Internet in Malaysia

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From its beginnings in 1995, the Internet in Malaysia has become the main platform for free discussion in Malaysia's otherwise tightly controlled media environment.[1] As of Q1 2017, Malaysia has broadband penetration rates of 103.6% (per 100 inhabitants) and 81.8% (per 100 households).[2]


The year 1995 is considered the beginning of the Internet age in Malaysia. The growth in the number of Internet hosts in Malaysia began around 1996. The country's first search engine and web portal company, Cari Internet, was also founded that year.[3] According to the first Malaysian Internet survey conducted from October to November 1995 by MIMOS and Beta Interactive Services, one out of every thousand Malaysians had access to the Internet (20,000 Internet users out of a population of 20 million).[4] In 1998, this number grew to 2.6% of the population. The total number of computer units sold, which was 467,000 in 1998 and 701,000 in 2000 indicated an increasing growth.[5][6]

In 2005 the National Public Policy Workshop (NPPW) proposed a strategy to increase the uptake of Information and communications technology (ICT) and the Internet. Among the outcomes of the NPPW was the High Speed Broadband initiative launched in 2010. As of July 2012 Internet users in Malaysia reached 25.3 million. Out of that number, there are 5 million broadband users, 2.5 million wireless broadband users and 10 million 3G subscribers.[7]


As of Q1 2017, Malaysia's average internet speed is 8.9 megabits per second (Mbit/s), and shows a 40% year-on-year increase in broadband speed; Malaysia is ranked 62nd place worldwide by the Akamai State of the Internet Report 2017.[8] The country's internet is one of the slowest and most expensive in the world.[9][10]

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission sets a low threshold for broadband.[11] It defines broadband as:

  • Any service beyond the scope of existing PSTN/ISDN and 2G cellular networks
  • With data rates that exceed the normal voice-related speed (56 kbit/s for PSTN and 64 kbit/s for ISDN)

This definition is far below the primary rate interface lower limit defined by the International Telecommunications Union in ITU-R F.1399.[12]

Access technologies[edit]

Cellular data[edit]

Cellular data and mobile broadband services are provided by:

ISP Technology Package download speed
Celcom EDGE, HSPA, DC-HSPA+, 4G LTE, 4G LTE-A Up to 150 Mbit/s
DiGi EDGE, HSPA, DC-HSPA+, 4G LTE,4G LTE-A Up to 150 Mbit/s
Maxis EDGE, HSPA, DC-HSPA+, 4G LTE, 4G LTE-A Up to 225 Mbit/s
U Mobile EDGE, HSPA, DC-HSPA+, 4G LTE Up to 75 Mbit/s
Altel EDGE, HSPA, DC-HSPA+, 4G LTE, 4G LTE-A Up to 100 Mbit/s, the first network in Malaysia has 2x20 MHz in 2.6 GHz 4G LTE.

2G and 3G services are provided by Celcom through roaming agreements.

Yes 4G LTE Up to 20 Mbit/s, Yes 4G LTE network operates on TD-LTE in Band 38 (2600 MHz) and 40 (2300 MHz).
TMgo 4G LTE Up to 20 Mbit/s, operating at a lower 850 MHz frequency.
unifi mobile (formerly webe) 4G LTE, HSPA, DC-HSPA+ Up to 50 Mbit/s, operating at a lower 850 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2600 MHz frequency

3G services are provided by Celcom through roaming agreements

Digital subscriber line (DSL)[edit]

As of June 2012 there were 1,705,000 DSL connections. TM Net, a subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia (TM), is Malaysia's largest Internet service provider. While there are many ISPs in Malaysia, TM's ownership of the nation's last mile connections restricts competition to densely populated areas in major cities. Since there is no local loop unbundling, TM Net enjoys a virtual monopoly of the broadband market.

ISP Technology Package download speed
Giga Broadband VDSL Up to 2 Mbit/s, 3 Mbit/s, 10 Mbit/s, 5+5 Mbit/s
Jaring Flite Wired (defunct) ADSL Up to 1 Mbit/s
PersiaSYS Ultraband (defunct) Cable (ETTH) Up to 700 kbit/s, 900 kbit/s, 2 Mbit/s, 8 Mbit/s
TM Streamyx ADSL,
ADSL2+ (location dependent), SDSL
Up to 1 Mbit/s, 2 Mbit/s, 4 Mbit/s, 8 Mbit/s
TM unifi (fibre) VDSL2 (For high-rise building only) Up to 30 Mbit/s, 50 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s

Fiber optics[edit]

Fiber to the building (FTTB), office (FTTO), and home (FTTH) services are provided by:

  • VTelecoms Berhad offers Internet-over-fibreoptic (fibre optic DIA), Metro-Ethernet Over DWDM for Enterprises and MNCs, using the latest Networking Technologies available to date. VTelecoms Fiber Infra coverage covers entire KlangValley including KL City Centre, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya Ampang, KL Sentral etc. VTelecoms also has its Regional presence in Singapore, HongKong and Thailand and expanding its regional and global coverage regularly. Currently (as of 2013) VTelecoms has successfully established its footprints across Malaysia connecting Thailand to Singapore over multiple Fiber routes. Being the Only Malaysian Telco having its telecom business footprints in various Asian countries, VTelecoms hold #1 position in Malaysian Telecommunication market. VTelecoms is a part of Vasseti UK Plc (Frankfurt listed), with its global Telecommunication arm "VTelecoms Global Limited".
  • City Broadband offers broadband-over-fibreoptic (fibre optic broadband) on Ethernet and GPON technologies to office buildings, residential houses, condominiums and apartments in Cyberjaya and The Horizon, Bangsar South City, Kuala Lumpur at competitive rates. City Broadband offers both best-effort and dedicated broadband services. City Broadband Corporate packages offers dedicated bandwidth that are tailored to customer's bandwidth requirements from as low as 1 Mbit/s and up to 1 Gbit/s. In Cyberjaya, City Broadband services are delivered to the customer premises via Cyberjaya Metro Fibre Network, CMFN
  • Cyberjaya Metro Fibre Network, CMFN - Fiber to the building (FTTB) and fiber to the home (FTTH). CMFN leases dark fiber connectivity and Metro Ethernet (Metro-E) services to telcos and enterprises in Cyberjaya. Employing open-access network (neutral carrier) with ring topology, it offers neutrality and redundancy throughout the network. As of December 2014, CMFN has connected more than 100 buildings including 9 Data Centres and more than 4,000 home passed in Cyberjaya.
  • MacroLynx - Fiber to the building (FTTB) and fiber to the home (FTTH). Partnership for delivery to major clients such as KLIA, Mid Valley City, GTower, and Menara Binjai.
  • Metrofon - Fiber to the home (FTTH). Provide fiber optic connection to condominiums and apartments in Kuala Lumpur city and Selangor area.
  • Penangfon - Same company as above. Provides services only in Penang island.
  • Maxis High Speed Home Broadband - Officially launch on 31 March 2011. True fibre optic connectivity to home with speeds of 10 Mbit/s and 30 Mbit/s. Availability of service is based on the coverage of the TM unifi service.
  • TIME Fibre Broadband - Officially launched on 2 February 2010. True fibre optic connectivity to home with speeds of 100 Mbit/s, 300 Mbit/s, 500 Mbit/s. Available at Mont' Kiara Pines, Mont' Kiara Astana, Mont' Kiara Sophia, Mont' Kiara Pelangi, Mont' Kiara Palma, Mont' Kiara Damai and Mont' Kiara Bayu. More locations to come.[13]
  • TM unifi - Telekom Malaysia Bhd has spent about RM1.9 billion, with the inclusion government funds amounting to RM990 million in the installation of high-speed broadband services throughout Malaysia.[14] The four initial areas that will be covered by high speed broadband services, that is being launched in March 2010 are Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Bangsar.[15] The benefits announced with the implementation of high speed broadband include smoother e-commerce activities, Internet-based health services, improved Voice-over-Internet Protocol (web-based telephone service), websites with more detailed pictures and graphics, as well as faster data downloads. It has been promised that video-streaming will be smoother and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) could take off in Malaysia. As of 2012, Unifi has 300,000 subscribers.
ISP Technology Package download speed
VTelecoms Berhad Fibre Up to 10 Mbit/s, 20 Mbit/s, 50Mbit/s, 100Mbit/s, 500Mbit/s, 1Gbit/s
City Broadband Enterprise FTTO Up to 10 Mbit/s, 30 Mbit/s, 50 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s, 500 Mbit/s, 1Gbit/s
City Broadband Residential FTTH Up to 100 Mbit/s, 500 Mbit/s, 1Gbit/s
MacroLynx FTTO and
Up to 1 to 100 Mbit/s
Up to 1 to 10 Mbit/s
TM unifi FTTH Up to 30 Mbit/s, 50 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s,300Mbit/s,500Mbit/s,800Mbit/s
Jaring Flite Fibre (defunct) FTTH Up to 2 Mbit/s, 5 Mbit/s
TIME Fibre Broadband FTTH Up to 100Mbit/s, 300Mbit/s, 500Mbit/s
Maxis Fibre Internet FTTH Up to 10 Mbit/s, 20 Mbit/s, 30Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s
ABNxcess (defunct) FTTC (combination of fibre optic cable and copper cable) Up to 10 Mbit/s, 30 Mbit/s, 50Mbit/s
PenangFon FTTH Up to 2 Mbit/s
SentralFon FTTH Up to 2 Mbit/s, 5 Mbit/s, 10Mbit/s, 20Mbit/s
Whoopie FTTO and
Up to 10 Mbit/s, 15 Mbit/s, 20 Mbit/s, 25 Mbit/s, 30 Mbit/s, 35 Mbit/s
Fiber@Home FTTO and
Up to 10 Mbit/s, 50Mbit/s, 100Mbit/s
Symphonet FTTH Up to 20 Mbit/s, 30 Mbit/s, 50 Mbit/s, 120 Mbit/s

Wireless broadband[edit]

Wireless broadband services are provided by:

ISP Technology Package download speed
Airzed (defunct) WIMAX Up to 1 Mbit/s, 1.5 Mbit/s, 2 Mbit/s
AsiaSpace WiMAX (defunct) WIMAX Up to 1.0 Mbit/s, 1.5 Mbit/s
Redtone WiMAX WIMAX Up to 512 kbit/s, 1.0 Mbit/s
Axis Broadband (defunct) Unknown Up to 512 kbit/s
Izzi Broadband (defunct) IBurst Up to 1 Mbit/s
Hotgate Technology Inc (defunct) Various broadband technologies
JARING Flite Wireless (defunct) SOMA FlexMAX Mobile WiMAX System Up to 1 Mbit/s
Packet One (defunct) WIMAX Up to 1 Mbit/s, 2 Mbit/s
YTL Communications WIMAX Up to 50 Mbit/s


Wi-Fi Hotspots are provided by:

ISP Technology No. of hotspots Download speed
JARING Flite Wifi (defunct) 802.11b Approx. 60 384 kbit/s
P1 Hot Zone (defunct) 802.11b/g/n More than 200 512 kbit/s
Celcom WifiPlus (discontinued) 802.11b/g/n More than 5000 Up to 75 Mbit/s in 4G network
Y5ZONE 802.11b/g/n More than 1,000 4 Mbit/s
wifi@unifi (formerly known as TM WiFi) 802.11b/g/n Approx. 9,400 4 Mbit/s
CONNECTme@COMMUNITY (coming soon)

Leased line[edit]

Internet access over leased lines is provided by:

  • City Broadband - City Broadband provides high speed dedicated Ethernet broadband-over-fibreoptic in Cyberjaya with Gigabit speed capacity. City Broadband customers don't need to lease a separate line a.k.a. "leased line" to get the required dedicated bandwidth since the digital fibreoptic link/line comes together with City Broadband dedicated bandwidth at no additional leased line charge. That's why City Broadband is also known as broadband-over-fibreoptic provider.
  • TM METRO-e - Dedicated internet access from 4 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s.
  • TIME Private Leased Line (IPLC) - TIME Private Leased Line provide dedicated interconnection solution that enables transmission of all data types through telecommunication network in digital format, including voice, text, image, video and graphics with high secure and reliable connection.


Very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite services are provided by:


On 16 March 2007, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission granted WiMAX licenses to the following companies:

  • Bizsurf (M) Sdn Bhd
  • MIB Comm Sdn BhD
  • Asiaspace Dotcom Sdn Bhd
  • Redtone-CNX Broadband Sdn Bhd

MCMC expected the companies to roll out their WiMAX services to 25% of the population in the areas given to them by the end of 2007. By the end of 2009, the companies are expected to provide their services to at least 40% of the population in the areas they control. The Internet access speed is expected to be no less than 1 Mbit/s.

The Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication targeted 50% household penetration by 2010 from the current household penetration of 18% as of May 2008.

Internet censorship in Malaysia[edit]

On 30 May 2011, the Malaysia government started to ban some websites, mostly file sharing websites;[16][17] this is despite a promise not to censor the Internet, made by the sixth Prime Minister, Najib Razak.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Malaysia profile: Media", BBC News, 10 September 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Communications and Multimedia : Facts and Figures, 1Q 2017", Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, 2 August 2017, retrieved 12 September 2017
  3. ^ Sreejit Pillai (13 November 2001). "M'sia oldest search engine upbeat in trying times". ZDNet. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Beta Interactive Services, 1996[better source needed]
  5. ^ Lee, 2000c[better source needed]
  6. ^ "Drivers and Impediments to E-commerce in Malaysia", John Paynter and Jackie Lim, Malaysian Journal of Library & Information Science, Vol.6, no.2, December 2001: 1-19. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  7. ^ Salman Ali, Ah Choy Er, Amizah Wan Mahmud Wan, Abdul Latif Roslina (2013). "Tracing the Diffusion of Internet in Malaysia: Then and Now". Asian Social Science. 9. doi:10.5539/ass.v9n6p9. 
  8. ^ State of the Internet Report, Q1 2017
  9. ^ Despite progress, Malaysia’s Internet speed lags behind Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malay Mail, 27 September 2015.
  10. ^ Malaysia’s Internet speed lags behind Sri Lanka, Colombo Gazette, 27 September 2015
  11. ^ Archived February 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ ABFL Groupe Intellex, World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07) agenda item 1.4 responses, UK Office of Communications (Ofcom), 29 March 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  13. ^ " Mont Kiara area to be fully fibre-capable by end of next month ", The Star, 3 February 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  14. ^ "TM To Launch HSBB Retail Service March 24". Bernama. 17 March 2010. Archived from the original on 27 January 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "TM Invests RM1.9 Billion, To Date, To Develop HSBB". Bernama. 18 March 2010. Archived from the original on 27 January 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  16. ^ "MCMC wants block of 10 websites that allow illegal movie downloads", Wong Pek Mei, Star Online, 10 June 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Malaysian Govt Orders ISPs to Block Pirate Bay, Megaupload" Archived 2012-05-23 at the Wayback Machine., Jared Moya, ZeroPaid, 10 June 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  18. ^ "No censorship of the Internet", Lester Kong and Zulkifli Abd Rahman, The Star, 8 August 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2014.

External links[edit]

Malaysian Multimedia Regulatory Bodies:

Malaysian Internet Exchange Providers: