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Reasons of the Issues of Internet in Malaysia

Posted by Kamarul Azman on
Reasons of the Issues of Internet in Malaysia

This article mainly presents the problems which surround the internet in Malaysia. Based on a report by SpeedTest, the internet speed in Malaysia in last year, 2022, was ranked at the 32th place for fixed broadband speed and 72th for mobile network data. Based on the user experience, it is considered quite slow as people have been experiencing downing of internet service and loading speeds that took more than twenty seconds or even minutes. This is really frustrating for users and businesses that are heavily relying on the internet, like customer service and online teaching and learning. As for tourists, it is even more frustrating as the internet isn’t stable when they need it to view maps and track destinations. In the midst of blaming the sluggish internet speed, does anyone even know the real reasons behind the problematic nationwide internet connection? So without further ado, let’s hop in and take a look at the reasons for the internet problems in Malaysia. 

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Some existing users are exasperated that they have yet to enjoy the higher broadband speeds promised by their service providers. — SAM THAM/The Star

Reason No.1.: Monopoly of Telekom Malaysia (TM)

Telekom Malaysia (TM) signed an agreement with the government in 2008 to develop and manage the national High Speed Broadband (HSBB) network exclusively. In 2010, TM debuted its unifi fibre broadband service for users on the HSBB network. Approximately 8 months later, in 2010, TM was able to secure Maxis as a key customer for their HSBB service. Maxis, on the other hand, stated in 2014 that it was dissatisfied with its collaboration with TM. Apart from this, Telekom Malaysia (TM) has always prioritised Unifi in HSBB as a national broadband network. For example, while TM stated in July 2018 that its Unifi internet plans will soon provide speeds of up to 800Mbps, Maxis did not begin providing 800Mbps plans until April 2019. Other big telcos took their time getting on board the HSBB network for consumer fibre broadband service. Celcom signed up for HSBB service in 2011, however their fibre broadband service was not immediately available to all customers. Digi joined 10-12 years later, in 2020. U Mobile is most likely still negotiating an agreement for access. In other words, TM’s Fixed Broadband service was pricey back then, and it remains so now. Streamyx was a monopoly, and HSBB is a monopoly as well. Since port availability has been an issue for many years, TM did not create the HSBB network for every home. There is just not enough competition and there is little regulation. It’s likely that 5G will be the same. There is just one 5G provider, and whether you subscribe to Maxis 5G, Celcom 5G, Digi 5G, or U Mobile 5G, it all operates on the same 5G network, operated by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB).

Reason No.2.: High Cost of Installing better internet connection, especially 5G

DNB must pay Celcom to use its 10,000 4G sites, as well as TM for access to fibre backhaul – all of which adds up to a significant expense, unless Celcom deploys the 5G network using its current equipment. MVNOs such as Tune Talk and redONE have the potential to create competition and play a significant role in lowering 5G pricing. However, these MVNOs may be unable to directly negotiate with DNB for 5G because they may have an exclusivity arrangement with their present 4G host operator. There are also concerns about the cost of 5G devices and their interoperability with DNB’s 5G network. The most affordable 5G smartphone available now costs roughly RM1000. So where is the openness in wholesale pricing for 5G access to Telcos, given that it would be a nationwide 5G network? Will all telcos pay the same 5G pricing to DNB, or will specific telcos receive preferential treatment? At the time of writing, the Malaysian government, MCMC, and DNB have not said that 5G will reduce the cost of broadband up to this day.

Reason No.3.: Thieves and Vandalism towards the Internet Infrastructure in rural areas 

Last but not least, this is downright weird as one of the reasons for the poor internet in Malaysia. According to Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Zahidi Zainul Abidin, theft and vandalism are two major reasons why rural communities in Malaysia have inadequate internet access. Copper and optical fibre cables, which are required hardware for internet connection in the region, appear to be excavated and stolen. Certain remote communities will lose internet service as a result of it being stolen or, worse, destroyed. Aside from that, there have been reports of vandalism causing damage to power generators, even solar-powered ones, that are in charge of transmission towers. Moving forward, Minister Zahidi intends to deploy new technologies to remedy the problem, with the goal of boosting internet access in remote regions, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak.

Despite all the chaotic reasons behind the problematic internet in terms of its speed and connection, as long as you are well-connected and able to get your job done should be enough. Looking for better internet connection, please consult tm unifi Malaysia at Jom Apply  for more info and assistance.