At least one cell phone for every Malaysian
BUTTERWORTH: Malaysia has joined Asian nations such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand in achieving 100 per cent cell phone ownership for its 27 million population.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission statistics, based on the 28.9 million registered users in the first quarter of this year, suggested that each Malaysian owned at least one cell phone.
MCMC Technology, Standards and Network Division deputy director Rizal Abdul Malek said with the figure, Malaysia had become among the first Asian countries to achieve 100 per cent cell phone penetration .
Rizal said the figure could be higher if cell phone ownership among children was included. Some children use the gadget only for entertainment such as an audio player and for games, without registering pre-paid or post-paid services.
Last year, 87.9 percent of Malaysians owned cell phones.
Rizal said among factors that contributed to the increase was the fact that cell phones had become a need rather than a luxury item nowadays.
"Stiff competition among telecommunications companies has pushed the cost of services down, in particular SMS text message charges," he said after delivering a paper titled "Communications Industry Development Impacts" at a seminar in Seberang Jaya here yesterday.
Rizal said broadband penetration in Malaysia stood at 30 per cent and the government had taken aggressive steps such as the High Speed Broadband project being carried out by Telekom Malaysia Bhd to achieve the target of 50 per cent penetration by next year.