Internet in Malaysia
The Internet started as ARPA net, a US defense research project, and as time
went by, other countries started wiring in to the network, which meant connecting
to the US directly. This was typical to many countries at the time, that they
were far better connected to the US than they were to one another.
In the early 90's, Malaysia linked to the global Internet was via an undersea
cable to the United States.
Underwater cable, circa 1996
In the late 90's, the FLAG system, or Fiber Optic Link Around the Globe, came
online. Linking to FLAG is JARING.
FLAG was part of a trend that brought about a vast increase in intercontinental
bandwidth, other systems which gradually came online included:
|ASIA PACIFIC CABLE (APC)
||Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore
|ASIA PACIFIC CABLE (APCN)
||Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand,
Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, and the Philippines
||Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines
|MALAYSIA -THAILAND (MT)
||Domestic (TELEKOM MALAYSIA)
||Domestic (TIME TELECOM)
||South Africa, Mauritius, Malaysia
||France through Med to Singapore
||Germany, UK, France through Med. to Japan
MIMOS, established on 1 January 1985 as the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic
Systems, is entrusted with the role of developing information technology capabilities
in Malaysia. It subsequently became a government research and development institution
in November 1996. Telekom Malaysia is the incumbent and dominant telecom operator,
offering a wide range of telecom services. It operates the 10 Gbps Hypernet, the
largest IP backbone in the country, spanning the length of Peninsular Malaysia.
The leading ISPs in Malaysia are still those who received their licenses before
1999. These licensees are Telekom Malaysia Bhd., MIMOS Bhd., Maxis Communications
Sdn. Bhd., Celcom Sdn. Bhd., TimedotCom Bhd., DiGi Telecommunications Sdn. Bhd.
and PrismaNet Sdn. Bhd. Both MIMOS and Telekom Malaysia can be regarded as the
incumbent ISPs, as both commenced operations well before the other five ISPs were
awarded licenses in the second half of 1998. Celcom and TimedotCom are the only
new ISPs that operate their own fiber-optic IP backbone network.
Telekom Malaysia controls more than 98 percent of the local loop, and the other
ISPs are highly dependent on Telekom Malaysia's network. They have no control
over copper-line quality, and furthermore, Telekom Malaysia is not mandated to
unbundle its local loop to competitors. Many of these problems are currently being
resolved as intra- and international links are upgraded.
Packet One, the newest ISP and effectively the true competitor to Telekom's Streamyx,
is relying on WiMax technology to slip away from Telekom's copper-line. While this strategy had
been tried by Jaring before, Packet One arguably has better marketing strategy and
is betting on a standardized technology that will be embeded in future notebook PCs,
theoretically lowering its costs in the long run.