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.