Malaysia’s total mobile service revenue is projected to experience steady growth, with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3 percent, reaching $6 billion by 2028 from $5.3 billion in 2023.
The primary driving force behind this growth is the surging popularity of mobile data services in the country, according to GlobalData’s latest Malaysia Mobile Broadband Forecast (Q2 2023).
The report highlights that the rise in mobile data service revenue will counterbalance the decline in mobile voice service revenue over the forecast period, thus mitigating any significant erosion in the overall mobile service revenue.
Between 2023 and 2028, mobile voice revenue in Malaysia will experience a CAGR decline of 2.3 percent. The decline is attributed to the widespread shift among consumers towards Over-The-Top (OTT) communication platforms, leading to a subsequent decline in mobile voice Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).
However, during the same period, mobile data service revenue is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1 percent. This growth will be driven by the expansion of 5G networks and increased adoption of higher ARPU-yielding 5G services.
Sarwat Zeeshan, a Telecom Analyst at GlobalData, explains that the average monthly mobile data usage in Malaysia is expected to surge from 19.4 GB in 2023 to 44.4 GB in 2028. This increase can be attributed to the growing consumption of online video and social media content over smartphones, which is further fueled by the expanding availability and adoption of 4G and 5G services and data-centric plans offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
In 2022, 4G services accounted for a significant 97 percent of the total mobile subscriptions in Malaysia. Though the share of 4G services is expected to decline over the forecast period, 4G will remain the dominant technology generation in terms of subscriber base until 2027.
On the other hand, 5G subscriptions are anticipated to experience rapid growth in Malaysia, surpassing 4G in 2028 to account for a majority 60 percent share of the total mobile subscriptions. This growth will be driven by the rising demand for high-speed wireless broadband services and the expanding availability of 5G services facilitated by the government’s Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA) plan, aimed at expanding 5G coverage nationwide.
CelcomDigi leads the mobile services market in Malaysia in terms of mobile subscriptions, closely followed by Maxis.
CelcomDigi is expected to retain its leading position in Malaysia through to 2028, supported by its strong focus on 4G/5G network expansion and modernization to meet the increasing demand for high-speed services in both residential and enterprise segments.
In 2022, CelcomDigi expanded its 4G network in Malaysia to cover 96.4 percent of the country’s population and announced a comprehensive program to integrate and upgrade its networks with LTE-A and 5G technologies.