2007 North Asian - Telecoms Statistics and Market Overview

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the overall Infrastructure development, Fixed and Mobile services, as well as Data markets in: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan.

Subjects covered include:

  • Infrastructure Issues
  • Regulatory issues and government policies re infrastructure
  • Mobile networks, including Value Added and Next Generation Services
  • Development of Internet services and the growth of broadband access
  • Leased Lines, ISDN, Frame Relay, ATM
  • Brief overview of the major telecommunications carriers and service providers

Executive Summary

This Asia market annual report covers eight economies in the North Asia sub-region. It takes an overall look at the various telecoms markets, together with a particular look at the telecom statistics which describe the market in each of the countries. The markets covered include: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan.

Through 2006 and into 2007, we have continued to see a generally strong run of economic growth throughout the Asian region. In terms of economic power the economies of North Asia are dominating the region. The giant growth engine that is China has continued to provide a sustained lift to the economies of its regional neighbours. However, if China’s economy starts showing signs of stalling, the impact will certainly be felt right across Asia.

The region’s telecom sector was clearly benefiting from the healthy economic environment:

  • Asia’s mobile market has continued to grow strongly; having passed the one billion subscriber milestone in late 2006, the market was expanding at an annual rate of almost 30% into 2007.
  • By March 2007, the region had amassed 1.1 billion mobile subscribers. Of these, a total of 645 million were to be found in North Asia.
  • With strong leadership from Japan, 3G mobile services were being rolled out in most of the major markets in North Asia; China was the notable exception, as it confines itself to ‘trial’ networks and postpones 3G licensing.
  • North Asia’s choice of Internet access continues to build a strong and robust broadband presence;
  • The big economies of North Asia are leading the way in the drive to build out powerful NGNs.

In looking at the Asian telecom market, it is impossible to avoid the impact of China. With its huge population and strongly developing economy, it is a real presence in the region. Having become the biggest mobile market in the world, China was continuing to expand its mobile subscriber base at a rate of almost 20% per annum. As a consequence, it could claim over 470 million mobile subscribers by April 2007.

In the meantime, while China has been grabbing the headlines, a long-time global and regional telecommunications leader, Japan, has been keenly maintaining its reputation for innovation by regularly adding value to the telecom market. Its industry leadership has embraced the application of wireless Internet access, with over 85 million mobile subscribers using either NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode (with 48 million) or one of the other proprietary products by mid-2007. Its embracing of FttH has also been ground-breaking, with an estimated 10 million FttH subscribers by mid-2007.

Asia claims the world’s largest regional Internet market, with around 437 million Internet users (a user penetration of 12%) by mid-2007. Not surprisingly, the North Asia markets - - Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan - continue to be leaders within the region. This group has been joined by China. With a user penetration of 10.5%, China had a massive 137 million Internet users by the start of 2007.

South Korea was continuing to dominate the area of broadband Internet access, leading the world and the region with its 84% of households having a broadband connection by end-2006. Its launch of WiBro in mid-2006 was also a world first.

In 2007, the Asian telecommunications market was estimated to be worth around US$350 billion. A huge slice of that value was to be found in North Asia. The big new drivers in the market are broadband and IP services, as well as ongoing growth in the mobile sector, particularly as more and more value-added services come into play. NGNs are also being rolled out by the regional heavyweights, with the inevitable strong move into triple play services on the back of the NGNs.

Some key highlights within the telecom sectors of the North Asia markets coming into 2007 include:

  • The importance of China’s economic progress and wellbeing to its Asian neighbours – and particularly the developing ones – cannot be overstated. China’s ongoing growth surge has been soaking up huge volumes of exports from its neighbours.
  • While overshadowed somewhat of late by China, Japan continues to be a very significant economic player. Japan’s economy is the world’s second largest (behind the US, but still ahead of China). With a GDP of US$4.4 trillion, in 2006 it accounted for 9% of global GDP.
  • Into 2007, Asia’s telecommunications sector was looking generally stronger, building on positive growth in 2006.
  • The particularly strong demand for 3G services in Japan has continued. By March 2007, around 70 million (or 72%) of Japan’s 96.7 million mobile subscribers had signed up for 3G services.
  • By March 2007, NTT DoCoMo claimed 35.5 million 3G services, having maintained its lead over KDDI (27.3 million), with SoftBank (7.1 million) in third place.
  • Of the other big markets, all eyes have for some time been on China and its preparations for 3G licensing. However, industry observers may be giving up on predicting a timetable. It seems that when the ministry in China said that 3G services would be in place for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, that did not necessarily mean 3G licences would be issued by or before then.
  • Redundancy remained a critical issue for submarine cable systems in North Asia and beyond: the earthquake off the coast of Taiwan in December 2006 and the major outages that followed highlighted the weaknesses in the infrastructure.
  • The aggressive push of Chinese equipment manufacturers into the Asia market has continued, with these suppliers having a major impact on the regional markets as they provide generous supplier credit as part of their supply contracts, in order to build market share.
  • South Korea was the region’s most penetrated Internet market with 71% user penetration by December 2006. It was closely followed by Japan on 68%; then came Taiwan (63%), with Hong Kong and Singapore both on 60%.
  • South Korea was also the most penetrated broadband market in the world, with an estimated 84% of all households in the country accessing the Internet via a high-speed connection coming into 2007.
  • Over the 2003-2006 period, Japan and Hong Kong were two of the fastest growing broadband markets in Asia. Almost 50% of Internet households in Japan had broadband access coming into 2007, having jumped from just 15% at end-2001. Hong Kong has had a similar rise and claimed around 69% of Internet households with broadband access by end-2006.
  • By mid-2007, there were an estimated 35,000 WiFi hotspots in Asia, according to one source; of these more than 10,000 were located in South Korea.
  • Japan has already managed a substantial roll-out of FttH; by mid-2007, it had around 10 million FttH subscribers with broadband Internet access.
  • Of the 240 million additional mobile subscribers added to Asia’s total subscriber base in the 12 months to March 2007, around 71 million were added by China.

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

Table of Contents

1.2Telecommunications infrastructure
1.4Fixed-line services
2.1Overview of China’s telecom market
2.1.1Fixed-line and mobile phones in China
2.1.2China’s Tenth Five Year Plan
2.1.3Preparations for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics
2.1.4Market highlights
2.2Major telcos
2.2.1Overview of major players
2.2.2China Mobile
2.2.3China Netcom
2.2.4China Satcom
2.2.5China Telecom
2.2.6China Tietong (formerly China Railcom)
2.2.7China Unicom
2.3Telecommunications infrastructure
2.3.1Overview of infrastructure developments in China
2.3.2Regulatory issues
2.3.3National telecom networks
2.3.4International infrastructure
2.3.5Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
2.3.6Broadband over Power Line (BPL)/powerline communications (PLC)
2.3.7Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
2.3.8IP-Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN)
2.3.9IP telephony/Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
2.3.10Telecoms & IT
3.1Overview of Hong Kong’s telecom market
3.1.1Fixed Telecommunications Network Services (FTNS)
3.1.2International telecommunications services
3.2Fixed network operators
3.2.1Mainland connection
3.2.2Full liberalisation of FTNS market
3.2.3Fixed network development
3.2.4Major players in the market
3.3Telecommunications infrastructure
3.3.2National telecom networks
3.3.3International infrastructure
4.1Overview of Japan’s telecom market
4.2Fixed-line and mobile phones in Japan
4.3Telecommunications carriers
4.4Fixed network market
4.4.1Market overview
4.4.2Domestic services
4.4.3Major operators
4.5Telecommunications infrastructure
4.5.1Overview of infrastructure developments in Japan
4.5.2Regulatory issues
4.5.3Major national infrastructure players
4.5.4Broadband networks
4.5.5Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
4.5.7International submarine cable infrastructure
4.5.8Satellite infrastructure
4.5.9Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
5.1Overview of Macau’s telecom market
5.2Major player in the market
5.2.1Compahnia de Telecomunicações de Macau (CTM)
5.3Telecommunications infrastructure
5.3.1Domestic and international
5.4Data market
5.4.1Data network
5.4.3Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
6.1Overview of Mongolia’s telecom market
6.2Fixed network operators in Mongolia
6.2.1Mongolia Telecom
6.2.2Mongolian Railways Communications
6.3Telecommunications infrastructure
6.3.1National telecom network
6.3.2International infrastructure
7.1Overview of North Korea’s telecom market
7.1.1Market analysis
7.1.2Relationship with South Korea and the world
7.2Fixed network operators
7.2.1Lancelot Holdings
7.2.2Loxley Pacific (Loxpac)
7.2.3KT Corporation
7.2.4Shin Satellite Corp
7.3Telecommunications infrastructure
7.3.1National telecom network
7.3.2International infrastructure
8.1Overview of South Korea’s telecom market
8.1.1Competitive market
8.1.2Fixed-line and mobile services
8.1.3Telecommunications service markets
8.1.4Market highlights and analysis – 2007
8.1.5Market highlights and analysis – 2006
8.1.6Market highlights and analysis – 2005
8.1.7Market highlights and analysis – 2004
8.1.8Market highlights and analysis – 2003
8.2Major fixed-line network operators
8.2.2KT Corp
8.2.3Dacom Corporation
8.2.4Hanaro Telecom
8.2.5Onse Telecom
8.3Telecommunications infrastructure
8.3.1Overview of infrastructure developments in South Korea
8.3.2Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
8.3.3Major national infrastructure players
8.3.4Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
8.3.5Broadband over Powerline (BPL) / Powerline Communications (PLC)
8.3.7IP-Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN)
8.3.8Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
8.3.9Apartment LANs
8.3.10National submarine cable infrastructure
8.3.11International submarine cable infrastructure
8.3.12Satellite infrastructure
8.3.13Data communications
8.3.14Regulatory issues
9.1Overview of Taiwan’s telecom market
9.1.1Taiwan earthquake – December 2006
9.2Fixed network operators in Taiwan
9.2.1Fixed network voice services
9.2.2Chunghwa Telecom Co Ltd
9.2.3Eastern Broadband Telecom (EBT)
9.2.4New Century InfoComm Tech Co Ltd (Sparq)
9.2.5Taiwan Fixed Network Telecom
9.3Telecommunications infrastructure
9.3.1National telecom network
9.3.2International infrastructure
Exhibit 1 – Restructuring in China – scenario 1
Exhibit 2 – Restructuring in China – scenario 2
Exhibit 3 – Selected Chinese satellite service providers and satellites
Exhibit 4 – China Satcom’s satellite fleet
Exhibit 5 – Fixed Telecommunications Network Services licensees in Hong Kong – May 2007
Exhibit 6 – The ‘original’ PCCW deal
Exhibit 7 – Major submarine cables with landing points in Hong Kong - 2006
Exhibit 8 – Major members of MYLINE Carriers Association – 2007
Exhibit 9 – NTT milestones – 1952 - 2007
Exhibit 10 – Timeline of events leading to formation of KDDI – 1984 - 1999
Exhibit 11 – KDDI – subsequent events – 2000 - 2006
Exhibit 12 – Softbank history – 2000 - 2006
Exhibit 13 – Major global/regional submarine cables with landing point in Japan - 2006
Exhibit 14 – Classification of service providers in South Korea
Exhibit 15 – Overview of KT subsidiaries
Exhibit 16 – National submarine fibre optic cables, capability, length and launch dates in South Korea
Exhibit 17 – International submarine fibre optic cables, capability, length and launch dates in South Korea

Table 1 – Fixed-line subscribers in selected Asian markets – 2006
Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics in China – 2005
Table 3 – Telephone network statistics in China – September 2006
Table 4 – Fixed-lines, mobile subscriptions and penetrations in China – 1998 - 2006
Table 5 – Fixed lines in service and penetration in China – 1998 - 2006; 2010
Table 6 – Distribution of bandwidth (Mb/s) in China – 2003 - 2006
Table 7 – Overview of regional/international fibre optic cable networks in China
Table 8 – Public data and multimedia users in China – 1998 - 2000; 2005; 2010
Table 9 – Fixed telephone lines versus mobile subscriptions & penetration in Hong Kong – 1998 - 2007
Table 10 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics in Hong Kong – 2005
Table 11 – Telephone network statistics in Hong Kong – March 2007
Table 12 – Fixed-line in service and teledensity in Hong Kong – 1994 - 2007
Table 13 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics in Japan – 2005
Table 14 – Telephone network statistics in Japan – 2006
Table 15 – Subscriber growth and penetration: fixed-line versus mobile in Japan – 1993 - 2007
Table 16 – Number of telecommunications carriers in Japan – March 2007
Table 17 – MYLINE subscribers by category – May 2007
Table 18 – VoIP subscriber growth in Japan – 2003 - 2007
Table 19 – VoIP subscribers and market share by operator in Japan – 2006
Table 20 – VoIP subscribers by number category in Japan – 2006
Table 21 – Telephone network statistics in Macau – April 2007
Table 22 – Fixed-line growth and teledensity in Macau – 1991 - 2007
Table 23 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics in Mongolia – 2005
Table 24 – Telephone network statistics in Mongolia – 2006
Table 25 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Mongolia – 1994 - 2006
Table 26 – Telephone network statistics in North Korea – 2005
Table 27 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in North Korea – 1990 - 2005
Table 28 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics in South Korea – 2006
Table 29 – Telephone network statistics in South Korea – 2006
Table 30 – KT Corp fixed-line subscribers and market share – 2004 - 2006
Table 31 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in South Korea – 1991 - 2006
Table 32 – KT Corp broadband subscribers and market share – 2005 - 2007
Table 33 – Hanaro broadband subscribers by access type – September 2006
Table 34 – ISDN subscribers in South Korea – 1994 - 2006
Table 35 – Fixed telephone lines versus mobile subscriptions and penetrations in Taiwan – 1997 - 2006
Table 36 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics in Taiwan – 2006
Table 37 – Telephone network statistics in Taiwan – 2006
Table 38 – Fixed network operators – market share by revenue – 2006
Table 39 – Chunghwa Telecom subscribers by service – 2006
Table 40 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Taiwan – 1995 - 2006

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Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 203

Status Archived

Last updated 16 Oct 2007
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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