Speculation mounts after Sharil’s abrupt exit as MCMC head: Page 2 of 2
By Karamjit Singh (with additional reporting by Edwin Yapp) January 7, 2015
Moving in the right direction
While one industry expert pointed out that these various services were already on a growth trajectory, as the telco and digital regulator, the MCMC under Sharil did not put in any impediments to adoption but was always encouraging it.
Meanwhile, a financial analyst observed, “The public may not realise it, but the industry was moving in the right direction under Sharil’s leadership.”
The analyst pointed to mobile operators which offered poor services being slapped with fines on more than one occasion. The ban on promotional activities using shortcodes was also a definite plus, he added.
Meanwhile, despite the current speculation that a political appointee will fill the seat of chairman, a senior executive familiar with Malaysia’s telco regulation landscape is still hopeful that the next chairman would preferably be a technocrat.
“It should be someone who has industry background, with experience and a good track record in policy-making. He or she should be fair-minded and recognise the immense contribution of communications (mobile, broadband, and the Internet) to the growth and development of the country.
“That person should also recognise that the rakyat (citizenry) depend heavily on social media, e-commerce, online entertainment, and so on, as part of their daily lives,” said the senior executive who declined to be named.
Bulwark against political pressure
A financial analyst aware of how things work in Malaysia warned of the need to withstand “pressure” from the four mobile operators as all of them “will try to lobby for a piece of any spectrum that becomes available,” reports Goh Thean Eu.
The four operators are the government-linked Celcom Axiata, tycoon-backed Maxis (owned by Ananda Krishna) and U Mobile (owned by Vincent Tan of the Berjaya Group), as well as Scandinavian telecommunications giant Telenor ASA via its Malaysian subsidiary DiGi.
“Despite the high broadband and cellular penetration, the key priorities for the new chairman would be to promote and increase ICT adoption,” said Frost & Sullivan’s Avinash (pic).
That, and ensuring the availability of reliable and secure network services at affordable prices.
The new chairman should also consider the following issues, noted an executive familiar with Malaysia's telco regulation landscape:
- Adequate amounts of spectrum awarded to operators which can make the best use of it and not waste a precious natural resource.
- Since the Government has already assisted in the high-speed broadband (HSBB) rollout, much more can be done to accelerate such services to include mobile infrastructure such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE) via appropriate investment tax breaks, similar to what was done for the previous mobile communications technologies such as 3G (Third Generation) and ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line).
- A review of the regulations, codes and guidelines to adapt to changes in technology and consumer demands.
- Looking at spurring competition in some services, for example broadcasting (monopolised by Astro), fixed-line services (Telekom Malaysia), etc.
- Formulate enabling policies to encourage new forms of services enabled by technology, for example mobile commerce and mobile financial services, big data, etc.
Digerati50: Ensuring world-class infrastructure
Spectrum matters top-of-mind for telco CEOs
MCMC a ‘toothless tiger’ and other Parliament shenanigans
MCMC fines major telcos RM1.2mil for dropped calls
Smartphone rebate turnaround: MCMC hung out to dry?
For more technology news and the latest updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Like us on Facebook.