption in 2013 by Malaysians is the biggest percentage jump in more than a decade.

MyIX Chairman, Chiew Kok Hin_modified 

Photo - Chiew Kok Hin, Chairman, Malaysian Internet Exchange (MyIX)


According to industry body MyIX, Persatuan Pengendali Internet Malaysia, [the Malaysian Internet Exchange], Malaysia's internet traffic consumption last year increased by more than 50 percent compared to 2012 and was the biggest percentage jump in more than decade, fuelled by smartphone usage.

MyIX chairman Chiew Kok Hin said, "In Year 2013, our statistics showed that Internet traffic in Malaysia increased by a whopping 51 per cent to a total amount of 349,277 Mbps, as compared to 230,631 Mbps in 2012."

"The internet traffic statistics show that the biggest differences for 2013 were in the months of January, February, March and November - each recording an average between 75 to 80 per cent increase, as compared to the same months in Year 2012." said Chiew.

He said the statistics showed that internet consumption grew steadily over each passing month throughout the whole of 2013. "In January, the nation's Internet traffic stood at 22,511 Mbps - which is a 75 per cent increase as compared to 12,880 Mbps in January 2012. By November 2013, the highest usage for 2013 was recorded at 41,319 Mbps."

"2013 has been a great year for the Internet, here in Malaysia. While we have been seeing a steady annual increase in Internet usage among Malaysians in the last few years, the usage growth has simply multiplied beyond our expectations in 2013," said Chiew.

"We believe that the reasons for this, co-relates back with several synergistic trends amongst Malaysian Internet users - such as the spike in the number of smart phones users; with the sudden boom of user access to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; as well as the jump in data messaging applications such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Line and more," he said.

 Increase of smartphone users

Chiew cited IDC studies, which show an increase of smartphone users in Malaysia, attributed to government initiatives such as the Youth Communication Package (YCP) that offers a RM200 (US$61) rebate for the purchase of a smartphone for young adults aged 21-30 with a monthly income of RM3000 (US$916) or less.

He said this also encouraged mobile phone vendors to take advantage of the government incentive to introduce 25 new smartphones priced about RM600 [US$183] into the market - and eventually contributing to the market share of sub-RM600 smartphones increasing from 24 per cent in the second half of 2012, to 39 per cent in the first half of 2013.

"Cheaper smartphones contribute in driving Internet accessibility worldwide, and we also see its impact here in Malaysia as Internet usage explodes. Together with MyIX's recent Internet network infrastructure upgrade being completed, we can better support the Internet traffic increase by end-consumers in Malaysia," said Chiew.

Non-profit organisation MyIX (Malaysia Internet Exchange), which was created in 2006 by the national regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission [MCMC], is operated by Persatuan Pengendali Internet Malaysia with cooperation of local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to connect and exchange local Internet traffic.

MyIX's latest infrastructure consists of 8 Internet Exchange nodes of which 5 were recently in Bayan Baru, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. These add on to the original MyIX nodes located in the Klang Valley at Menara Aik Hua (AIMS), Technology Park of Malaysia (JARING), and CSF 1 (Telekom Malaysia, Cyberjaya). MyIX is modelled after the Amsterdam Internet Exchange and London Internet Exchange, and aspires towards world class Internet Exchange standards.


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