Todd Ashton, president of Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka, talks in more depth with Computerworld Malaysia about Malaysia and Southeast Asia's connected future in 2015 and beyond in the light of findings from the recent Mobility Report: South East Asia and Oceania Appendix release.
The appendix for the South East Asia and Oceania region was published by Ericsson in conjunction with its recently-released Ericsson Mobility Report, which includes key global trends on Machine-to-Machine subscriptions, smartphone subscriptions, and LTE uptake. The appendix provides further insights into current traffic and market trends from eight countries within the region - Australia, New Zealand Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines.
Photo - Todd Ashton, President of Ericsson Malaysia and Sri Lanka
Could you give an overview of what Malaysia specific data tells us about the trends and usage patterns of consumers and businesses?
· Social media has high level of importance in Malaysia
o 88 percent of Malaysian daily Internet users are using social media at least once a week while 26 percent report that social media is central to their lives; 76 percent have more than one social media account and 43 percent use an online service to meet new people either professionally or personally for the first time.
· Malaysians are the top multi-app users in the region.
o 89 percent have more than one instant messaging app and 76 percent use more than one social messaging platform
· There is good potential for new connected services among consumers in Southeast Asia and Oceania.
· Wearable technology, such as Fitbit or smart watches (Connected Me), interactive cars (Connected Car) and household items (Connected Home) are still in their infancy. Higher usage is observed in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. However, based on consumer interest, the usage of different connected services is expected to increase along with the growth of the internet.
Smartphones are the preferred device across the region for social networking and mobile gaming. Smartphones are used throughout the day and in Malaysia, in bed after waking up and going to sleep are the favourite times for people to use their smartphones.
How does Malaysian mobility compare with the region and the rest of the world and what are the future expectations?
Malaysians are among the top users of social media in the region (as mentioned, 88 percent using social media at least once weekly). They have the most number of users who have more than one social media account (76 percent) and are also the top social discoverers in the region (43 percent). Malaysians are the top adopters of connected future services too. They are the tops in the region for usage of Connected Homes, Connected Cars and Connected Me.
Based on the consumer interest, there is a good potential for growth in the market for ICT. With the right offerings this potential can be realised. We see this new era of ICT across all industries as an engine of local growth, driving business opportunities for many Malaysian companies and thereby contribution to the economic development of Malaysia - even more than the incredible impact than the mobile phone and fixed broadband have already had.
What sort of opportunities should Malaysia based organisations be eyeing in this shift to mobility and the connectivity of everything?
There are numerous opportunities created due to the shift to mobility. Some of the key benefits:
o Portability: Organisations can extend digital communication and capability to all employees, leading to engagement and enablement
o Availability: Improve productivity because employee will have the choice on when to view content; critical operational information delivered and read in real time
o Sharing: Employees can share tablet screen with customers and colleagues. This will enhanced customer service; knowledge transfer and learning
o Capture data in real time: Employees are able to capture and upload data to systems at the point of recording. This will help to Improved accuracy of data; better productivity through process improvement; business intelligence in real time
The connectivity of everything creates stores of big data, which if processed in real time, has the potential to revolutionise enterprise businesses.
In addition, predictive maintenance provides a foundation for systematic learning based on purpose-driven data collection, which can be used to improve product design, reliability, operations efficiency, service revenue, and ultimately customer satisfaction. It also helps organisations to re-think business models and move towards more service-based offerings
You mentioned the importance of Apps and social media in the Connected Future: how are Malaysian companies and developers faring in your opinion?
We are seeing tremendous development of applications in Malaysia. There are a number of local organizations that are focusing in development of specific applications that are meant to build the societies in the country. A good example of such development is MyTeksi which are supporting the local transportations by leveraging on the advent of mobility and smartphones.
Social media enables consumers to develop social communities anywhere and anytime, without the physical boundaries that posed to be a challenge for some of us, such as families and friends abroad. The use of multiple applications also means that we are able to connect with different people using different types of communications methods. It also poses opportunities for different businesses to invest and provide customized solutions for the consumers
Where are technologies like 3G, HSDA and LTE going and how does this impact telecommunications providers, consumers and businesses?
The sharp increase in mobile data in Malaysia has seen a tremendous increase in load on the existing 3G HSPA networks, especially in urban areas, and hence the need for LTE technology. By re-farming GSM 1800 spectrum in order to deploy LTE 1800 as well as the deploy LTE using the newly acquired LTE 2600 spectrum, operators are able to off load their 3G HSPA network in areas experiencing congestion and give a better user experience to their data customers (i.e.: SMEs, consumers and businesses) on their superior LTE network.
Could you speak about Ericsson's plans in 2015 for Malaysia as well as the region?
The Asia Pacific market continues to see a significant increase in mobile subscriptions with 1.4 billion net additions up until the end of 2019.
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