Celcom and Digi Merger: The Impact on the Malaysian Enterprise ICT Market

Summary Bullets:

Alfie Amir
A. Amir

• Celcom and Digi’s merger will strengthen the new entity’s IoT and mobility capabilities.

• However, there could be some obstacles the telcos need to overcome.

As Malaysian telcos are still busy reshuffling their 5G plans with the rather unexpected special-purpose vehicle (SPV) approach (for more, please see Malaysia 5G Through SPV: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back, March 8, 2021), the industry was hit again by another major news – the merger of Celcom and Digi. The merger news is not new. Axiata and Telenor announced a merger plan of their regional businesses two years ago but it went quiet since then. The merger news only resurfaced again last week, but this time, the deal is only on the Malaysian business. While Celcom and Digi Merger: The Impact on the Malaysian Telecom Market, May 8, 2019, has covered the impact on the local telecom market, this post discusses the key takeaways in the local enterprise ICT market.

Continue reading “Celcom and Digi Merger: The Impact on the Malaysian Enterprise ICT Market”

ASEAN 5G Q1 2021 Roundup: More Edge Computing and Private Network Developments

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Malaysia has joined Indonesia and Vietnam with its commitment to launch 5G this year, while telcos in the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand are moving to the next deployment phase with a wider focus on standalone (SA) architecture, private network services, and industry collaborations.
  • 5G adoption has been revised slightly upward, driven by the increase in the subscriptions and lower overall mobile users.

Key Announcements

February 2021 – Singtel Launches Singapore’s First Commercial Indoor 5G Network: Singtel expanded its 5G coverage to VivoCity Mall, with plans to extend the coverage to other popular malls in the country this year.  While the focus was mainly on enhancing customer experience through faster speeds (up to 1.2 Gbps), the indoor network is expected to drive new 5G applications in the retail industry such as enhanced shopping experience through AR/VR, personalized customer experience, and smart inventory. Continue reading “ASEAN 5G Q1 2021 Roundup: More Edge Computing and Private Network Developments”

AWS Ramps Up Its Momentum to Capture High-Growth Cloud Opportunity in ASEAN

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • AWS has a comprehensive cloud portfolio and a growing partner ecosystem to address the diverse demand of ASEAN enterprises.
  • It also brings new features such as AWS Outposts in 1u/2u form-factor and greater scalability to address the ASEAN enterprises’ cloud challenges.

In a recent AWS analyst briefing session, the company shared the ASEAN recap of the AWS re:Invent 2020 (held in December 2020) and its business updates in the region. While there are various new products, capabilities, partnerships and initiatives announced at its annual flagship event, some of the key highlights in the ASEAN regions include expanding its footprint and bridging the cloud gaps.

Continue reading “AWS Ramps Up Its Momentum to Capture High-Growth Cloud Opportunity in ASEAN”

How Well Did PLDT and Globe Do in Capturing the ICT Opportunity During the Pandemic?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The pandemic is accelerating enterprises’ digital transformation in the Philippines, driving the market to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% in the next five years.
  • PLDT and Globe responded to the market shift with various new initiatives to capture the growing opportunity. PLDT reported a YoY increase of 5.6% in its enterprise ICT revenue, while Globe saw a 3.0% decline.

COVID-19 and Enterprise ICT Spending in the Philippines

It is widely known that COVID-19 has pushed enterprises to spend more on ICT and accelerate their digital transformation. The impact is greater in the emerging market, where business continuity planning (BCP) was not a common thing and enterprises largely relied on traditional IT services before the pandemic. In the Philippines, a recent study by GlobalData shows that 50% of 32 local enterprises increased their ICT budget in 2020 (28% by more than 6%; 22% by between 1% and 5%) to adapt to the new norm. The study also reveals that 56% of the Philippine enterprises are significantly expanding their ICT budget in 2021 by more than 6%. GlobalData estimates that the enterprise ICT services market in the country will increase by 2.3% YoY in 2020 and continue to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% in the next five years to USD 12.2 billion in 2024 (source: GlobalData Market Opportunity Forecasts to 2024: ICT in Philippines,” February 28, 2021). Continue reading “How Well Did PLDT and Globe Do in Capturing the ICT Opportunity During the Pandemic?”

Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL): Key Takeaways for the Local Enterprise ICT Market

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, MyDIGITAL, addresses key gaps across different key technology stacks such as cloud, 5G, and cybersecurity.
  • The initiative will accelerate digital transformation in the country; promote wider collaborations between vendors, service providers, and enterprises; and drive the enterprise ICT market.

The Malaysian government launched the country’s digital economy blueprint, called MyDIGITAL, which provides a comprehensive 104-page plan to accelerate the usage and adoption of technologies across the public sector, enterprises, SMBs, and consumers. While there are several other digital initiatives in the country (e.g., Jendela, National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan [NFCP], National Policy on Industry 4.0, National 5G Taskforce, Public Sector ICT Strategic Plan, and many more), MyDIGITAL outlines thorough plans with timelines and expected outcomes that glue all the other initiatives to drive the country’s economy through digital technologies. The next section discusses several key takeaways for the local enterprise ICT market. Continue reading “Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL): Key Takeaways for the Local Enterprise ICT Market”

Telco Edge Computing in ASEAN

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • Edge computing is still new in the ASEAN region, with very limited initiatives by providers and enterprises.
  • Providers and enterprises should start exploring the opportunity to gain a first-mover advantage.

The edge computing market is still new, but the ecosystem is developing fast with various initiatives and collaborations announced by key players in the last 12 months. This includes SK Telecom’s recent partnerships with VMware and Dell to offer edge computing in private 5G networking solutions (January 2021), AWS and Vodafone’s collaboration to roll out distributed multi-access edge computing (MEC) services in the UK (December 2020), Ericsson and Telstra’s initiative to develop enterprise use cases in verticals such as agriculture and smart cities in Australia, and many more. Edge computing has become a key focus for every provider across the technology stacks, including hardware vendors, cloud providers, telcos, and device manufacturers. Continue reading “Telco Edge Computing in ASEAN”

5G Updates in ASEAN – Q4 2020: More Countries to Launch 5G This Year, Steady Growth Expected in the Next Five Years

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Indonesia and Vietnam have joined the 5G bandwagon in ASEAN with commercial deployments expected later this year.

• The forecast remains stable with 5G subscribers expected to grow from 600,000 in 2020 to 125 million and account for 16% of the total mobile subscribers in 2025.

Key Announcements

October 2020 – Singtel Launches 5G Standalone (SA) Trial Network For Enterprises: Following the launch of its 5G non-standalone (NSA) trial network to the mass market in September, Singtel offers 5G SA network on 3.5GHz frequency band for enterprises to develop and trial 5G solutions. The telco also partners with Ericsson on dual-mode 5G core network solutions and mmWave to enable new enterprise applications and empower the country’s smart-nation initiatives. These initiatives are crucial for Singtel to gain a first-mover advantage as competitors (e.g., Starhub and M1) are expected to launch their 5G SA networks soon. Continue reading “5G Updates in ASEAN – Q4 2020: More Countries to Launch 5G This Year, Steady Growth Expected in the Next Five Years”

Telco SD-WAN in ASEAN: Significant Development, but What’s Next?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • The SD-WAN market landscape in ASEAN has evolved. Many telcos have added SD-WAN as part of their enterprise ICT portfolio.
  • The ASEAN telcos could consider multi-vendor offerings and overlay-underlay integration as the next steps.

There are two types of telcos. The first type is telcos that are aware of the increase in SD-WAN demand and leverage the technology to drive their network services. This type often comes from a consumer heritage and is looking to expand into an adjacent market. In most cases, they are alternative providers. These telcos have accepted the fact that the MPLS market is on a downtrend and will continue to decline. They position SD-WAN as a value-add to complement their existing connectivity services. There are also cellular telcos with small/no revenue from the fixed-line services which see SD-WAN as a new market opportunity. These telcos have been aggressive in driving the market and leveraging their brand and connectivity advantages to differentiate against non-telco competitors. The second type is telcos that are also aware of the growing SD-WAN demand, but see it as a threat to their connectivity business. These are often the incumbent telcos with a large portion of revenue from legacy connectivity services. Most of them still believe that the declining MPLS revenue is because of competition, not due to lower market demand. These telcos also often do not have any SDN/NFV capabilities. Some of them offer the service quietly/selectively with a below-the-line marketing strategy. Continue reading “Telco SD-WAN in ASEAN: Significant Development, but What’s Next?”

What Malaysia May Lose from the 5G Pushback

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• As the industry players are preparing for 5G, the government’s new initiative pushes back the technology to 2022.

• 5G is no longer a new technology and it carries more benefits than drawbacks for a country.

Malaysia was quite advanced in its 5G development with various industry collaborations exploring the potential of the technology in the country. This includes the task force set up by the regulator (MCMC) with initiatives such as events and collaborations among industry players to roll out 55 5G use cases in 2019. Besides, telcos have also been preparing their infrastructure to launch the technology, which was initially planned for H2 2020. Continue reading “What Malaysia May Lose from the 5G Pushback”

TM ONE Leap Summit 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformation in Malaysia Through Expanded Capabilities

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

  • TM ONE has expanded its ICT portfolio and strengthened its professional service capabilities.
  • However, there is still a gap in its partner ecosystem compared to other providers.

TM ONE held its third LEAP Summit virtually in November 2020.  At the event, the provider shared various initiatives not only in enhancing the country network infrastructure in line with the government’s plan, but also in expanding its portfolio and capabilities as a digital transformation partner to Malaysian enterprises.  Its focus is on the future of work (e.g., robotics, automation AI), digital competency or skillset, agile working, and Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).  The provider also shared several actual use cases and showcased its portfolio and capabilities in cloud, cybersecurity, 5G and IoT, and data analytics.  This post discusses TM ONE strengths and gaps in the market as well as recommendations for the provider and buyers in the country. Continue reading “TM ONE Leap Summit 2020: Accelerating Digital Transformation in Malaysia Through Expanded Capabilities”