Malaysia is a country which is experiencing broadband penetration levels which are at an all-time high right now. Moving forward, these numbers are projected to grow over the years. The ICT industry in Malaysia is ready and ripe with opportunity for the investor who wants to make their mark in this sector. However, you must first acquire the appropriate ICT license in Malaysia before you can begin.
Overview of Malaysia’s ICT Industry
In Malaysia, it is the National Information Technology Council (NITC) that acts as a main advisor to the government on all matters related to ICT in the country. NITC was established back in 1994. Ever since then, Malaysia has been heralded as a global ICT hub, thanks to the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) flagship project, along with other developments in the country such as:
- The computerisation of ministries and agencies
- Ongoing upgrades of the country’s telecommunications and IT infrastructure
- The MSC Net Leap program which was introduced during the 9th Malaysia plan between 2006 to 2010, which boosted the growth of cyber cities and centres throughout the country.
In the 11th Malaysia Plan, which is running from 2016 to 2020, the Malaysian government is focused on increasing its ICT contributions towards the country’s GDP. Malaysia aspires to become a developed nation come 2025, and it is the ICT sector that is projected to help make this happen.
There is already an impressive list of multinational companies established in Malaysia, including the likes of IBM, CISCO Systems, Accenture, CSC Malaysia, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, Oracle Corporation and more. Indeed, the ICT industry in Malaysia has plenty of opportunities, which makes it a good time to start thinking about incorporating an ICT company.
How to Apply for An ICT License in Malaysia
If you intend to setup a company in Malaysia which provides services and facilities in the ICT sector must lodge an application with the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Under the licensing provisions outline in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA), licences under the CMA are aimed at being both technology and service neutral. The CMA has classified four categories of licensing activities, which are:
- Network Facilities Providers – This includes network facilities such as satellite earth stations, broadband fibre optic cables, telecommunications lines and exchanges, radio communications transmission equipment, mobile communications base stations and broadcasting transmission towers and equipment.
- Network Service Providers – This includes basic connectivity and bandwidth to support a variety of applications.
- Application Service Providers – This includes those who provide functions such as voice services, data services, content-based services and electronic commerce.
- Content Application Service Providers – Involves a special subset of applications service providers including traditional broadcast services and newer services such as online publishing and information services.
Next, we will take a look at the types of license you will need, along with the license application procedure. Now, within these four activity categories, there are two types of licences available:
- Individual licences – For close monitoring and control of activities
- Class licence – A “light-handed’ form of regulation which is designed to promote industry growth and development by removing unnecessary regulatory barriers.