Asia-Pacific Mobile Services Market, Forecast to 2021

Asia-Pacific Mobile Services Market, Forecast to 2021

The mobile telecoms market in Asia-Pacific consisted of 4.04 billion subscribers in 2017, and is expected to grow to reach 4.58 billion by 2021, with the CAGR (2017–2021) estimated at 3.1%. Across Asia-Pacific, increasing competition is placing further pressure on revenues and margins. YoY revenue growth and CAGR growth are at an all-time low, at 1.7% and 2.3%, respectively.

MNOs are facing highly competitive markets, with no one path for future growth. MNOs have been experiencing declining revenues in voice and messaging services, while data revenue has been witnessing strong growth due to the proliferation of OTT applications. Increasingly competitive markets mean that MNOs will need to look for new revenue streams from innovative new service offerings and optimize their cost structures.

MNOs in the Asia-Pacific region are finding success, offering choices through customized solutions. Focusing on digital services, the ‘mobile first’ culture, technology as a differentiator, and customer experience is also helping. On the cost side, improving operational efficiency is a common theme. Indeed, the opportunity that digitalization of the ecosystem presents could offer MNOs new revenue opportunities; however, MNOs will need to form the necessary partnerships and customize as much as possible.

Digital services have been slow in supplementing MNO revenue. While mobiles will be at the center of market transformation, MNOs need to appreciate that it will take time for the solutions to be developed, the necessary partnerships to be forged, and workable business models to crystalize. It would be prudent to be selective in the areas to develop. With the upcoming 5G technology set to strongly impact the market, careful business strategies and a focus beyond tactical approaches will be critical.

Key trends emerging across Asia-Pacific include MNOs leveraging on platforms, such as IoT and eCommerce, providing B2B ICT services, and offering more customized digital services. Big Data analytics services will increasingly be used by MNOs to improve the efficiency of operations through a proactive problem-solving approach, and mobile biometrics is expected to gain prominence, to become a key enabler in developing countries by 2020.

Research Highlights
This study is based on primary interviews of MNOs, in combination with extensive secondary research. It covers Asia-Pacific trends and details updates within developed and developing countries. Countries covered include South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The study’s time frame is 2014–2021, of which the forecast period is from 2018 to 2021.

Companies mentioned in this study include, but are not limited to, China Unicom, Celcom, Maxis, Digi, U Mobile, YTL Communications, Telekom Malaysia, TIME dotCom, Starhub, Singtel, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Verizon, Nuance, Idemia, Qualcomm, iflix, Spuul, Alibaba, and Tencent. Companies interviewed include, but are not limited to, Telstra, Singtel, M1, HKT/CSL, Globe, True, U Mobile, XL, Celcom, NTT DoCoMo, and Tata Communications.

Key Issues Addressed
What are the trends in mobile services in Asia-Pacific? What are the penetration rates and how are the prepaid/postpaid contributions like in Asia-Pacific?
What are the sources of MNO revenue and the trends impacting them?
What is the future of MNO revenue opportunities?
Which are the key MNO participants in Asia-Pacific to watch out for and what are their focus/target markets?
What is the mobile services outlook for 2018?
Author: Mei Lee Quah


  • Executive Summary
    • Key Findings
  • Market Overview—Total Asia-Pacific Mobile Services Market
    • Market Definitions
    • Top ICT Trends Impacting Telecommunications Providers
    • Executive Summary—Key Findings
    • Key Mobile Services Market Trends
    • Key Questions this Study will Answer
  • Forecast and Market Trends—Total Asia-Pacific Mobile Services Market
    • Snapshot of Asia-Pacific Mobile Telecoms
    • 4G Mobile Penetration Converging by Groupings
    • Smartphone Penetration Converging by Groupings
  • Trends in MNO Revenue—Total Asia-Pacific Mobile Services Market
    • Trends Impacting MNO Revenue
    • Trends Impacting MNO Revenue—OTT
    • Trends Impacting MNO Revenue—Digitalization of the Industry Ecosystem
    • Trends Impacting MNO Revenue—Unique Subscribers in Developing Countries
  • Key MNOs to Watch Out For—Total Asia-Pacific Mobile Services Market
    • Thailand—True
    • Indonesia—XL
    • Singapore—M1
    • Hong Kong—CSL
    • The Philippines—Globe
    • Top 2 Mobile Service Providers in Asia-Pacific
  • Country Analysis—Malaysia
  • Country Analysis—Singapore
  • Country Analysis—India
  • Country Analysis—Japan
  • Asia-Pacific Mobile Services Outlook for 2018
    • Corporate Strategy
    • Digital Services—Voice and Messaging
    • Digital Services—Content
    • Network and IT—Technology
    • Customer Service
  • Enterprise Segment Revenue Opportunity
    • Growing Opportunities in B2B Business Segment for MNOs
    • Adoption of Mobile Technologies by SMEs
  • Biometrics Revenue Opportunity
    • Biometric Solution Providers Targeting MNOs
    • MNO Adoption of Biometric Solutions
    • Benefits and Impact of Biometric Solutions to MNOs
    • Mobile Biometrics Implementation in Asia-Pacific
  • Growth Opportunities and Companies to Action
    • Growth Opportunity 1—Mobile Services
    • Growth Opportunity 2—5G
    • Strategic Imperatives for Success and Growth
  • The Last Word
    • Conclusion and Recommendations
    • The Last Word—3 Big Predictions

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