KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 – Consumers will soon be able to purchase a monthly basic broadband package at merely RM25, 14% cheaper than current prices. In a statement by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission today, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the basic mobile broadband package with a data cap of 1GB, running on 3G-HSPA network, would apply to both mobile and fixed services.
“For fixed services, Telekom Malaysia (TM) will soon be offering a basic broadband package at RM38 a month for 1Mbps of free data usage up to 1GB. This is 57% lower than the current price at RM88 for the basic package. “This is very encouraging for consumers and I thank the communication providers for coming up with these value-for-money packages. It is important that all groups are able to get into the digital mainstream and participate in the digital and Internet economies.”
Shabery added aside from the cheaper rates, communication companies should ensure that there was consistent and sufficient investment that would improve the quality of services which were critical as the country moved towards a transaction-based economy. The global average for capital intensity, the Kemaman lawmaker said, was almost 16%. Last year, the industry achieved just over 14% capital intensity, which was encouraging.
“They have been very positive about investing more in order to achieve or even surpass the global average in a few years’ time.” According to the statement, the mobile broadband packages would be available almost immediately while TM’s fixed package was expected to be made public this coming June. Shabery said with the Goods and Services Tax being implemented on communication services including prepaid reloads, the reductions for mobile and fixed rates at 14% and 57% respectively would more than compensate for the GST applicable to communication services.
This move was welcomed by the heads of telco industries who supported the initiative of getting the nation to be more connected. Celcom Axiata chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly said it heeded the minister’s call to reduce broadband service charges to encourage greater Internet usage among the public. “Celcom is committed towards championing the rakyat’s needs to gain access to the latest technology and ensuring that everyone is connected to affordable broadband and fast Internet speeds.” The move was also taken in line with the national plan to become a digital nation, and this, according to Digi CEO Albern Murty, required all Malaysians to be provided with equal opportunity to access the Internet.