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2008 Asian - Broadband Market

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

This market report provides a comprehensive overview of the broadband Internet segment of the market across the various economies of Asia. Asia makes a strong claim to be leading the world when it comes to the development of broadband Internet. In fact, in 2008 after the mobile market, broadband is the fastest growing telecom market segment in Asia. The energetic expansion of broadband, however, has remained more of a phenomenon limited to the developed economies, with narrowband dial-up access being the norm in the poorer developing countries of the region.

Of course, there are signs that this is changing, but for the moment there is a ‘digital gap’. In those economies where the broadband market is taking off, DSL and cable modem platforms have both proved popular, with DSL having had a clear advantage. With DSL dominating the world market, Asia has become the leading market in the world for DSL, with about 38% of the world’s DSL subscribers. More recently, we have seen the advent of FttH as an alternative platform for broadband access. In the leading technology markets of Japan and South Korea FttH is starting to displace other forms of high-speed Internet access.

With broadband Internet continuing to take Asia by storm, the region’s broadband market finds itself dominated by six players. And these are predominantly the economies of North Asia. South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Taiwan and Japan, for the moment at least, have left the rest of the region behind in terms of penetration and sophistication of their broadband services and infrastructure.

Of these leading countries, South Korea is the most remarkable example of the Asian broadband revolution, with a broadband subscriber penetration in mid-2008 greater than 31%, while more than 90% of households in the country have a high-speed broadband Internet connection.

Broadband subscribers and households in South Korea - March 2008
Category Subscribers
Broadband subscribers:

  • Total subscribers 14,834,000
  • Annual growth 4.7%
  • Broadband (population) penetration 31%
  • Proportion of all Internet subscribers 98%
Broadband households:
  • Residential broadband subscribers (e) 13,800,000
  • Proportion of all households 90%
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)

In the July 2008 ranking released by the FTTH Council, Asia consolidated its position as the global leader in the march toward next-generation broadband. The ranking tracks the level of FttH market penetration in economies where more than 1% of households are connected directly into high-speed fibre networks. In all, 14 economies met this threshold.

South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan occupied the top four positions in the ranking, and the Asian region now accounts for more than 27 million of the world’s estimated 32 million FttH connections. South Korea has nearly 37% of its households connected to fibre, with Hong Kong at 27%, Japan at 24% and Taiwan at 7.7%. Although the People’s Republic of China ranked 11th in terms of market penetration, growth in the number of connections to 7.5 million means that China is now second only to Japan in the number of households with FttH.

Despite the regional broadband market being dominated by the relatively small number of countries mentioned above, there continues to be considerable activity in the Internet and online markets across Asia. In terms of sheer broadband Internet numbers, China (70 million broadband subscribers) is already maintaining a real presence, despite its relatively modest user penetration compared with the leading markets.

In the Exhibit below we see those economies that fall outside the top band of Asian Internet markets. In terms of broadband household penetration two distinct lower groupings appear. The countries in the second band - roughly between 5% and 20% household penetration - are in expansion mode when it comes to their Internet markets. But there is a clear gap - more than 30% on the household penetration scale - to be bridged before they can be counted in the top grouping. With Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand playing lead roles in this middle group, we typically find that in the last few years both operators and governments have started to give priority to expanding Internet access and speed in these countries. Of course, as noted already we find China in this grouping as it battles to provide Internet access for its huge population.

In the third grouping - those markets with a user penetration of less than 2%, we find those countries that, for whatever reason, have not yet ‘got their act together’ when it comes to Internet. Of course, some are performing relatively well under difficult circumstances. Indonesia has major infrastructure challenges to overcome in providing Internet to its citizens. India, like China, is struggling with its huge population and has focused on mobile telephony services. At the bottom end of the scale, however, we find a number of countries that simply have to manage with poor telecom infrastructure and generally underdeveloped regulatory regimes.

Asia’s broadband markets ranked by household penetration - June 2008
Market ranking Penetration range (as proportion of all households) Market (household penetration)

  • High >50% South Korea (91%)
  • Singapore (80%)
  • Hong Kong (78%)
  • Macau (66%)
  • Taiwan (61%)
  • Japan (51%)
  • Medium 2-40% Brunei (18%)
  • China (17%)
  • Malaysia (16%)
  • Maldives (10%)
  • Vietnam (7%)
  • Thailand (6%)
  • Philippines (5%)
  • Low 0-2% India (1%)
  • Kazakhstan (1%)
  • Indonesia (0.5%)
  • + 20 other countries in Asia
(Source: BuddeComm)

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

1. Afghanistan
1.1 Overview
1.1.1 Broadband statistics
1.2 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

2. Armenia
2.1 Overview
2.2 Wireless Internet
2.3 Armenian Datacom Company (ADC)

3. Azerbaijan
3.1 Overview
3.1.1 Broadband statistics

4. Bangladesh
4.1 Overview

5. Bhutan
5.1 Overview

6. Brunei Darussalam
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Broadband statistics

7. Cambodia
7.1 Overview
7.2 MediaRing’s acquisition of AngkorNet

8. China
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 Broadband statistics
8.2 Broadband forecasts
8.3 Broadband networks
8.3.1 Overview
8.3.2 Cable modems
8.3.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
8.3.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
8.3.5 Broadband over Powerline (BPL)
8.3.6 Wireless broadband
8.4 Major broadband service providers
8.4.1 China Telecom
8.4.2 China Netcom
8.4.3 China Tietong
8.4.4 Other broadband providers

9. Georgia
9.1 Overview
9.1.1 Broadband statistics

10. Hong Kong
10.1 Overview
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Regulatory developments
10.3 Broadband statistics
10.4 Cable modems
10.5 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
10.6 Major broadband operators
10.6.1 i-Cable
10.6.2 Hong Kong Broadband Network Services (City Telecom - CTInets)
10.6.3 Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW)
10.6.4 HKNet
10.6.5 CPCNet Hong Kong (PSINet Hong Kong Ltd)
10.6.6 Pacific Internet
10.6.7 SmarTone Broadband Services

11. India
11.1 Overview
11.1.1 Broadband statistics
11.2 Market development
11.3 National Broadband Policy 2004
11.4 Personal computers
11.5 Cable modems
11.6 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
11.7 Wireless broadband
11.7.1 WiMAX
11.8 Satellite
11.8.1 DirecPC
11.8.2 Bharti Broadband Networks
11.8.3 Reliance broadband network
11.9 Other broadband networks

12. Indonesia
12.1 Overview
12.1.1 Broadband statistics
12.2 First Media
12.3 TelkomNet
12.4 Wireless broadband
12.4.1 WiMAX
12.4.2 Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs)
12.4.3 Internet via satellite

13. Japan
13.1 Overview
13.1.1 Broadband statistics
13.1.2 Mega Consortium/Broadband Consortium Japan (BB Japan)
13.1.3 Impact of broadband on voice market
13.2 Cable modems
13.2.1 Market overview
13.2.2 Regulatory issues
13.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
13.3.1 Market overview
13.3.2 Major DSL providers
13.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
13.4.1 Market overview
13.4.2 Major FttH players
13.5 Broadband over powerline (BPL)/powerline communications (PLC)
13.6 Global LAN Ethernet

14. Kazakhstan
14.1 Overview
14.1.1 Broadband statistics
14.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)

15. Kyrgyzstan
15.1 Overview
15.1.1 Broadband statistics

16. Laos
16.1 Overview
16.1.1 Broadband statistics

17. Macau
17.1 Overview
17.1.1 Broadband statistics

18. Malaysia
18.1 Overview
18.1.1 Broadband statistics
18.2 Broadband infrastructure
18.3 Broadband Internet
18.4 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
18.5 Wireless broadband
18.5.1 WiMAX
18.5.2 Time dotCom
18.5.3 NasionCom
18.6 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
18.7 Internet via satellite

19. Maldives
19.1 Overview
19.1.1 Broadband statistics
19.2 Internet via satellite

20. Mongolia
20.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
20.1.1 Broadband statistics
20.2 Fibre-to-the-building (FttB) project

21. Myanmar
21.1 Overview
21.1.1 Broadband statistics

22. Nepal
22.1 Overview

23. Pakistan
23.1 Overview
23.1.1 Broadband statistics
23.2 Cable modems
23.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
23.4 Wireless broadband/WiMAX
23.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
23.6 Internet via satellite

24. Philippines
24.1 Overview
24.1.1 Broadband statistics
24.2 Regulatory issues
24.3 National Broadband Network (NBN)
24.4 Cable modems
24.5 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
24.5.1 PLDT’s myDSL
24.5.2 BayanTel
24.5.3 GlobeNet
24.5.4 Bell Telecom’s I-Direct

25. Singapore
25.1 Overview
25.1.1 Broadband statistics
25.2 Broadband Multimedia Network - Singapore One
25.2.1 Project overview
25.2.2 Project development
25.3 Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure (Next Gen NII)
25.3.1 Planning phase
25.3.2 Proposal phase
25.4 Broadband service providers
25.5 Cable modems
25.6 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
25.7 Powerline broadband
25.8 Internet via satellite
25.9 IP-Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN)
25.10 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
25.11 Wireless broadband
25.11.1 Allocation of wireless broadband spectrum
25.11.2 Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS)
25.11.3 WiFi
25.11.4 The Wireless@SG initiative
25.11.5 Ultra-Wideband (UWB)

26. South Korea
26.1 Overview
26.1.1 Broadband statistics
26.2 Growth drivers
26.2.1 Housing situation
26.2.2 Price
26.2.3 Broadband content
26.2.4 Government support
26.3 Major broadband ISPs
26.3.1 Broadband ISP market leaders
26.3.2 KT/KorNet
26.3.3 HanarTelecom/HanaNet
26.3.4 Korea Thrunet
26.3.5 Dacom/BoraNet
26.3.6 Onse
26.4 Broadband services
26.4.1 Overview
26.4.2 Cable modem
26.4.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
26.4.4 Very high data rate DSL (VDSL)
26.4.5 Apartment LAN (A-LAN)
26.4.6 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
26.4.7 Broadband over Powerline (BPL)/Powerline Communications (PLC)
26.4.8 Wireless broadband

27. Sri Lanka
27.1 Overview
27.1.1 Broadband statistics
27.1.2 School Net project
27.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
27.3 Wireless broadband

28. Taiwan
28.1 Overview
28.1.1 Broadband statistics
28.1.2 National Information Infrastructure project
28.1.3 Government initiatives for broadband
28.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
28.3 Cable modems
28.4 Wireless broadband
28.4.1 WiMAX
28.4.2 M-Taiwan project
28.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
28.6 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
28.6.1 Broadband content market
28.7 High-speed ISP services
28.7.1 GigaMedia

29. Thailand
29.1 Overview
29.1.1 Broadband statistics
29.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
29.3 Cable modems
29.4 Internet via satellite
29.5 Wireless Internet
29.5.1 WiMAX
29.6 Major broadband operators
29.6.1 True
29.6.2 TOT
29.6.3 CAT
29.6.4 Advance Datanetwork Communications (ADC)
29.6.5 Triple T Broadband/TT&T

30. Uzbekistan
30.1 Overview
30.1.1 Broadband statistics

31. Vietnam
31.1 Overview
31.1.1 Broadband statistics

32. Glossary of Abbreviations

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