With some 3.3 billion Asians using mobile phones - almost half of the number of mobile subscribers in the world spread across a diverse range of markets, the region is already rapidly advancing in its exploiting of mobile data/wireless broadband services. This will provide the basis for key developments into 2014. Growth across Asia in high speed access to the internet by mobile wireless has been largely driven by highly competitive markets combined with boldness in the embracing of new generation mobile technologies. With 3G and 3G+ platforms extensively covering the region, mobile broadband services are already well established. The rapid take up has been underpinned by increasingly cheaper smartphone prices and lower airtime tariffs combining to support even wider adoption. And now, of course, we have 4G/LTE providing a fresh impetus, especially in the region's pace-setting markets. Symptomatic of this impetus we are seeing exponential growth in data usage in the major markets. This explosion in mobile data is set to continue.
At the other end of the market, there are the laggards. A number of countries in Asia have been slow to issue 3G licences and/or have fallen into regulatory difficulties. Obviously the underlying issues are already being addressed; the coming year will no doubt see an ongoing effort by governments, regulators and operators to ensure that these markets overcome the various shortcomings and problems that have confronted them.
This report looks at initiatives and developments already started in Asia during 2013 and that are set to further evolve in 2014 and beyond. The issues discussed provide a clear view of the focus across the various countries of the region and clearly demonstrate what can be expected to take place over the coming year or so.