This report provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in telecommunications, broadcasting and pay TV markets in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan. Subjects covered include:
Market and Industry Overviews
Major Players (fixed and mobile)
Mobile Voice and Data Markets
Internet, VoIP, IPTV
Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless)
Convergence and Digital Media
Hong Kong is seen as one of the most sophisticated and dynamic telecommunications markets in the world. A Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, it has built itself a world-class telecoms infrastructure, which supports one of the world’s highest penetrations of mobile phones and telephone services generally. At the start of 2006, the territory had almost 3.8 million fixed telephone lines in service, giving a teledensity of around 54%, amongst the highest in Asia as well as in the world. Whilst the fixed-line market has flattened out, the mobile market has continued to boom. At the beginning of 2006, based on Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) data, there were an amazing 8.6 million mobile subscribers, representing an impressive penetration of 123%. Not surprisingly, new generation mobile services have started reshaping the mobile market.
Digitalised since 1995, the territory has been wired with 400,000km of optical fibre. This extensive broadband network covers the vast majority of households and provides the basis for a wide range of existing and future telecommunications services. As a result of its extensive infrastructure roll-out, Hong Kong moved quickly to provide more than 90% of households with broadband access. Broadband subscribers in Hong Kong had jumped to almost 1.7 million by early 2006, having increased by 1 million in quick time.
Since 1998 the government has adopted a strongly proactive attitude to telecommunications and has taken some specific steps aimed at turning Hong Kong into a regional technology hub. OFTA, Hong Kong’s regulatory body, has been keen to promote the idea that the successful Hong Kong telecoms market has been due to positive action in respect of licensing procedures and an absence of restrictions on foreign investment. The government’s ‘open sky’ policy has been an example of this proactive approach.
Macau, also a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, has remained very low profile compared with Hong Kong in the development of its telecommunications market. Macau has systematically gone about building itself a strong modern telecommunications infrastructure and lays claim to a highly penetrated telecom market. Fixed lines reached a saturation point at 40% teledensity a few years ago. Now attention is focused on the mobile market, where by early 2006 there were 563,000 mobile subscribers, a remarkable penetration of 113%. Macau has also been quick to adopt Internet in its various forms with strong encouragement from the administration. Broadband Internet access, using Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), has been developing quickly and by April 2006 over 80% of all Internet subscriptions in Macau were broadband based.
Rapid growth in the Macau mobile sector can be attributed to the opening of the mobile market in August 2001 to two new operators, which began competing strongly with Macau Telecom. Macau Telecom’s market share had dropped to about 46% by April 2006.
Taiwan With its strong focus on the role of technology, and telecommunications in particular, throughout its economy, it is not surprising that Taiwan has one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in Asia. With excellent telecommunications infrastructure in place and the innovative use of breakthrough information technologies, the country continues to be well placed to drive both mobile and data communications services. There has been a real boom in telecom development. Annual telecommunications service revenues are around US$10 billion and investment in telecoms infrastructure is of the same order. By end-2005, fixed-line telephone penetration was around 60% and mobile penetration was 99%. The mobile figure had fallen from a peak of more than 111% in 2003. Through 2005 and into 2006 the highly penetrated mobile market was experiencing some volatility. The launch of 3G services by the three major operators was certainly presenting a healthy challenge to the market.
The broadband market in Taiwan is also one of the more heavily penetrated in the world. With around 90% of households having some form of Internet access, about 55% of these have access to the Internet provided by some form of broadband. DSL provides the dominant platform for the broadband access. Broadband subscriber base was growing at an annual rate of about 20% coming into 2006.
The role of the government in creating a liberalised telecom market in Taiwan should not be underestimated. First there was the strong push for competition to incumbent Chunghwa Telecom and to generally make the market more accessible to new operators. More recently the focus has been on achieving the privatisation of the incumbent. In August 2005, the government concluded its sale of a further 17% stake in Chunghwa Telecom, thereby dropping the government’s shareholding to 48% and formally ending years of struggle to privatise the company. (In Taiwan, a company is deemed to be private if the government owns less than 50%.)
Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.Download eBook