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aws试用账号(www.2km.me)_Good growth prospects for telcos

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WITH strong subscriber growth in fixed broadband, fixed-line players are expected to fare better than mobile operators in 2021, according to equity analysts.

UOB Kay Hian Research points out that third-quarter (Q3) fibre rollout had surpassed targets despite the lockdown, as the Jendela (National Digital Network) initiative delivered a third consecutive quarter of exceeded targets.

The research unit notes that key highlights at end-September 2021 included net additions of 378,000 quarter-on-quarter fibre broadband passes to 6.4 million and average mobile broadband speed at 31.34Mbps while 4G coverage is now at 94.03%.

“Encouragingly, the fibre broadband passes have reached 211.4% of Q3 2021 target of 179,013 net additions despite a tightened lockdown from June to August 2021.

“The regulator (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission or MCMC) is confident of achieving 7.5 million fibre broadband passes ahead of its end-2022 timeline,” says UOB Kay Hian Research.

Also, the collaborative efforts among industry players in achieving higher household penetration continue to bode well for the fixed operators like Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and TIME Dotcom Bhd.

With a wider fibre footprint, these companies would benefit from higher subscriber growth as evidenced in the first half of 2021.

UOB Kay Hian Research believes fixed broadband subscriber growth will continue to improve beyond the lockdown period.

This is because Malaysia’s fixed broadband household penetration remains relatively low compared to regional peers, although it has improved commendably to 39% in Q1 of 2021 (Q4 2020: 37.2%; Q1 2020: 35%).

Also, the research unit understands that the regulator remains focused on the fine balance between consumer affordability and investment returns for the telecommunication companies (telcos), and is satisfied with the price point of the current home broadband packages.

By accounting for 1% of the monthly gross national income per capita, the entry-level broadband package of RM79 to RM99 per month appears reasonable as connectivity is gradually becoming everyone’s basic necessity.

“The risk of heightened price competition could creep up with the new entrants in the home broadband space such as Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd and Allo Technology Sdn Bhd.

“However, we believe the incumbents would still have the upper hand, given their accelerated efforts to expand fibre footprint, invest in network quality and enhance product attractiveness (such as bundling) for customer stickiness,” it says.

While the research unit expects 2021 sector earnings to grow 9% year-on-year to RM5.23bil, it also forecasts a seasonally weaker second half of the year.

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