IDC forecasts 3m Malaysian Net users by year-end

Malaysian Internet users are expected to reach 3 million by the end of this year, predicts International Data Corporation (IDC) Malaysia--a figure which translates to a penetration rate of 14 percent.

Malaysian Internet users are expected to reach 3 million by the end of this year, predicts market research firm, International Data Corporation (IDC) Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR--This figure would translate to a penetration rate of 14 percent of the 22 million population in Malaysia by the end of the year.

With a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 percent, IDC expects Internet users in Malaysia to hit 6 million at the end of year 2005.

According to the IDC Marco Polo study, 2001, to date, 30 percent of Internet users are surfing from the comforts of their homes, whilst 23 percent surf from their work or place of employment.

Thirteen percent enter the Internet via home of a friend or relative and 16 percent use public access connection, such as library or Internet cafes to access the Internet.

Only 3 percent use cell phone and handheld devices to access the Internet.

According to IDC Malaysia's research manager Linus Lai, there are only 72,500 WAP subscribers to date. This figure marks a mere one percent penetration rate out of the total 5 million mobile subscribers in the country.

"Our study found that a lot of users are waiting for the transition to 3G, the fourth phase of mobile Internet. Currently, local telco players have either announced or are implementing strategies for 2.5G. Thus, we believe mobile users would rather wait for 2.5G and 3G to take off," Lai noted.

Who's using the Web?
A high percentage of Web users in Malaysia are found to be in X and Y generation age group.The study showed 42.4 percent are in the 25-34 years age bracket, whilst another 42.3 percent are in the 19-24 years bracket.

Those aged between 35-44 years made up 8.5 percent of the Internet users while the rest of the percentage are in the 45-54 years (1.5 percent), age 18 or under (4.9 percent), age 65 or more (0.2 percent) and age 55-64 (0.3 percent).

Top reasons for surfing the Internet include for the purpose of chatting online, email, to read news or current events as well as for recreational, leisure and travel purposes.

Other reasons identified include education, hobbies, research, sports, financial or investing, medical/health, network games, shopping, auctions, online education classes, weather and public policy.