The head of the Malaysian branch of a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company noted that the digital landscape is changing at an unprecedented pace.
An increase in smartphone penetration and access to high-speed broadband is fuelling exponential data growth by the virtue of OTT networks, increased consumption of HD content and use of advanced tech like AI, AR and VR.
As a result, data economies are springing up around the globe. Concurrently, emerging economies are rapidly scaling up capabilities to become high-growth nations with a robust digital backbone.
Malaysia, among them, is one of the early adopters of this trend. The country’s Internet traffic has been growing at 52% CAGR since 2012. The growth in the number of digitally savvy millennials and their video consumption habits, have been a key contributor to this phenomenon.
Fuelling data traffic through video consumption
According to the latest company’s Mobility Report, video currently stands out as the most significant slice of the data consumption pie, accounting for around 60% globally and is expected to reach 74% by 2024.
In Southeast Asia and Oceania (excluding India and China), monthly mobile data traffic per active smartphone is expected to experience a six-fold increase from 3.8GB in 2018 to 19GB by 2024.
Malaysians are also increasingly consuming video-rich content, spending an increasing amount of time streaming video clips on social media, tuning into shows on demand on multiple devices as well as sharing video content with friends, anytime and anywhere.
A shift from low-and standard-definition video formats to 720p HD and 1080p Full HD is also powering high-quality video consumption.
In the retail sector, video is playing a significant role in redefining online shopping with respect to product discovery and showcase as well. Brands are offering live-streaming features in e-commerce, giving consumers an immersive experience through live interactions, product demos and simultaneous shopping options.
5G is critical to manage data deluge
As user habits continue to evolve and become more reliant on data, it will have significant impact on network infrastructure. While 4G and LTE technologies can support the applications today, the current infrastructure needs to evolve to 5G to back the exponential growth in data traffic.
With data rates that are 100 times faster as well as significantly reduced network latency, 5G will greatly improve network performance. As per the Mobility Report, 25% of the data traffic will be carried by 5G networks by 2024.
In Malaysia, 5G will present immense benefits for many sectors such as agriculture, which contributed 8.09% to the overall GDP of the country in 2018. With the help of smart, wireless sensor networks and HD video feeds, farmers can regulate temperature and humidity conditions, distribute water efficiently and optimally across farms. They can further monitor and improve crop treatment, thereby building sustainable business models.
Likewise, 5G will have profound impact on industries including manufacturing, mining and healthcare. Organizations can collaborate with workers in remote locations with HD video-conferencing seamlessly and even conduct large-scale workforce training with the help of AR and VR tools. The applications will be further spread across the fields of advanced citizen services as well as smart transport systems including driverless cars.
Achieving widespread deployment
The Malaysian Government’s decision to establish a national 5G taskforce in November 2018 was a clear move to help Malaysia become a 5G-ready nation. In fact, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has announced preparations for commercial roll-outs of 5G in 2022.
To achieve a wide scale deployment, fostering a cohesive partnership amongst all stakeholders. As a result, the country will be is primed for a faster and more reliable network with low latency and greater capacity. 5G will serve as a critical infrastructure for Malaysia.