2007 North Asian - Broadband and Internet Markets

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Broadband and Internet markets in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan.

Subjects covered include:

  • Internet infrastructure and development;
  • Internet policies, models and concepts;
  • Internet Market, VPNs and VoIP;
  • National Policies, Government Policies, Regulatory Regimes;
  • Network Players;
  • xDSL, Cable Modem, FttH, Satellite;
  • Wireless Broadband, WiMAX.

Executive Summary

This Asia market annual report covers the 8 economies in the North 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 economies.

The markets covered include: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan.

In the rush to go online, North Asia is being led by a group of the most highly penetrated Internet markets in the world. With Asia the world’s leading regional Internet market in terms of subscribers, with the region North Asia is the outstanding driving Internet force. Not surprisingly, Internet growth in Asia continues to be dominated by the developed economies of North Asia - Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. This group has been joined by China, based on its sheer weight of numbers; it was claiming 137 million Internet users by end-2006, a penetration in excess of 10%. South Korea is the top ranked North Asia market in terms of user penetration with 71%; at the other end of the spectrum is Mongolia with 10% and just behind China in user penetration.

A focus on high-speed broadband Internet access in its various forms is also a feature of North Asia’s Internet growth. Again, following the example set by market leader South Korea, the emphasis has been on delivering faster broadband speeds to the customers.

In terms of broadband access, Asia is one region in the world where Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) has started to emerge as a serious broadband platform. The technology has taken off in a big way in Japan. There were already 10 million FttH subscribers in Japan by mid-2007. Not unexpectedly, the movement towards fibre has been occurring in Asia’s more developed markets, where positive government intervention has been playing an important role.

North Asia - Internet markets - user penetration and subscribers – 2006

Country Internet user
penetration
Internet subscribers
(million)
South Korea 71% 34.1
Japan 68% 87.5
Taiwan 64% 14.5
Hong Kong 53% 3.8
Macau 43% 0.2
China 10% 137.0
Mongolia 10% 0.3
North Korea n/a n/a
(Source: BuddeComm)

Highlights in the individual broadband and Internet markets of North Asia include:

China

  • By early 2007, the number of Internet subscribers in China had passed 140 million (11% penetration);
  • At the same time, China’s Internet user base represented about 12% of the world’s total users;
  • The Chinese government continued to focus on the enormous social and economic value of Internet; however, it remained concerned by the perceived risk to cultural heritage and to political stability, continuing to impose restrictions on Internet access;
  • China is the world’s biggest user of VoIP services;
  • Though penetration remains comparatively low (4%), by early 2007, broadband in China was growing at an annual rate of 35%;
  • With 56.3 million broadband subscribers by March 2007, China had the second most broadband services in the world after the US (60.3 million) and catching up. For the country overview, see chapter 1, page 1.

Hong Kong

  • On the back of its quality infrastructure, Hong Kong has quickly reached a high penetration of broadband Internet access;
  • It already has more than 90% of households with broadband access;
  • This made Hong Kong the second most highly penetrated market in Asia after South Korea;
  • Broadband subscribers in Hong Kong had jumped to 1.8 million by March 2007, having added one million broadband subscribers in quick time;
  • Broadband household penetration was running at 70% by early 2007 and just over 67% of the total Internet subscriber base had a broadband connection. For the country overview, see chapter 2, page 39.

Japan

  • By early 2007, Japan had more than 27 million broadband Internet services in place;
  • While much of the success of broadband in Japan was due to the stunning growth in DSL broadband services, this form of access was in decline;
  • FttH Internet access had become the most popular form of high speed access;
  • There were around 10 million FttH subscribers by mid-2007, up from 2.5 million at end-2004;
  • At the same time, Japan was also running hot in the IP telephony market;
  • As of March 2007, there were around 14.3 million registered VoIP subscribers in Japan, up from 9 million at end-2005. For the country overview, see chapter 3, page 70.

Macau

  • With strong support from the administration, Macau has been quick to adopt Internet in its various forms;
  • Broadband Internet access using DSL technology has been the mainstay of access services;
  • By April 2007, over 90% of all Internet subscriptions in Macau were broadband based;
  • Broadband household penetration was in excess of 60% at the time. For the country overview, see chapter 4, page 95.

Mongolia

  • In relative terms, the Internet market in Mongolia remains insignificant;
  • With a user base estimated at 380,000, Internet user penetration was just over 10% by end-2006;
  • Broadband services were virtually non-existent at the time. For the country overview, see chapter 5, page 99.

North Korea

North Korea is the only country in the world yet to adopt Internet for public usage. A lack of infrastructure coupled with the regime’s anxiety about the free flow of information, means that only a select group of government, educational and research institute officials are authorised to access the Web in the country. Nor are personal computers widely available to the general public. With what little access there is to the Internet, the government maintains strict controls and censorship. At the same time, North Korea’s obsession with secrecy has made it extremely difficult to get a clear picture of the country’s telecom sector. (In the absence of official statistics, we have made estimates in our report.) For the country overview, see chapter 6, page 103.

South Korea

  • South Korea has the highest number of broadband connections per capita in the world;
  • By early 2007, more than 29% of the population, or 84% of households, were broadband subscribers, as the broadband market in country was reaching near saturation;
  • The country’s impressive broadband progress has had enormous and continuing support from the government;
  • in the late 1990s the government issued a policy statement mandating that operators provide a 2Mb/s connection for every citizen;
  • In June 2006, South Korean operators announced the launch of WiBro services (local equivalent to WiMAX);
  • This was the world’s first full wireless broadband service, based on the WiBro/802.16e standard. For the country overview, see chapter 7, page 107.

Taiwan

  • The Internet market in Taiwan is also one of the more heavily broadband-penetrated in the world;
  • With more than 90% of households having some form of Internet access, by early 2007 about 59% of these households had broadband Internet access;
  • DSL has provided the dominant platform for the broadband access in the country;
  • There were 4.5 million broadband subscribers in the country by end-2006, of which an estimated 3.9 million were DSL services;
  • The government has been active in promoting broadband and has committed the country to being on a par with the US by 2010;
  • The government has been particularly strong in promoting the development of WiMAX; in mid-2007, a series of licences were issued to provide island-wide WiMAX coverage. For the country overview, see chapter 8, page 133.

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.CHINA
1.1Internet market
1.1.1Overview
1.1.2Internet statistics
1.1.3Internet regulations and censorship
1.1.4Instant messaging (IM)
1.1.5Search engines
1.2Broadband market
1.2.1Overview
1.2.2Broadband service providers
1.2.3Broadband networks overview
1.2.4Cable modems
1.2.5Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
1.2.6Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
1.2.7Broadband over powerline (BPL)
1.2.8Wireless broadband
1.3E-services
1.3.1Overview
1.3.2E-commerce
1.3.3Regulatory issues
1.3.4E-payment systems
1.3.5E-government
1.3.6E-entertainment
1.3.7E-publishing
2.HONG KONG
2.1Internet market
2.1.1History and statistics
2.1.2Internet traffic volume
2.1.3Domain names
2.1.4Internet usage
2.1.5ISP market
2.1.6Major ISPs
2.2Broadband market
2.2.1Overview
2.2.2Licensing
2.2.3Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
2.2.4Cable modems
2.2.5Wireless broadband
2.3E-services
2.3.1E-commerce
2.3.2E-government
2.3.3E-entertainment
2.3.4E-communications
3.JAPAN
3.1Internet market
3.1.1Japan Internet Providers’ Association (JAIPA)
3.2Broadband market
3.2.1Overview
3.2.2Cable modems
3.2.3Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
3.2.4Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
3.2.5Broadband over Powerline (BPL) / Powerline Communications (PLC)
3.2.6Wireless broadband
3.2.7Global LAN Ethernet
3.3E-services
3.3.1Overview
3.3.2E-commerce
3.3.3E-cash
3.3.4E-banking
3.3.5Online trading
3.3.6E-government
3.3.7E-entertainment
4.MACAU
4.1Internet market
4.1.1Overview
4.1.2ISP market
4.1.3Licensing of Internet services
4.2Broadband market
4.2.1Overview
5.MONGOLIA
5.1Internet market
5.1.1Overview
5.1.2Mongolia Internet Exchange (MIX)
5.1.3ISP market
5.2Broadband market
5.2.1Fibre-to-the-building (FttB) project
5.2.2Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
6.NORTH KOREA
6.1Internet market
6.1.1Overview
6.1.2Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
6.1.3Websites
6.1.4Email service
6.1.5Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
6.1.6Internet cafes
7.SOUTH KOREA
7.1Internet market
7.1.1Overview
7.1.2The world’s most penetrated broadband Internet market
7.1.3Internet statistics
7.1.4Internet cafes / PC bangs
7.1.5Inter usage patterns
7.1.6Internet search engines
7.2Broadband market
7.2.1Overview
7.2.2Growth drivers
7.2.3Statistical overview
7.2.4Major broadband ISPs
7.2.5Broadband services
7.3E-services
7.3.1Overview
7.3.2E-commerce
7.3.3Online trading
7.3.4E-banking
7.3.5E-government
7.3.6E-entertainment
8.TAIWAN
8.1Internet market
8.1.1Overview
8.1.2Public Internet access
8.1.3Direct Internet access network
8.1.4TWGate
8.1.5ISP market
8.2Broadband market
8.2.1Overview
8.2.2Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
8.2.3Cable modems
8.2.4Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
8.2.5Wireless broadband
8.2.6Advanced broadband options
8.2.7Video-on-Demand (VoD)
8.2.8High-speed ISP services
8.3E-Services
8.3.1Overview
8.3.2E-commerce
8.3.3E-banking
8.3.4E-government
9.GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS
Exhibit 1 – ‘Enemies of the Internet’ – December 2005
Exhibit 2 – Confusion surrounding DSL statistics in South Korea
Exhibit 3 – Estimated B-WLL frequencies, bandwidth and applications in South Korea
Exhibit 4 – LMCS network operators in South Korea


Table 1 – Internet user statistics in China – 2006
Table 2 – Internet provider statistics in China – 2006
Table 3 – CNNIC Internet survey – 2005
Table 4 – Internet users in China – 1996 - 2007
Table 5 – Internet subscribers in China – 1995 - 2007
Table 6 – Registered domain names by code in China – February 2007
Table 7 – Share of China’s online search market – 2005 - 2006
Table 8 – Broadband statistics in China – 2006
Table 9 – Broadband subscriber growth in China – 2000 - 2007
Table 10 – Broadband subscribers and annual growth by access type in China – 2006
Table 11 – Broadband subscribers and households in China - 2006
Table 12 – Cable modem Internet subscribers in China – 2000 - 2007
Table 13 – DSL Internet subscribers in China – 2000 - 2007
Table 14 – Internet user statistics in Hong Kong – March 2007
Table 15 – Internet user growth in Hong Kong – 1996 - 2007
Table 16 – Internet subscriber growth in Hong Kong – 1997 - 2007
Table 17 – Internet subscribers by access type in Hong Kong – March 2007
Table 18 – Internet traffic volume (PSTN)* in Hong Kong – 1997 - 2006
Table 19 – Internet traffic volume (broadband) in Hong Kong – 2000 - 2006
Table 20 – Registered domain names in Hong Kong – January 2007
Table 21 – Pacific Internet subscribers by access type – 2004 - 2006
Table 22 – Broadband statistics in Hong Kong – March 2007
Table 23 – Broadband subscribers in Hong Kong – 2000 - 2007
Table 24 – Broadband subscribers and annual growth by access in Hong Kong – 2006
Table 25 – Broadband subscribers and households in Hong Kong - 2006
Table 26 – DSL subscriber growth in Hong Kong – 1999 - 2007
Table 27 – Cable modem subscriber growth in Hong Kong – 2003 - 2007
Table 28 – i-Cable broadband subscribers – 2000 - 2006
Table 29 – Online trading volumes in Hong Kong – 2000 - 2005
Table 30 – Internet user statistics in Japan – 2006
Table 31 – Internet subscriber growth, cable modem, DSL and FttH in Japan – 2002 - 2007
Table 32 – Broadband statistics in Japan – 2006
Table 33 – Broadband subscriber growth in Japan – 2000 - 2007
Table 34 – Broadband subscribers and households in Japan - 2006
Table 35 – Broadband subscribers and annual change by access type in Japan – 2006
Table 36 – Cable modem broadband subscriber growth in Japan – 1998 - 2007
Table 37 – DSL broadband subscriber growth in Japan – 1999 - 2007
Table 38 – DSL subscribers and market share by operator in Japan – 2006
Table 39 – Softbank’s broadband capacity and lines in service – 2002 - 2006
Table 40 – FttH broadband subscriber growth in Japan – 2002 - 2007
Table 41 – FttH subscribers and market share by operator in Japan – 2006
Table 42 – ‘New type’ WAN subscriber growth in Japan – 2001 - 2006
Table 43 – FWA subscriber growth in Japan – 2002 - 2006
Table 44 – Internet user statistics in Macau – April 2007
Table 45 – Internet user growth in Macau – 1996 - 2007
Table 46 – Internet subscriber growth in Macau – 1996 - 2007
Table 47 – Broadband statistics in Macau – April 2007
Table 48 – Broadband subscribers and households in Macau - April 2007
Table 49 – Broadband subscriber growth in Macau – 2001 - 2007
Table 50 – DSL subscriber growth in Macau – 2001 - 2006
Table 51 – Internet user statistics in Mongolia – 2006
Table 52 – Internet users in Mongolia – 1996 - 2006
Table 53 – Internet subscribers in Mongolia – 1998 - 2006
Table 54 – International bandwidth in Mongolia – 2000 - 2005
Table 55 – Internet user statistics in South Korea – 2006
Table 56 – Registered .kr domains – 1996 - 2007
Table 57 – Internet user growth in South Korea – 1994 - 2006
Table 58 – Internet subscribers in South Korea – 1996 - 2007
Table 59 – Broadband statistics in South Korea – March 2007
Table 60 – Broadband Internet subscriber growth and penetration in South Korea – 1998 - 2007
Table 61 – Broadband subscribers and annual growth by access type in South Korea – 2006
Table 62 – Broadband subscribers and households in South Korea - 2006
Table 63 – Broadband Internet subscribers by system in South Korea – 1998 - 2006
Table 64 – Broadband users by access type (wired and/or wireless) in South Korea - 2006
Table 65 – Broadband subscribers and market share – major providers in South Korea – April 2007
Table 66 – Broadband subscribers by access type in South Korea – March 2007
Table 67 – Cable modem subscribers in South Korea – 2000 - 2006
Table 68 – Cable modem (HFC) subscribers by service provider in South Korea – March 2007
Table 69 – DSL subscribers in South Korea – 1999 - 2007
Table 70 – DSL subscribers by service provider in South Korea – March 2007
Table 71 – A-LAN subscribers by service provider in South Korea – March 2007
Table 72 – FttH subscribers by service provider in South Korea – March 2007
Table 73 – Internet user statistics in Taiwan – 2006
Table 74 – Internet users in Taiwan – 1995 - 2006
Table 75 – Internet subscribers in Taiwan – 1996 - 2006
Table 76 – Internet subscribers by access method in Taiwan – September 2006
Table 77 – Data communications revenue share in Taiwan – 2001 - 2006
Table 78 – Broadband statistics in Taiwan – 2006
Table 79 – Broadband subscribers, penetration & portion of Internet subscribers in Taiwan – 2000 - 2006
Table 80 – Broadband subscribers and households in Taiwan - 2006
Table 81 – Broadband subscribers and annual change by access in Taiwan – 2006
Table 82 – DSL subscriber growth in Taiwan – 2001 - 2006
Table 83 – GigaMedia broadband subscribers – 1999 - 2005

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Number of pages 177

Status Archived

Last updated 16 Oct 2007
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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