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Sydney, Sep 12, 2006 AEST (ABN Newswire) - In recent years, Malaysia has been quietly working away at positioning itself as a technologically progressive economy. To this end it has built one of the more advanced telecom networks in the developing world. Whilst still in the process of expanding, the country's telecom sector has undergone a period of consolidation with telecom companies doing battle in an increasingly competitive and changing market. Despite the slowdown that followed the economic crisis of the late 1990s, the last decade has seen positive growth in the Malaysia's telecom sector.

Mobile penetration passed the 80% mark in early 2006, with subscriber numbers at the same time passing 20 million. This was up from only 2 million subscribers in 1998. Malaysia has the second highest mobile penetration in South East Asia after Singapore. Malaysia's mobile users have also been enthusiastic in their adoption of Short Message Service (SMS), with the regulator reporting that Malaysians sent more than 9 billion SMS during 2005. On the other hand, the story with fixed-line services has not been so good. Having moved rapidly from around 2 million in 1990 to 4.7 million in 2002 (penetration approaching 20% at the time), fixed-line subscriber numbers dipped to 4.6 million by end-2003 and were sitting at 4.3 million by the start of 2006.

Malaysia has also been continuing to develop its multi-billion dollar Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project, another part of the government's strategy to turn Malaysia into the high technology hub of South East Asia. So far more than US$5 billion has been invested in this project. The government says that it is meeting targets, with over 1,200 companies already involved.

Philippines - Over the last decade or so, there has been a concerted effort by the government in the Philippines, working with the country's telecom operators, to expand the national fixed network. Despite a lot of effort and the best of intentions, the country has been struggling to extend its basic telephone network to reach the wider population. Despite this effort fixed-line teledensity stands at less than 5% and only a little more than half of all Philippine towns and cities have a telephone service. In fact, a fixed-line teledensity of 12% by 2002 was the target set for the government's Service Area Scheme. The plan fell well short of target, achieving a teledensity of just over 4% by that time. Fixed-line penetration has not increased much since.

More recently, however, there has been a rapid take-up of mobile services and, following on from that, the remarkably high national usage of the Short Message Service (SMS) throughout the country. Mobile penetration has grown quickly to have reached 40% (35 million subscribers) by early 2006, up from only 2.7 million mobile subscribers in the country at end-1999. For the moment it looks to have reached a plateau at the 40% penetration level. Not surprisingly, mobiles have well and truly overwhelmed fixed-line services. Much of the recent growth in mobiles was coming from outside the main city of Manila, with the big operators, Globe and Smart, vying for lower income segments of the population by offering a range of cheap prepaid products. Further growth in the market will depend on the pricing and marketing strategies of the operators, as well as the growth in the country's economy.

There appears to be considerable ongoing optimism in the Philippine telecom market as the sector has been contributing over 10% to the country's GDP, boosted considerably by the mobile segment.

Overview of Asian Reports:
Geographical Reports:

- China
- India
- Japan
- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
- Brunei Darussalam and Singapore
- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam
- Indonesia, Timor Leste
- Malaysia, Philippines
- Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan
- North Korea and South Korea

Regional Market Reports:

- Central Asian Broadband and Internet Market
- Central Asian Telecom Statistics and Market Overview
- Central Asian Mobile Communications and Mobile Data Markets
- North Asian Broadband and Internet Market
- North Asian Telecom Statistics and Market Overview
- North Asian Mobile Communications and Mobile Data Markets
- South Asian Broadband and Internet Market
- South Asian Telecom Statistics and Market Overview
- South Asian Mobile Communications and Mobile Data Markets
- South East Asian Broadband and Internet Market
- South East Asian Telecom Statistics and Market Overview
- South East Asian Mobile Communications and Mobile Data Markets


2006 Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband in Asia report - Malaysia and Philippines

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in telecommunications, broadcasting and pay TV markets in Malaysia and Philippines.

Subjects covered include:
- Key Statistics
- Market and Industry Overviews
- Regulatory Environment
- Major Players (fixed and mobile)
- Infrastructure
- Mobile Voice and Data Markets
- Internet, VoIP, IPTV
- Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless)
- Convergence and Digital Media

Approx number of pages 180

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see:
www.budde.com.au/publications/annual/asia/malaysia-philippines.html

Contact

Tel. 61 2 4998 8144
Chris Lewis
Paul Budde Communications
www.budde.com.au


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