Who’s Riding the IOT Waves in Malaysia?

As predicted, IoT has reached its hype cycle between 2014 and 2016. Many that have high hopes and expectations to get a big slice of the IoT cake in Malaysia have somewhat left bewildered trying to figure out where big money resides. As the dust of 2016 settled down, the reality seeps in – IoT market in Malaysia is still immature (see article Malaysia’s National IOT Strategic Roadmap – 2016 in Review ). It’s like a baby crawling to find his first footsteps while grappling something or anything he can find to hold on. The next question will be – what the future holds for IoT in Malaysia next year? Here’re my predictions:

  1. Big Market for IoT Certified Training and Consultancy – Some companies will start to take IoT seriously. As more people and organizations wanted to get on the IoT bandwagon, they will need to upgrade the skills and competencies in technical and business skills of selling IoT solutions.
  2.  Sexy LoRa – It’s interesting to see that edotco Group Sdn Bhd announced that it has reached an agreement with Atilze Digital Sdn Bhd to provide 25 sites for low-power, long-range wireless protocol (LoRa) networks in Klang Valley. Axiata Group Berhad also collaborated with Atilze to trial, explore, develop and pursue Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities, initially focused on connected car solutions and city-wide LoRa network deployments. Cyberjaya became the first smart city in Southeast Asia connected with a city-wide LoRa network. Telekom Malaysia (TM) Bhd said it was rolling out a similar nationwide network. One can only wonder why mobile network operators wanted to use LoRa when the is Narrow-Band IOT (NB-IOT) is just around the corner? For many 3GPP mobile operators, NB-IOT is a natural evolution from their current infrastructure. In fact, the one that owns the spectrum can quickly launch an NB-IOT network within 3 months (sources from the NB-IOT vendor). Probably the name LoRa when pronounced as “Laura,” it will sound much sexier and attracts many suitors.
  3. IOT Platform is Key – The ingredient for an IoT implementation other than the right devices/sensors and connectivity is the “glue” that binds them together i.e. the IoT platform. Many didn’t realize the importance of having open, flexible, secure and scalable IoT platform until they found out that are unable to derive better insights due to lack of data from various sensors. Not all IoT platforms are created equal, and there are so many of them in the market now which makes a decision to choose one can become a challenge. On the other hand, building an in-house IoT platform will not be a wise decision too because it might turn into a nightmare later on.
  4. IOT Applications – Any killer apps in 2017? If you noticed that the first 3 predictions are mainly on getting the basics right i.e. skills and infrastructure. We will not see any fancy IoT solutions as yet in Malaysia, but probably I will predict two new vertical that will take the lead away from Smart City. They are (1) Connected vehicles (2) Industry 4.0 / Smart Manufacturing. We had seen a big move from Axiata when they announced LoRa for connected vehicles and with the recent investment on KATSANA amounting to $893,356 from Axiata Digital Innovation Fund. It is likely that usage-based insurance (UBI) will be introduced to Malaysia soon. KATSANA’s focus in developing driver behavioral analytics will encourage the introduction of this new business model to the motor insurance companies. There’s no doubt Industry 4.0 will reach the Malaysian shores too. Big manufacturing plants need to find ways to saves time and costs, increase yield, automate the process to compete with the rest. Many factories have already embedded sensors to their machines – it’s just a matter of time to get the assets connected and push the data to the cloud for big data analytics.

Sooner or later, the IoT waves will hit Malaysia hard, it’s not a question of “IF” but “WHEN”.

What’re your thoughts?

About the Author

Dr. Mazlan Abbas is an IOT Evangelist, Thought Leader and CEO of REDtone IOT. You can reach him on LinkedIn at or Twitter at . Check all presentation slides HERE.
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