TMG forecasts 950 million high speed mobile Internet users in Asia Pacific, by 2008
Posted on 23-Sep-2004 20:04
Filed under: News
High-speed mobile networks are beginning to spread throughout the Asia-Pacific region, providing a platform for the development of multimedia services. This is one of the findings of a new report, Asia-Pacific Mobile Multimedia Outlook, from Telecommunications Management Group, Inc. (TMG), a US-based consultancy. Some form of high-speed mobile network has been deployed in all countries studied for the report. As a result, the percentage of high-speed mobile subscribers has risen from zero in 2000 to 11.4% in 2003. The Republic of Korea leads the region with 84.5% of mobile subscribers connected to a high-speed network.
The report notes that Japan and South Korea lead the world in mobile Internet penetration and examines the prospects for the other economies in the region catching up. In addition to high-speed, another prerequisite for successful mobile multimedia adoption is attractive pricing. As a result of high-speed networks, operators have moved from time-based to volume-based pricing for mobile Internet access. Though an improvement, customers’ main preference is for flat rate mobile data tariffs, causing a number of operators to move in that direction. For example, Japan’s KDDI has launched an unlimited access mobile Internet tariff at a price equivalent to entry level Digital Subscriber Line (DSL).
According to Michael Minges, Senior Market Analyst at TMG and former head of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) market research unit, “Operators are making significant revenue from text messaging in countries where SMS is booming, such as China, Indonesia and the Philippines. The downside is that it makes them reluctant to invest in faster networks and multimedia content.”
The report features a mobile multimedia index (MMI) based on a composite of four indicators. As expected, Japan and South Korea occupy the first two positions closely followed by Singapore. The Philippines is the highest ranked developing nation, as a result of its high text messaging and subsequent mobile data revenues.
The report includes 14 statistical tables providing a comprehensive overview of the Asia-Pacific mobile sector. It also includes tables on IMT-2000 licenses issued, high-speed network deployments by operator and the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots by country. The report also provides forecasts for several indicators for the year 2008. For example, TMG estimates that the total number of mobile subscribers in the region will rise from 600 million at June 2004 to over 950 million by the end of 2008, raising penetration from 20.6 mobile subscribers per 100 inhabitants to 33.1. It also forecasts that all mobile subscribers in Japan and South Korea will be connected to high-speed networks by the end of 2008; across the region, some 500 million people will be connected to high-speed mobile networks, over half the mobile subscriber total.