Market Research Logo

2006 South Asian Broadband and Internet Markets


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

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Broadband and Internet markets in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Subjects covered include:

Internet Infrastructure and Developments
Internet policies, models and concepts
Regional and International Networks
Internet Market, VPNs and VoIP
Vision for a National Policy, Government Policies
Network Operators, Wholesalers and Retailers, Utilities Projects
xDSL, HFC, MDS, Satellite, Cable Modems, Cable Telephony
Wireless Broadband


This Asia market report covers 8 countries in the South Asia sub-region. It takes an overall look at the various telecoms markets, together with a particular look at the Broadband and Internet segments in each of the countries. The markets covered include:

Afghanistan After a period in which the Internet was banned by the Taliban, and even government departments were prohibited from going online, Afghanistan has started to be opened up to the opportunities associated with the world wide web. The market remains very basic for the time being. It is not known how many Internet users there are in Afghanistan, although BuddeComm estimated 75,000 at end 2005. There are certainly not many computers in the country, with many areas even having electricity. By 2005, there was a total of 8 ISPs licensed to operate in Afghanistan.

Bangladesh, The Internet came late to Bangladesh with first connectivity in 1996. Over the last few years, growth has been dramatic, although obviously from a very low base. With an estimated user base of more than 500,000 in early 2006, representing only a 0.4% penetration, the local Internet industry is preparing to move into the next stage of its development. PC penetration remains at less than 2%, however. The country’s first broadband service was launched in 2001 using DSL technology. A cable modem service was also offered at about the same time. But, for the time being, broadband services remain a minor component of the country’s Internet market.

Bhutan After a late start, Bhutan has been cautiously embracing the Internet. The Bhutanese Government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) signed a project agreement in March 1999 to support the development of DrukNet, the country’s first Internet Service Provider (ISP). There were an estimated 5,000 Internet subscribers in the country at end-2005.

Accurate statistical information on Bhutan is difficult to obtain; there is even a huge variation between sources on what is the country’s population.

India In a country where the IT industry is booming, there is something ironic about its somewhat ambivalent approach to Internet. Whilst there appears to be considerable enthusiasm amongst the population for the Internet, this is not reflected in subscriptions. There were around seven million subscribers to Internet access services in early 2006, the vast majority being dial-up subscriptions. But most significantly, an estimated 60% of users regularly access the Internet via the country’s more than 10,000 cybercafes. When it comes to high-speed broadband access, the slow take up rate has been especially obvious. The country’s corporate sector has been surprising lacking in interest to date. Only about 13% of Internet subscribers in the country have broadband access, corresponding to a depressingly low national broadband penetration of less 0.1%. There were early signs that the broadband sector was about to gain some momentum, however, with the small market expanding by about 200% in 2005.

The Maldives Incumbent Dhiraagu provided the first Internet access in the Maldives when it launched its DhivehiNet service in 1996. Although initially offered only on a dial-up basis, Internet usage has been expanded through the setting up of cyber cafes. Broadband Internet arrived when Dhiraagu introduced its Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) service in August 2002 and by end-2004 the operator had more than 700 ADSL subscribers. Although official figures were not available, by end-2005, there were an estimated 21,000 Internet users in the country.

Nepal The Internet user base in Nepal is estimated at less than 200,000 - a lowly penetration of under 1%. On a positive note, however, the population have been able to access Internet for some of the lowest prices in the region. In the meantime, the licensing of a relatively large number of ISPs, combined with the liberalisation of the VSAT data market, has created excellent conditions for the Internet to flourish in the country.

Pakistan Although Internet access has been available in Pakistan since 1995, take up rates and penetration have remained low. Penetration was at around 3% by early 2006. Following the military regime of General Pervez Musharraf taking control of the country in 1999, an aggressive IT policy has been pursued, aimed at boosting Pakistan’s drive for economic modernisation and creating an exportable software industry. Whilst this has been helping boost the popularity of the Internet, there is a long way to go. Even the existence of more than 150 licensed ISPs has not been having a major effect on Internet growth. The broadband Internet market in Pakistan is almost non-existent.

Sri Lanka's Internet has also started to take off in Sri Lanka, but coverage and accessibility remains limited (Internet user penetration is only 2%) and the sophistication of the services available remains relatively low. The number of ISPs has jumped to 23 over the last few years. Early moves to offer broadband Internet in the country have met with only limited success and it will be some time before there is a viable broadband market.

1. OVERVIEW OF THE ASIAN BROADBAND AND INTERNET MARKETS
1.1 Internet market
1.2 Market overview
1.2.2 Cultural and regulatory issues
1.2.3 Internet advertising
1.2.4 Asian Domain Name Dispute-Resolution Centre
1.2.5 Internet access and infrastructure
1.2.6 ISP market
1.2.7 ASP market
1.2.8 Intranets and extranets
1.3 Broadband market
1.3.1 Market overview
1.3.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
1.3.3 Cable Modem
1.3.4 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
1.3.5 Wireless broadband
1.3.6 Satellite Internet
1.3.7 Broadband over Powerline (BPL) services / Powerline Communications (PLC)
1.3.8 Major broadband markets in Asia
2. AFGHANISTAN
2.1 Internet market
2.1.1 Market overview
2.1.2 Internet cafes
2.1.3 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
2.1.4 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
3. BANGLADESH
3.1 Internet market
3.1.1 Overview
3.1.2 MediNet
3.1.3 Village Computer and Internet Program
3.1.4 ISP market
3.1.5 IT development strategy
3.1.6 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
3.2 Broadband market
3.2.1 Broadband services
3.2.2 Internet via satellite
3.3 Content and e-services
3.3.1 E-commerce
4. BHUTAN
4.1 Internet market
4.1.1 Overview
4.1.2 ISP market
5. INDIA
5.1 Internet market
5.1.1 Overview
5.1.2 Regulatory issues
5.1.3 ISP market
5.2 Broadband market
5.2.1 Overview
5.2.2 National Broadband Policy 2004
5.2.3 Cable modems
5.2.4 Personal computers
5.2.5 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
5.2.6 Wireless broadband
5.2.7 Satellite
5.2.8 Other broadband networks
5.3 Content and e-services
5.3.1 E-commerce
5.3.2 Analysis - e-Chaupal - the electronic town square - May 2006
6. MALDIVES
6.1 Internet overview
6.1.1 Liberalisation
7. NEPAL
7.1 Internet market
7.1.1 Overview
7.1.2 ISP market
8. PAKISTAN
8.1 Internet market
8.1.1 Overview
8.1.2 ISP market
8.2 Broadband market
8.2.1 Cable modems
8.2.2 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
8.2.3 Internet via satellite
8.3 E-services
8.3.1 E-commerce
8.3.2 E-government
9. SRI LANKA
9.1 Internet market
9.1.1 Overview
9.1.2 Internet exchange
9.1.3 Public Internet access
9.1.4 Data Centres
9.1.5 ISP market
9.1.6 E-commerce
9.2 Broadband market
9.2.1 Market overview
9.2.2 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
10. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS
Exhibit 1 - Asia’s broadband market - countries ranked by household penetration - June 2006
Exhibit 2 - Internet Service Providers licences in Afghanistan - 2005


Table 1 - Internet user growth in Asia - 1999 - 2006
Table 2 - Top 10 Asian countries by Internet user penetration - December 2005
Table 3 - Internet and broadband subscribers for selected Asian markets - December 2005
Table 4 - International Internet bandwidth - 2000 - 2005
Table 5 - Broadband in Asia - Major markets by subscribers and penetration - 2005/2006
Table 6 - Major broadband access types (by subscribers) - March 2006
Table 7 - Asia’s DSL market - December 2005
Table 8 - DSL subscribers in Asia- March 2006
Table 9 - DSL subscribers in Japan - 2000 - 2006
Table 10 - DSL subscribers in South Korea - 1999 - 2006
Table 11 - DSL subscribers in China - 2000 - 2006
Table 12 - PCCW’s DSL subscriber base - December 2005
Table 13 - DSL subscribers in Hong Kong - 1999 - 2006
Table 14 - DSL subscribers in Singapore - 2000 - 2006
Table 15 - DSL subscribers in Taiwan - 2001 - 2006
Table 16 - DSL subscribers in Malaysia - 2001 - 2006
Table 17 - Cable modem subscribers per main country - March 2006
Table 18 - FttH growth in Japan - 2001 - 2006
Table 19 - WiFi hotspots in Asia - 2004; 2005; 2009
Table 20 - South Korea’s broadband subscriber growth - 1998 - 2006
Table 21 - Taiwan’s broadband subscriber growth - 1999 - 2006
Table 22 - Singapore’s broadband subscriber growth - 1999 - 2006
Table 23 - Broadband subscribers and households in Hong Kong - February 2006
Table 24 - China’s broadband subscriber growth - 2000 - 2006
Table 25 - Internet statistics in Afghanistan - 2005
Table 26 - Internet users and ISPs in Bangladesh - 1996 - 2005
Table 27 - Internet host computers in Bangladesh - 2001 - 2004
Table 28 - Internet provider statistics in Bangladesh - 2005
Table 29 - Internet user statistics in Bangladesh - 2005
Table 30 - Internet users and penetration in Bhutan - 1999 - 2004
Table 31 - Internet host computers in Bhutan - 1998 - 2005
Table 32 - Internet provider statistics in Bhutan - 2005
Table 33 - Internet user statistics in Bhutan - 2004
Table 34 - Internet provider statistics in India - 2005
Table 35 - Internet user statistics in India - 2005
Table 36 - Internet subscriber and user growth in India - 1995 - 2006
Table 37 - Internet host computers in India - 1995 - 2005
Table 38 - Top 10 ISPs - subscribers and market share in India - 2005
Table 39 - Broadband subscriber growth in India - 2001 - 2005
Table 40 - Broadband subscribers by access in India - 2005
Table 41 - Broadband statistics in India - 2005
Table 42 - Broadband and Internet subscriber targets in India - 2005; 2007; 2010
Table 43 - Cable modem subscribers in India - 2001 - 2006
Table 44 - DSL subscriber growth in India - 2001 - 2006
Table 45 - Commercial value of e-commerce sector in India - 2000; 2005
Table 46 - Internet users in the Maldives - 1996 - 2005
Table 47 - Internet host computers in the Maldives - 1996 - 2005
Table 48 - Internet access in the Maldives - 2004
Table 49 - Internet provider statistics in the Maldives - 2005
Table 50 - Internet user statistics in the Maldives - 2005
Table 51 - Broadband statistics in the Maldives - 2004
Table 52 - Internet users in Nepal - 1997 - 2006
Table 53 - Internet hosts in Nepal - 1995 - 2005
Table 54 - Internet provider statistics in Nepal - 2005
Table 55 - Internet user statistics in Nepal - 2005
Table 56 - Internet users in Pakistan - 1995 - 2005
Table 57 - Internet host computers in Pakistan - 1995 - 2005
Table 58 - Internet provider statistics in Pakistan - 2005
Table 59 - Internet user statistics in Pakistan - 2005
Table 60 - Internet users in Sri Lanka - 1996 - 2005
Table 61 - Internet subscribers in Sri Lanka - 1996 - 2005
Table 62 - Internet host computers in Sri Lanka - 1996 - 2004
Table 63 - Internet provider statistics in Sri Lanka - 2005
Table 64 - Internet user statistics in Sri Lanka - 2005

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report