2012 Asia - Mobile, Broadband and Digital Economy Overview

Publication Overview

This report provides an overview of the trends and developments in the mobile, broadband and digital economy of the major markets of the Asian region. Subjects covered include:


  • Market overview and statistics on the major markets of the Asian telecommunication sectors;
  • Industry and market overviews of the major markets;
  • Infrastructure developments – Fibre, IP and NGNs;
  • Mobile communications overview and statistics;
  • Broadband (DSL, FttH, cable modem and wireless);
  • Digital media, e-commerce, e-government, e-health and e-education trends and statistics.

Researchers:- Peter Evans, Paul Budde
Current publication date:- August 2012 (17th Edition)

Executive Summary

Asia’s huge mobile/broadband capacity is a solid foundation for growing the digital economy

Asia presents a massive presence in the global mobile and broadband markets. The region owns 49% of the world’s mobile subscribers. And when it comes to the development of broadband internet Asia makes a strong claim to be leading the world. On the back of the mobile and broadband market segments and their respective capabilities, Asian nations have been busy building a formidable alliance with the digital economy.

Following more than a decade of strong growth, mobile markets across Asia continued to expand during 2011 and into 2012. By end 2011 there were a total of 2.9 billion mobile subscribers in the region and with annual growth running at 10% the numbers were expected to hit 3.2 billion by end 2012. With some markets saturating and the impact of the shaky global economy still being felt, it is not surprising that the growth rate has slowed somewhat over the last year or so. This is after a period where annual mobile subscriber growth rates in Asia had been well in excess of 50%.

Overall regional penetration had reached an estimated 76% by mid 2012; although this figure is impressive in a region where the population was around 4.2 billion, it nevertheless suggests that there is still more room for subscriber growth across Asia. More than 18 countries in Asia had mobile penetration levels in excess of 100% going into 2012 and two (Macau and Hong Kong) had mobile penetrations in excess of 200%. Not surprisingly, the Global Financial Crisis caused some caution in mobile markets across the region for a year or two, but after a pause the momentum has quickly picked up again. The business emphasis has shifted from general subscriber growth to value added and mobile broadband.

Particularly relevant in the context of rapidly growing markets that still have some further room for expansion are India and China where monthly net additions have regularly been close to 10 million subscribers. These two countries combined account for around 60% of overall market share in the Asia-Pacific region. Led by China and India the region will continue to grow its mobile subscriber numbers on the back of other markets with large populations and relatively low penetration rates such as the Philippines, Pakistan and Indonesia.

In the developing economies, quick and easy mobile uptake has for a long time been the preferred, and often the only, option for subscribers, given the low levels of fixed-line deployments. In order to prevent ARPU slide in these markets, operators are offering value added mobile services such as mobile banking, remittance payments and mobile health services that take advantage of lack of access by the poor to social infrastructure such as banks and hospitals. As a consequence of these mobile-based services, the digital economy is alive and well in many of the emerging markets across Asia.

In the meantime, the developed markets in the region, such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, have positioned themselves well to exploit mobile data and broadband wireless opportunities and lead the rest of the region into the next generations of mobile applications. In fact, through the leadership of these markets Asia makes a strong claim to be setting the global benchmark when it comes to the development of mobile broadband internet access.

The rate of adoption of mobile broadband started increasing rapidly across Asia with the overall increase in mobile penetration combined with networks being progressively upgraded to next generation platforms. The initial wave of 3G services took a while before it saw any substantial growth in wireless data services across the wider regional markets; however, as 3G moves towards 4G and as speeds increase, as service improves and as content providers offer more. In South Asia, in particular, more people own a mobile phone than a PC, giving the delivery of mobile data services huge potential there.

By early 2012 Asia had a mobile broadband penetration of 11%; this represented 460 million mobile broadband subscribers in the region; two of Asia’s markets – South Korea and Singapore – had more mobile broadband subscribers than population by end 2011; Japan was not far behind on 90% mobile broadband penetration at the time.

The 3G licensing process and the progressive launch of 3G services in Asia is already well advanced. However, a few countries had been particularly slow in opening up their 3G markets. But by 2012 the last significant player to embrace 3G, the recalcitrant Thailand, was finally making substantial progress along this path.

For broadband internet generally – the combination of fixed and mobile - Asia makes a strong claim to be leading the world when it comes to its development. Broadband in its various forms has indeed been a fast growing segment in the Asian market. The energetic expansion of broadband has certainly been more of a phenomenon in the developed economies of the region, but most of the relatively poorer developing countries of the region are increasingly adopting broadband at a rapid rate. Te choice of technology platform varies across the region.

With DSL continuing to dominate the world’s fixed broadband market, Asia maintains its ranking as the leading DSL region with around 43% of the global DSL subscribers. In fact by end-2010 China claimed around an estimated 110 million of Asia’s 146 million DSL subscribers. In recent times, we have seen FttX as a growing alternative platform for broadband access in Asia. In the leading technology markets of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, FttX has been displacing other forms of high speed internet access. DSL has dropped to just 20% of the broadband market in Japan. Asia, with 68 million fibre-based broadband connections by end 2011, accounted for around 80% of global subscriptions.

While there has been some activity in the providing of WiMAX networks, the real value of this platform is in its mobile form. Initial provisioning of mobile WiMAX in Asia has certainly commenced, but with a few exceptions the technology has not yet impacted on the mass market. In any event, in their various forms mobile wireless broadband systems are becoming a key feature of the broadband access landscape across Asia.

Over a number of decades the economies of Asia have progressively built substantial fixed-line national networks followed by national mobile networks. More recently the focus of infrastructure building has shifted to the upgrading of domestic telecom networks to Next Generation Networks (NGNs). This process has seen large scale investment by Asia’s leading telecoms markets in new-generation Internet Protocol (IP)-based telecommunications networks. The developed economies have each taken this a step further, rolling out a new fibre-based National Broadband Network (NBN) or its equivalent. Inevitably, those countries that have their government promoting the implementation of broadband strategies and backing new fibre-based roll-outs are the ones that are setting the pace. Even some of the lesser-developed markets are pushing hard on this front. Singapore and Malaysia provide two interesting case studies. In any event, those countries placing the emphasis on ensuring that the population has access to high speed broadband internet will be well prepared for the wider implementation of the digital economy.

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Smart Grids
    • 1.1 Overview
    • 1.2 China
      • 1.2.1 Smart grids – background
      • 1.2.2 Smart grids – China investments
      • 1.2.3 Smart grids – China policy
      • 1.2.4 Smart grids – Anhui Province
    • 1.3 South Korea
      • 1.3.1 Smart grid stages: 2010 - 2030
      • 1.3.2 Five smart grid implementation areas
      • 1.3.3 Jeju Island
    • 1.4 Singapore
    • 1.5 Malaysia
    • 1.6 Smart cities
      • 1.6.1 Brief examples of smart communities
  • 2. The Internet of Things – Cloud Computing
    • 2.1 Overview
    • 2.2 China
    • 2.3 Japan
  • 3. Broadband Market
    • 3.1 Overview
    • 3.2 Taiwan
      • 3.2.1 Government initiatives for broadband
      • 3.2.2 Broadband statistics
    • 3.3 Japan
      • 3.3.1 Government initiatives for broadband
      • 3.3.2 Broadband statistics
    • 3.4 China
      • 3.4.1 Government initiatives for broadband
      • 3.4.2 Broadband statistics
      • 3.4.3 Online activities 2011
    • 3.5 Hong Kong
      • 3.5.1 Government initiatives for broadband
      • 3.5.2 Broadband statistics
    • 3.6 Singapore
      • 3.6.1 Overview
      • 3.6.2 Next Generation National Broadband Network (NGNBN)
    • 3.7 Wireless Broadband
      • 3.7.1 VoIP in Japan
  • 4. Digital Media / Digital Economy
    • 4.1 E-Commerce and M-Commerce
      • 4.1.1 China
      • 4.1.2 Japan
      • 4.1.3 Singapore
      • 4.1.4 South Korea
    • 4.2 Online Entertainment
      • 4.2.1 Overview
      • 4.2.2 Advertising and marketing in selected Asian markets
      • 4.2.3 Search engines
    • 4.3 E-Government, E-Health and E-Education
      • 4.3.1 Singapore
      • 4.3.2 Malaysia
      • 4.3.3 Pakistan
      • 4.3.4 Philippines
      • 4.3.5 Indonesia
      • 4.3.6 South Korea
      • 4.3.7 China
      • 4.3.8 Mongolia
      • 4.3.9 Japan
    • 4.4 Digital Broadcasting
      • 4.4.1 Overview
      • 4.4.2 China
      • 4.4.3 South Korea
      • 4.4.4 Hong Kong
      • 4.4.5 India
      • 4.4.6 Singapore
      • 4.4.7 Malaysia
      • 4.4.8 Thailand
  • 5. Mobile Communications
    • 5.1 Market overview
    • 5.2 Wireless broadband in Asia
    • 5.3 Regional statistics
    • 5.4 China and India
      • 5.4.1 China
      • 5.4.2 India
    • 5.5 Growth drivers
    • 5.6 Third Generation (3G) services and beyond
      • 5.6.1 China
      • 5.6.2 India
      • 5.6.3 South Korea
    • 5.7 Mobile Broadband
      • 5.7.1 Development of mobile data services
      • 5.7.2 South Korea
      • 5.7.3 Singapore
      • 5.7.4 Japan
    • 5.8 Mobile operators
    • 5.9 Smartphones
      • 5.9.1 South Korea
  • 6. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Broadband subscribers and households – November 2011
  • Table 2 – Singapore – broadband subscribers and households – May 2011
  • Table 3 – Taiwan – Broadband subscribers and households – December 2011
  • Table 4 – Taiwan – Broadband subscribers and annual change by access – December 2011
  • Table 5 – Japan – Broadband household connectivity and service availability – 2006 - 2008; 2011
  • Table 6 – Japan – Broadband subscribers and households – September 2011
  • Table 7 – Japan – Broadband subscribers and market share by access type – September 2011
  • Table 8 – China – broadband subscribers and households – April 2012
  • Table 9 – China – FttX subscribers – 2006 – 2012
  • Table 10 – China – Utilisation rate and number of users of different network applications – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 11 – Hong Kong – Digital 21 Strategy – key indicators – June 2012
  • Table 12 – Hong Kong – Broadband subscribers and households - March 2012
  • Table 13 – Japan – VoIP subscribers and annual change – 2004 - 2011
  • Table 14 – Japan – VoIP subscribers and market share by operator – September 2011
  • Table 15 – China Utilisation rate and number of users of different network applications – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 16 – China – Estimated value of B2C e-commerce market – 2005 – 2012
  • Table 17 – China – Estimated value of C2C e-commerce market – 2005 – 2012
  • Table 18 – China – online retail market revenue and customers – 2003 - 2012
  • Table 19 – South Korea – Internet usage rates by service– 2009 - 2011
  • Table 20 – South Korea – Main purpose of using the internet – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 21 – South Korea – E-commerce volume – 2001 - 2011
  • Table 22 – South Korea – E-commerce volume by transaction type – 2001 - 2011
  • Table 23 – South Korea – Internet banking service subscribers – 2001 - 2010
  • Table 24 – South Korea – Financial service by delivery channel – 2005 – 2010
  • Table 25 – South Korea – Online stock trading customers – 2004 - 2007
  • Table 26 – South Korea – Purchase items by internet shopping – 2010
  • Table 27 – South Korea – Mobile banking service subscribers – 2003 – 2010
  • Table 28 – China – advertising market revenues in major media – 2001; 2010; 2012
  • Table 29 – Japan – Advertising expenditures by medium – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 30 – Online activities by percentage of users in China, USA and Japan – 2009
  • Table 31 – China – Utilisation rate and number of users of different network applications – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 32 – China – top online companies by application with global comparison – 2011
  • Table 33 – China – Online gaming revenues – 2004 - 2012
  • Table 34 – China – Online video users – 2007 – 2011
  • Table 35 – China – Top 15 social networks – March 2011
  • Table 36 – China – SNS market share and user loyalty – 2010
  • Table 37 – China – Instant messaging users and utilisation rate – 2007 – 2011
  • Table 38 – China – Market share of online search engines – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 39 – China – Online search advertising market – 2005 - 2014
  • Table 40 – China – Search engine users and utilisation rate – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 41 – South Korea – E-tax usage rates – 2002 - 2007
  • Table 42 – South Korea – E-learning user market volume – 2004 - 2008
  • Table 43 – China – Overview of cable TV market – December 2010
  • Table 44 – China – Cable TV subscriptions and annual growth – 1996 - 2012
  • Table 45 – China – Forecast cable TV subscribers and household penetration: 2010 - 2012; 2015
  • Table 46 – China – Digital cable TV subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 47 – China – Forecast digital cable TV subscribers and percentage of cable TV subscribers: 2011 - 2012; 2015
  • Table 48 – China – IPTV subscribers – 2004 – 2012
  • Table 49 – South Korea – DTH subscribers – 2002 – 2012
  • Table 50 – South Korea – Cable TV operators and subscribers – Q2 2010
  • Table 51 – South Korea – Analogue and digital cable TV subscribers – 2002 – 2010, 2012 (e)
  • Table 52 – South Korea – IPTV subscribers by operator – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 53 – South Korea – IPTV growth by channels, content providers, after-school classrooms – 2008 - 2010
  • Table 54 – South Korea – IPTV real-time and pre-IPTV subscribers – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 55 – Hong Kong – HKBN triple play subscribers, ARPU and IDD traffic volume – 2003 – 2010
  • Table 56 – Hong Kong – PCCW NOW TV subscribers and ARPU – 2003 - 2010
  • Table 57 – Singapore – SingTel’s mio TV subscribers – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 58 – Asia – Mobile Internet subscribers, services and technology by provider – February 2012
  • Table 59 – Asia - Mobile subscribers and annual change – 1990; 1995; 2000 – 2012
  • Table 60 – Asia – mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration by country – 2011
  • Table 61 – India - mobile subscribers and annual change – 2006 - 2011
  • Table 62 – China – 3G subscribers – 2008 - 2013
  • Table 63 – South Korea – WCDMA subscribers by operator – December 2011
  • Table 64 – China – Mobile internet subscribers – 2006 - 2011
  • Table 65 – LTE mobile subscribers by operator – 2011 – 2012
  • Table 66 – KT and SK Telecom WiBro subscribers – 2006 - 2011
  • Table 67 – KT and SK Telecom WiBro domestic investment plans – 2006 - 2011
  • Table 68 – Singapore – 2G and 3G mobile subscribers – June 2011
  • Table 69 – Singapore - wireless broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 70 – Japan – LTE subscribers – 2010 - 2013
  • Table 71 – Japan –NTT DoCoMo LTE roadmap – 2011 – 2013; 2015
  • Table 72 – Asia – Top 15 mobile operators (by subscribers) – 2010 - 2011
  • Table 73 – top growth markets in Asia – December 2011
  • Table 74 – South Korea – Smart phone subscribers and market share – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 75 – South Korea – Forecast smart phone and tablet PC subscribers and market share – 2010 – 2015
  • Chart 1 – Taiwan - Fixed-line broadband subscribers by technology – 2003 - 2011
  • Chart 2 – Japan – fixed-line broadband subscribers by technology – 2003 - 2011
  • Chart 3 – China broadband subscribers and household penetration – 2003 – 2011
  • Chart 4 – Hong Kong broadband internet subscribers by access type – 2000 – 2012
  • Chart 5 – South Korea – mobile banking subscribers – 2003 - 2010
  • Chart 6 – China – Cable TV subscribers and digital TV penetration – 1996 – 2010
  • Chart 7 – China mobile subscriber growth, population penetration – 2000 - 2013
  • Exhibit 1 – Smart grid implementation areas for South Korea
  • Exhibit 2 – Phased implementation plan of Jeju smart grid: 2010 - 2013
  • Exhibit 3 – Smart shopping
  • Exhibit 4 – Asia’s broadband markets ranked by household penetration - June 2011
  • Exhibit 5 – Singapore – Structure of National Broadband Network
  • Exhibit 6 – South Korea – Rankings in UN global e-government survey: 2005, 2008, 2010
  • Exhibit 7 – South Korea – E-government stages: 1980s – present
  • Exhibit 8 – Mongolia – E-Mongolia programme – targets 2009; 2012; 2015
  • Exhibit 9 – South Korea – Overview regional TV broadcasters
  • Exhibit 10 – Long-term evolution (LTE) roadmap in Japan – 2008 - 2012

Annual Publication profile

Single-User PDF Licence: US$250.00EX GST
Member Discounts Apply
Purchase
License Information

Your Cart

Your Cart is empty

Purchase with Confidence

"Just a quick note to say thank for your helpful reports. I`ve used them a couple of times over the years and I found your talk at CeBIT, very interesting indeed."

Matt Joyce, IT manager, Medtronic

» More from our customers..

Special Offers

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Consulting Services ?

Quick Search

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.

Contact us

Email     pbc@budde.com.au

Copyright © 2014 Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. All trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective holders. Design by Arcaeda | Hosted by Ipera