Thursday, May 18, 2006

Broadband Penetration - Reality of the Matter

Everytime I come across an article about Broadband Penetration, I squirm at the statistics being bandied around. We are always trying to benchmark ourselves with neighbours and regional Economic Tigers when we have not really looked at our own statistics and socio-economic determinant in details. The commonly quoted statistics are , "Oh, we have only reached a broadband penetration of 8 to 10%, we need to do more".

What we fail to examine are the followings:-

a) The number of Copper lines laid down by Telekom Malaysia is 4.2 Million Copper lines of which 2.9 million are household. In Telco speak, there are 2.9 million DEL to home users
b) There is 25 Million people in the country of which the average household members are 5, which means that we have roughly 5 Million household in the country.
c) There are 2.5 Million inhabitant in Klang Valley which translate to roughly about 500-600K household (depending whether if we use 4 to 5 members in each household) just in Klang Valley.
d) Based on the copper cables availability and the limitation of household, the maximum possible number of broadband users in Malaysia at this moment is between 2.9 Million and 4.2 Million subscribers (assuming everyone is a Broadband freak)
e) When TMnet claims that they already have 600K subscribers, my immediate take of it wud be that half of that is from the Klang Valley. (Which in turn translate to almost 50% of the Klang Valley market). The other half have other forms of livelihood that may not require them to pay RM88 per month and willing to settle for RM20 just for dialups.

For all U know, the market for broadband in Klang Valley and almost everyone has an internet account in sofar as Klang Valley resident is concern and the broadband market in Klang Valley is already saturated and not there anymore.

Now if U look at neighboring countries statistics, the population profile is different and the household ratio is different. Singapore (a nation state) may have a population of 4 Million people and household population ratio of 2.3 to a household. This translate to 1.73 Million household. Their DEL (copper lines) is approximately 1.8 Million which means every household has a phone and almost every household has broadband. Even if they have 1.5 Million broadband subscribers, their statistics will look much better then ours in terms of penetration and reach.

I think we need to check and conduct logical arithmetics to review what ever statistics that we hope to claim to promote Broadband.


Anonymous said...

we need more of these types of information... keep it up...

The Editor said...

[Anonymous] Watch this space on other FUD news on other over zealous claims of technologies