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2007 Asia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband Market Overview


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This report contains comprehensive overviews of trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, Internet, broadband and digital media for the entire Asian region. Topics include:

  • Market and industry analyses and developments
  • Infrastructure, fixed voice and data, mobile, wireless, broadband and Internet
  • Facts, figures and statistics
  • Industry and regulatory issues
  • Major Players, Network Operators, Subscribers, Prepaid
There is an updated report available.


Through 2006 and into 2007, we have continued to see a generally strong run of economic growth throughout the Asian region. There continues to be some anxiety in region, however, with the uncertainty surrounding oil prices and the likely impact of high oil prices on the global economy. On a positive note, the giant growth engine that is China has continued to provide a sustained lift to the economies of its neighbours. However, if China’s economy starts showing signs of stalling, the impact will certainly be felt right across Asia.

The region’s telecommunications sector was clearly benefiting from the healthy economic environment. Highlights in the telecoms sector coming into 2007:

Asia’s mobile market has continued to grow strongly; having passed the one billion subscriber milestone in late 2006, the market was expanding at an annual rate of almost 30% into 2007; 3G mobile services are being rolled out in the major markets, with the developed markets taking a strong lead; The region’s choice of Internet access continues to rapidly move from dial-up to broadband; The developed economies of Asia are leading the way in the drive to build out powerful NGNs in the region. In looking at the Asian telecom market, it is impossible to avoid the impact of China. With its huge population and strongly developing economy, it is a real presence in the region. Having become the biggest mobile market in the world, China was continuing to expand its mobile subscriber base at a rate of almost 20% per annum. As a consequence, it could claim over 470 million mobile subscribers by April 2007.

In the meantime, while China has been grabbing the headlines, a long-time global and regional telecommunications leader in the shape of Japan has been keenly maintaining its reputation for innovation by regularly adding value to the telecom market. Its industry leadership has embraced the application of wireless Internet access, with over 85 million mobile subscribers using either NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode (with 48 million) or one of the other proprietary products by mid-2007.

Asia claims the world’s largest regional Internet market. With an estimated 437 million Internet users (a user penetration of 12%) by mid-2007, Asia was maintaining its lead over Europe (322 million) and North America (233 million). Not surprisingly, Internet application in Asia continued to be led by the developed economies of the region - Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. This group has been joined by China. With a user penetration of 10.5%, China had a massive 137 million Internet users by the start of 2007. (China’s CNNIC reported 162 million users as at June 2007.)

South Korea was continuing to dominate the area of broadband Internet access, leading the world and the region with its 84% of households having a broadband connection by end-2006. The two major technologies supporting broadband in Asia were DSL and cable modem. DSL was dominating by a factor of 2 to 1. By March 2007, there were almost 75 million DSL subscribers and around 39 million cable modem subscribers across the region.

Across Asia, as the local economies improve and national regulators restructure their markets, operators have been facing increasingly competitive markets. Price cutting continues to be widespread, the offering of value added services has been expanding and innovative product promotion and packaging is popular. Working in such highly competitive markets, the ARPU across the product range has experienced strong downward pressure, but some equilibrium has been achieved. In the meantime, with the introduction of 3G services and other value-added service platforms, some operators have already seized the opportunity to grow ARPU again. Nevertheless, profit margins have been falling and operators need to be flexible in a quickly changing market.

For the last decade, the investment strategies adopted by telcos throughout the region have remained relatively cautious. While obviously still keen to find new markets, operators, often with the support of equipment suppliers, have been building fresh business plans to suit the changing market. A case in point was the oversupply of undersea cable capacity that became apparent three or four years ago. This had a particularly severe impact on investment plans (and on the financial viability of companies). As the submarine cable market rebounds and is once again needing an injection of capital, the players are expected to adopt a more circumspect approach this time. At the same time, after a period of sluggish growth, the satellite segment has also seen a series of new launches and there are signs that this will continue.

The Asian region has a wide spectrum of telecommunications and IT development. Countries can be found at both ends of this development spectrum. While some of the world’s leading developers and implementers of technology are to be found in Asia, many countries in the region are still in the early stages of their information technology and telecommunications adoption. There is, nevertheless, a consistently strong awareness of the importance of telecommunications and information being demonstrated right across the region. The commercial significance of telecommunications is well recognised and, at the same time, the potential contribution to the social and cultural wellbeing of nations is also well appreciated. As a consequence, the growth potential in the Asian market remains extremely high.

In 2007, the Asian telecom market was estimated to be worth around US$350 billion. The big new drivers in the market are broadband and IP services, as well as ongoing growth in the mobile sector, particularly as more and more value-added services come into play. NGNs are also being rolled out by the regional heavyweights, with the inevitable strong move into triple play services on the back of the NGNs.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. TELECOMS, MOBILE & BROADBAND OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS
1.1 Key developments
1.1.1 General
1.1.2 Regulatory
1.1.3 Infrastructure
1.1.4 Internet
1.1.5 Broadband
1.1.6 Mobile
1.2 Telecommunications infrastructure
1.3 Regulatory
1.4 Fixed-line services
1.5 Internet services
1.6 Broadband Internet
1.7 Mobile market
1.7.1 Third Generation (3G) mobile services
2. TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
2.1 Submarine cable networks
2.1.1 Overview
2.1.2 Taiwan earthquake - December 2006
2.1.3 Major submarine cable systems
2.2 IP networks & VoIP services
2.2.1 Asia market overview
2.2.2 Japan
2.2.3 South Korea
2.2.4 China
2.2.5 Singapore
2.2.6 Taiwan
2.2.7 India
2.2.8 Hong Kong
2.2.9 Other markets in Asia
2.3 NGN, IP and VoIP
2.3.1 Asia market overview
2.3.2 Japan
2.3.3 South Korea
2.3.4 China
2.3.5 Singapore
2.3.6 Taiwan
2.3.7 Hong Kong
2.3.8 India
3. INTERNET MARKET
3.1 Market overview
3.1.1 Statistical overview
3.2 Cultural and regulatory issues
3.2.1 Public Internet access
3.3 Internet advertising
3.4 Asian Domain Name Dispute-Resolution Centre
3.5 Internet access and infrastructure
3.5.1 Internet bandwidth
3.5.2 Internet data centres
3.6 ISP market
3.7 ASP market
3.8 Intranets and extranets
3.9 e-Government
4. BROADBAND MARKET
4.1 Market overview
4.1.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
4.1.2 Cable Modem
4.1.3 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
4.2 Wireless broadband
4.2.1 Overview
4.2.2 WiFi
4.2.3 WiMAX
4.2.4 Interview: How WiMAX Forum views WiMAX - December 2006
4.2.5 Asia market overview
4.2.6 Satellite Internet
4.2.7 Broadband over Powerline (BPL) services / Powerline Communications (PLC)
4.2.8 Major broadband markets in Asia
4.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Services
4.3.1 Overview
4.3.2 Japan
4.3.3 South Korea
4.3.4 China
4.3.5 Hong Kong
4.3.6 Singapore
4.3.7 Taiwan
4.3.8 India
4.3.9 Malaysia
4.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
4.4.1 Overview
4.4.2 Japan
4.4.3 South Korea
4.4.4 China
4.4.5 Other Asian markets
4.5 Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
4.5.1 Overview
4.5.2 Japan
4.5.3 South Korea
4.5.4 China
4.5.5 Hong Kong
4.5.6 Singapore
4.5.7 Taiwan
4.5.8 Malaysia
5. DIGITAL MEDIA AND CONVERGENCE
5.1 Market Overview
5.2 Japan
5.2.1 Overview
5.2.2 Broadband TV / IPTV
5.2.3 VoD
5.3 South Korea
5.3.1 Broadband convergence Network (BcN)
5.3.2 IPTV
5.3.3 VoD
5.3.4 Digital cable TV
5.4 China
5.4.1 Overview
5.4.2 Convergence and regulatory issues
5.4.3 IPTV
5.4.4 VoD
5.5 Hong Kong
5.5.1 Overview
5.5.2 Interactive TV (iTV)
5.5.3 Convergent service operators
5.6 Singapore
5.6.1 Convergence
5.6.2 IPTV
5.6.3 VoD
5.7 Taiwan
5.7.1 Convergence
5.7.2 GigaMedia
5.7.3 IPTV
5.7.4 Interactive TV
5.8 Malaysia
5.8.1 iTV
5.8.2 IPTV
6. MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
6.1 Market overview
6.1.1 Regional characteristics
6.1.2 Growth drivers
6.1.3 Market structure
6.2 Mobile technologies
6.2.1 Overview
6.2.2 GSM
6.2.3 CDMA
6.2.4 Personal Communication Services (PCN/PCS)
6.2.5 Third Generation (3G) mobile
6.3 Mobile services
6.3.1 Prepaid services
6.3.2 In-building coverage
6.3.3 Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
6.3.4 Mobile gaming
6.4 Mobile satellite services
6.5 Mobile data services
6.5.1 Overview
6.5.2 Short Messaging Service (SMS)
6.5.3 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
6.5.4 Wireless Internet
6.5.5 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
6.5.6 Push-to talk over Cellular (PoC)
6.6 Mobile applications
6.6.1 M-Commerce
6.6.2 Asia Mobile Electronic Services Alliance
7. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS


List of Exhibits


Exhibit 1 - Asia region anticipated additional 3G licensing
Exhibit 2 - Major submarine cables in the Asia-Pacific region - 2007
Exhibit 3 - Definition of Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU)
Exhibit 4 - Japan’s Next-Generation Broadband Strategy 2010 - summary of goals
Exhibit 5 - The ‘One Laptop per Child’ project
Exhibit 6 - Asia’s broadband markets ranked by household penetration - 2006
Exhibit 7 - Mobile technologies (2G) in use in selected Asian countries - 2007
Exhibit 8 - Selected CDMA operators in the Asia region - cellular services - June 2007
Exhibit 9 - Asia region 2.75G and 3G mobile service roll-outs - 2007


List of Tables


Table 1 - Fixed-line subscribers in selected Asian markets - 2006
Table 2 - Top 8 Asian Internet markets ranked by penetration - 2006
Table 3 - Top 8 Asian broadband markets ranked by household penetration - 2006
Table 4 - Top 5 Asia mobile markets and annual change (ranked by subscribers) - March 2007
Table 5 - Top 5 Asia mobile markets (ranked by penetration) - March 2007
Table 6 - Top 10 Asia mobile operators (by subscribers) - March 2007
Table 7 - Asia’s 3G subscribers by country and technology platform - March 2007
Table 8 - Japan - VoIP subscribers and market share by operator - 2006
Table 9 - Japan - Standard and IP phones - subscribers and annual change- March 2007
Table 10 - Internet user growth in Asia - 1999 - 2007
Table 11 - Top 10 Asian countries by Internet user penetration - 2006
Table 12 - Internet and broadband subscribers for selected Asian markets - 2006
Table 13 - Broadband in Asia - major markets by subscribers and penetration - 2006
Table 14 - Asia - major broadband access types by subscribers and share of world market - March 2007
Table 15 - Asia’s leading DSL markets - subscribers and market share - March 2007
Table 16 - FttH broadband subscribers in Japan - 2002 - 2006
Table 17 - WiFi hotspots in selected Asian markets - July 2007
Table 18 - South Korea’s broadband subscriber growth and penetration - 1998 - 2007
Table 19 - Taiwan’s broadband subscriber growth and penetration - 2000 - 2007
Table 20 - Singapore’s broadband subscriber growth - 1999 - 2007
Table 21 - Singapore’s broadband subscribers by access type - March 2007
Table 22 - Hong Kong’s broadband subscriber growth - 2000 - 2007
Table 23 - China’s broadband subscriber growth - 2000 - 2007
Table 24 - DSL market in Asia - December 2006
Table 25 - DSL subscribers and annual change in leading Asian markets - 2005 - 2006
Table 26 - DSL subscribers in Japan - 2000 - 2007
Table 27 - DSL subscribers in South Korea - 1999 - 2007
Table 28 - DSL subscribers in China - 2000 - 2007
Table 29 - DSL subscribers in Hong Kong - 1999 - 2007
Table 30 - DSL subscribers in Singapore - 2000 - 2007
Table 31 - DSL subscribers in Taiwan - 2001 - 2007
Table 32 - DSL subscribers in India - 2001 - 2006
Table 33 - DSL subscribers in Malaysia - 2001 - 2007
Table 34 - FttH broadband subscribers in Japan - 2002 - 2007
Table 35 - Japan’s FttH operators - subscribers and market share - 2006
Table 36 - South Korea’s Broadband subscribers by access type - March 2007
Table 37 - South Korea’s FttH subscribers by service provider - March 2007
Table 38 - Taiwan’s Broadband subscribers and annual change by access type - 2006
Table 39 - Pay TV subscribers by platform - 2001 - 2006
Table 40 - Mobile subscriber growth in Asia - 1990 - 2007
Table 41 - Mobile versus fixed-line - subscribers and penetration in selected markets - March 2007
Table 42 - Top 10 Asia mobile markets and annual change (ranked by subscribers) - March 2007
Table 43 - Top 10 Asia mobile markets (ranked by penetration) - 2006 - 2007
Table 44 - Top 12 Asia mobile operators by subscribers - March 2006
Table 45 - Top 12 Asia mobile operators by subscribers - March 2007
Table 46 - Asia’s mobile markets: under 10% penetration - March 2007
Table 47 - Asia’s mobile markets: penetration between 10% and 50% - March 2007
Table 48 - Hong Kong’s MVNO subscriber growth - 2005 - 2007
Table 49 - GSM subscriber growth in Asia - 1997 - 2007
Table 50 - CDMA subscriber growth in Asia - 1997 - 2007
Table 51 - China’s PAS (Little Smart) subscriber growth - 2002 - 2007
Table 52 - 3G WCDMA subscriber growth in Asia - 2004 - 2007
Table 53 - 3G WCDMA subscribers in Asia by market - March 2007
Table 54 - WCDMA, 1xRTT, and 1x EV-DO subscribers - March 2007
Table 55 - Prepaid mobile subscriber growth in Asia - 1999 - 2007
Table 56 - Prepaid subscribers - selected operators - 2006
Table 57 - SMS traffic in selected Asian markets - 2005
Table 58 - Mobile wireless Internet subscribers by providers - May 2007

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