Dig­i­tally driven

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECH­NOL­OGY -

iF riCe is re­garded as a sta­ple item for Malaysians, then the in­ter­net would prob­a­bly come in a close sec­ond. in fact, some may even pre­fer it the other way around, read­ily fore­go­ing food in favour of tan­ta­lis­ing con­tent on the World Wide Web.

This is es­pe­cially the case with the ad­vent of smart de­vices like phones and tablets which have lit­er­ally placed the in­ter­net at our fin­ger­tips.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search by Google in Au­gust 2013, 88% of Malaysians who were sur­veyed said they ac­cessed the in­ter­net every day and would never leave home with­out their smart­phones.

it’s ob­vi­ous that the in­ter­net has be­come an in­dis­pens­able tool in our ev­ery­day lives. As many as 91% of Malaysian re­spon­dents said they used their smart­phones to re­search on a prod­uct or ser­vice, with 59% com­plet­ing their pur­chases via a desk­top PC.

be­sides that, they are also huge con­sumers of video con­tent with 39% ad­mit­ting that they watch videos on­line daily.

in ad­di­tion to search­ing for prod­ucts and ser­vices on­line, pop­u­lar top­ics that Malaysians tend to look up on the Web in­clude travel (57%), food and bev­er­age out­lets (53%), and hous­ing (43%).

in ad­di­tion, 84% said they would per­form a search on their smart­phone after learn­ing about a par­tic­u­lar brand through an off­line advertisement.

even while they’re watch­ing TV, 43% said they would still be on their smart­phones while 57% would do so while lis­ten­ing to mu­sic.

Leap­ing into LTE

Mean­while, Malaysian tel­cos are heed­ing users’ de­mand for data and rolling out 4G lTe net­works. it be­gan after the Malaysian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Com­mis­sion (MCMC) al­lo­cated the 2,600MHz band to tel­cos in De­cem­ber 2012.

“by the end of 2014, op­er­a­tors shall pro­vide at least 20% pop­u­la­tion cov­er­age of its ser­vice us­ing the 2,600MHz band,” says Datuk Mohd Ali Hanafiah, chief in­dus­try devel­op­ment of­fi­cer at MCMC.

“With 4G lTe ser­vices, con­sumers can en­joy down­load speeds of up to 10 times faster than 3G,” claims Dushyan Vaithiyanathan, head of con­sumer busi­ness at Maxis.

How­ever, not every con­sumer is con­vinced of the need for a 4G lTe con­nec­tion for the time be­ing.

“Peo­ple have to de­cide whether they want to buy a 4G de­vice now, as it’s still slightly more ex­pen­sive com­pared to 3G phones,” says Zal­man Zainal, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at Cel­com Ax­i­ata bhd.

Nev­er­the­less, Jas­mine lee, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer at U Mo­bile Sdn bhd feels it is worth­while get­ting such a de­vice. “it’s good to get it be­cause some­how the per­for­mance is much bet­ter,” she says.

How­ever, Praveen ra­jan, head of in­ter­net and ser­vices for prod­uct mar­ket­ing at DiGi Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Sdn bhd, says we may not see an im­me­di­ate in­crease in over­all in­ter­net con­sump­tion de­spite the in­crease in net­work speed.

“it’s not an overnight thing. Cus­tomers should not be afraid that their con­sump­tion will go up right away. it’s only once the public re­alises that the ser­vice is bet­ter that ev­ery­one’s be­hav­iour will slowly change.”

Con­stant com­pan­ion: Most Malaysians will not leave home with­out their smart­phones, ac­cord­ing to re­search done by Google.

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