Malaysia’s Mobile Data Consumption Has Surged Since Pandemic Started
It’s been more than a year already since the COVID-19 pandemic began and since then, it has seen the rise of mobile data consumption in Malaysia according to a research done by Opensignal.
Malaysia’s surge of mobile data consumption across the region
Opensignal has revealed their research across the Southeast Asia region, where it shows the average mobile data consumption per smartphone user. As you can see from the chart, Malaysia has seen the highest mobile consumption increase in March and April 2020, which is around the time that the local government initiated MCO to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the following months, Malaysia’s data consumption continued its momentum where it saw increases between 15%-30% per month (compared to January 2020), which is consistently higher than Indonesia, Singapore, or Thailand across all months.
The free daily data packages as well as unlimited data plans introduced during the period has also affected the stats. Malaysia saw an increase between January 2020 and January 2021 at 35.2% YoY growth, compared to Indonesia’s 23.3% and Cambodia’s 16.9% respectively.
We can see that Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, and Indonesia has shown a slowdown in terms of mobile data consumption growth in the 2020/2021 period.
If you’re wondering on the average data consumption that a Malaysian uses, well the answer is 19.5GB, which is considerably bigger than the rest with the closest being Cambodia’s 13.2GB. Thailand and Malaysia recorded similar data consumption levels in January 2020, but after a year, the former’s data consumption rose faster than Thailand’s at 26.4GB in January 2021 compared to Thailand’s 22.3GB.
You might recall of the PRIHATIN stimulus package where it has seen mobile operators invest RM400 million in improving backhaul infrastructures. JENDELA has also been introduced where the initiative aims to roll out new base stations and 4G upgrades for the existing ones, phasing out 3G networks by the end of 2021, increase 4G coverage to 97% and download speeds to 35Mbps by 2022 and finally roll out 5G networks.
Aside from that, Opensignal has stated that the pandemic has affected the Download Speed Experience for both Celcom and Maxis by 39.3% and 41.6% between April 2020 and April 2021 due to the surge in mobile data consumption.
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Pokdepinion: That’s quite the difference if we look at the stats. I guess we’ve been out too much since the whole pandemic started which is a bad thing. Either that or a lot of people don’t have Wi-Fi internet at home. That’s all I can think of possible when it comes to reasons.