The Digital economy
Dharmesh Malhotra, sub-regional head for Asia South, country head for Malaysia, Nokia Siemens Networks:
Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) predicts that harnessing the digital economy will be the top agenda for communication service providers (CSPs) in 2012.
Announced by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Digital Malaysia masterplan will be the driving force behind the nation's efforts to achieve high income status by 2020. Telecommunications, one of the main pillars in Malaysia's bid to be in the top 10 in the information technology (IT) competitiveness index and top 20 in the digital economy index by 2020 represents a ripe opportunity for plays in the sector to capitalise on high Gross National Income (GNI) generating ventures as well as skilled job creation.
At NSN, we predict seeing growth in mobile data subscribers, wider adoption of smartphone app usage as well as more accessible data options to capitalise on growing smartphone users.
In a joint study by Google and Ipsos, roughly 60 percent of Malaysian consumers plan to use more apps on their phones which usher in new opportunities and challenges for CSPs. Earlier this year, NSN Smart Labs together with Rovio Mobile, developer of the wildly popular Angry Birds app detected that players generated more than 352 percent more signalling messages than baseline numbers. This represents a new challenge for mobile network operators in dealing with increased signaling traffic due to the proliferation in popular mobile apps.
As Malaysian markets mature and smartphones become ubiquitous, CSPs are also in prime position to introduce more accessible mobile data plans as well as ensuring superior customer experience in their efforts to acquire and retain subscribers.
With regard to the digital economy, we see a rise in homegrown mobile apps and more involvement of CSPs in pushing locally developed applications across all sectors of the economy, fostering an environment which encourages innovation and high-value talent creation.
In 2012, we also predict significant growth in the delivery of services, particularly in the healthcare and education sector due to the ease of access to mobile Internet and connected devices, benefiting rural and remote areas of the population.
Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Yaacob, chief executive officer, JARING Communications:
The more advanced our technology, the more competitive we can become: ICT access, usage, quality broadband service and ICT infrastructure are key enablers of Malaysia's economic competitiveness. Coupled with this, is technological innovation. We must be able to design and develop cutting-edge products and services. This requires an environment that is conducive to innovative, sufficient investment in research and development (R&D), the presence of high quality scientific research institutions; extensive collaboration in research between universities and industry; and the protection of intellectual property. During the last five or six years, our IT industry has witnessed several inter-related trends towards decreased IT hardware assets, for better operational support and cost efficiencies.
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