2007 South East Asian - Broadband and Internet Markets

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the Broadband and Internet markets in Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. Subjects covered include:

  • Internet Infrastructure and Developments;
  • 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 11 countries in the South East 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 South East Asian countries covered include: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

Of Asia’s estimated 450 million Internet users in early 2007, only about 65 million were to be found in South East Asia. In other words, South East Asia had around 14% of the Internet user population of the region at the time. Despite highly penetrated Internet markets to be found in Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia, South East Asian economies are more generally in the developing phase when it comes to Internet, with user penetrations typically at the lower end of the scale. At the lowest level we find Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, all with user penetrations of less than 1%.

In terms of broadband access, only Singapore rates as a highly penetrated market (65% of households by early 2007). Despite a flurry of activity in markets like Malaysia and Thailand, South Asia continues to lag well behind the more developed markets of the region in the application and penetration of broadband Internet access.

South East Asian - Internet markets - user penetration and subscribers - 2006

Country Internet user
Internet subscribers
Brunei Darussalam 43% 0.17
Cambodia 0.4% 0.06
Indonesia 8% 18.5
Laos 0.7% 0.04
Malaysia 44% 11.3
Myanmar 0.2% 0.1
Philippines 7% 6.0
Singapore 62% 2.7
Thailand 18% 11.4
Vietnam 17% 14.7
(Source: BuddeComm)
Note: Timor Leste not included in above table.

Highlights of the individual South East Asian markets include:


The move into Internet has been somewhat cautious, despite the government’s strong support for IT and e-commerce. While Internet usage has risen steadily (43%), broadband penetration remains low (3%). Incumbent JTB’s BruNet offers a DSL-based broadband Internet access service. For the country overview, see chapter 2, page 5.


Internet penetration remains particularly low, with the services on offer being notably expensive in comparison to other countries in the region. In a positive sign, a number of WiFi hotspots have started to appear in Phnom Penh and other locations. Somewhat paradoxically, the regulator has issued a number of WiMAX licences and roll-outs are planned. For the country overview, see chapter 3, page 8.


By early 2007, Indonesia had an estimated 20 million Internet users. This, however, represented only about 9% of the population. Broadband services are still in their infancy, with 300,000 mainly DSL subscribers (just over 0.1% penetration). Problems with inferior telecommunications infrastructure will continue to impede Internet growth. Despite all this, the country is considered to have enormous potential as an online market. For the country overview, see chapter 4, page 11.


The country’s political structure, the developing economy, a general lack of adequate telecom infrastructure and a low level of PC penetration have all contributed to the slow development of Internet in Laos. ISPs in Laos have initially moved cautiously into offering broadband Internet access. In mid-2003, ETL launched a broadband Internet service based on DSL under a Japanese grant aid project. Lao Telecom then entered the broadband market in early 2004. Planet Online started a wireless broadband service in Vientiane in mid-2005. Broadband subscriber numbers remain low, however. For the country overview, see chapter 5, page 20.


In an effort to become the high tech hub of South East Asia, Malaysia has been continuing to develop its multi-billion dollar Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project. So far more than US$5 billion has been invested in this project. The government says that it is meeting targets, with over 1,500 companies already involved. At the same time, however, efforts by the government to encourage the wider community to embrace technology have so far met with limited success. The level of interest in broadband Internet has been surprisingly low and broadband household penetration was just over 11% in early 2007. One bright spot in this market has been WiFi, as the service providers start to rollout hotspots. For the country overview, see chapter 6, page 23.


Internet access continues to be problematic, being severely restricted in its availability to the general public. The fragility of the Internet in Myanmar was highlighted in September 2007, when the military regime shut down the country’s Internet totally in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations. For the country overview, see chapter 7, page 38.


Compared with many of its Asian neighbours, the Philippines has been moving slowly on the adoption of Internet. Of the estimated 7% of the population who are Internet users, a growing number (probably around 20%) use a broadband connection to go online. Broadband household penetration, however, remains almost insignificant at around 2%. Future growth in this area will depend on the provision of reliable infrastructure, especially in support of broadband Internet. For the country overview, see chapter 8, page 40.


Singapore was the first country in the world to deploy DSL commercially when SingTel launched its service in November 1997. It came as some surprise, therefore, when Singapore was initially slow to move on the large-scale adoption of broadband Internet access. Following a major effort to expand its broadband services, however, the country is now a serious player, with more than 65% of Internet households having broadband access by early 2007. The country has positioned itself well for further development and the adoption of a full range of triple play and Next Generation services. For the country overview, see chapter 9, page 61.


While Internet has been popular in Thailand for some years now (user penetration of around 18%), broadband access had been languishing. More recently, however, the number of broadband subscribers has been increasing rapidly. Broadband household penetration, however, remained relatively low at around 3%. Further regulatory reform will no doubt assist the development of Internet in Thailand. For the country overview, see chapter 10, page 88.

Timor Leste

The tiny fledgling nation of Timor Leste (East Timor) has continued to struggle with political instability. Telecommunications remains an important priority under the Ministry of Transport, Communication & Public Works. Following the government’s decision in 2002 to select Portugal Telecom as the lead partner in a consortium to operate Timor Telecom, the operator has set about expanding the countries telecom facilities. Internet access, however, remains limited and expensive. Only one other ISP has been licensed and the incumbent continues to dominate the Internet market. For the country overview, see chapter 11, page 111.


Despite the cautious position adopted by the government on the Internet, this segment of Vietnam’s telecom market has been gaining a strong foothold. Internet user penetration was running at a healthy 17% by early 2007. Boosted by incumbent VNPT’s development of DSL infrastructure, the broadband market finally started to move in 2004; while broadband subscriber numbers grew rapidly in the 2005/06 period, broadband household penetration was still only about 2% in early 2007. For the country overview, see chapter 12, page 112.

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

Table of Contents

1.1Internet market forecasts
1.1.1Notes on scenario forecasts
1.1.2Indonesia forecasts – Internet services
1.1.3Thailand forecasts – Internet services
1.1.4Vietnam forecasts – Internet services
2.1Internet market
2.2Broadband market
2.3Content and e-services
3.1Internet market
3.1.2Internet access locations
3.1.3MediaRing’s acquisition of AngkorNet
4.1Internet market
4.1.2ISP market
4.2Broadband market
4.2.3Wireless broadband
4.3Content and e-services
5.1Internet market
5.1.2ISP market
5.1.3Public Internet access
5.1.4Top level domain name
5.2Broadband market
5.2.1VoIP telephony
6.1Internet market
6.1.2ISP market
6.2Broadband market
6.2.2Broadband infrastructure
6.2.3Broadband Internet
6.2.4Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
6.2.5Wireless broadband
6.2.6Broadband Powerline (BPL)
6.2.7Internet via satellite
6.2.8National IPv6 Council
6.3Content and e-services
7.1Internet market
8.1Internet market
8.1.2Internet exchanges
8.1.3Internet demographics
8.1.4Internet regulation
8.1.5Gearing Up Internet Literacy and Access for Students (GILAS)
8.1.7ISP market
8.2Broadband market
8.2.2Cable modems
8.2.3Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
8.2.4Wireless broadband
8.2.5Internet via satellite
8.2.6Video-on-Demand (VoD)
8.2.7IP networks
8.3Content and e-services
8.3.4Instant Messaging (IM)
9.1Internet market
9.1.2Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC)
9.1.3Regulatory environment
9.1.4International Internet infrastructure
9.1.5Internet data centres (IDCs)
9.1.6Internet security
9.1.8Overview of selected ISPs
9.2Broadband market
9.2.2Broadband Multimedia Network – Singapore One
9.2.3Broadband service providers
9.2.4Cable modems
9.2.5Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
9.2.7Broadband Powerline (BPL)
9.2.8Internet via satellite
9.2.9IP-VPN networks
9.2.10Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
9.2.11Wireless broadband
9.3Content and e-services
9.3.2Web service development
10.1Internet market
10.1.2ISP market
10.1.3Major ISPs
10.1.4Thailand Internet Exchange (THIX)
10.1.5Portal services
10.1.6Internet charges
10.1.7Regulatory issues
10.1.8Internet cafes
10.2Broadband market
10.2.2Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
10.2.3Cable modem
10.2.4Internet via satellite
10.2.5Wireless Internet
10.2.6Major broadband operators
10.3Content and e-services
11.1Internet market
12.1Internet market
12.1.2Regulatory environment
12.1.3Vietnam Internet Network Information Center (VNNIC)
12.1.4Internet cafés
12.1.5ISP market
12.1.6Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
12.1.7Satellite Internet
12.1.8Emerging IT industry
12.2Broadband market
12.2.1Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
12.2.2Cable modem
12.2.3Wireless broadband
12.2.4Satellite Internet
12.3Content and e-services
Exhibit 1 – ISPs operated by telecom companies and ownership in Thailand

Table 1 – Forecast Internet growth in Indonesia – lower forecast – 2006; 2010; 2015
Table 2 – Forecast Internet growth in Indonesia – upper forecast – 2006; 2010; 2015
Table 3 – Forecast Internet growth – in Thailand – lower forecast – 2005; 2010; 2015
Table 4 – Forecast Internet growth in Thailand – upper forecast – 2005; 2010; 2015
Table 5 – Forecast Internet growth in Vietnam – lower forecast – 2005; 2010; 2015
Table 6 – Forecast Internet growth in Vietnam – upper forecast – 2005; 2010; 2015
Table 7 – Internet user statistics in Brunei Darussalam – 2006
Table 8 – Internet user growth in Brunei Darussalam – 1996 - 2006
Table 9 – Internet subscriber growth in Brunei Darussalam – 1997 - 2006
Table 10 – Internet user statistics in Cambodia – 2006
Table 11 – Internet users in Cambodia – 1997 - 2006
Table 12 – Internet subscribers in Cambodia – 1999 - 2006
Table 13 – Internet user statistics in Indonesia – May 2007
Table 14 – Internet users in Indonesia – 1998 - 2007
Table 15 – Internet subscribers in Indonesia – 1998 - 2006
Table 16 – Registered domain names in Indonesia – January 2005
Table 17 – Number of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses allocated in Indonesia – 1999 - 2006
Table 18 – Broadband statistics in Indonesia – 2006
Table 19 – Broadband subscribers and households in Indonesia - 2006
Table 20 – DSL subscriber growth in Indonesia – 2001 - 2006
Table 21 – Internet user statistics in Laos – 2006
Table 22 – Internet users in Laos – 1998 - 2006
Table 23 – Internet subscribers in Laos – 1999 - 2006
Table 24 – Broadband subscribers by ISP and access type in Laos – 2006
Table 25 – Internet user statistics in Malaysia – 2006
Table 26 – Internet users in Malaysia – 1995 - 2006
Table 27 – Internet subscribers in Malaysia – 1995 - 2006
Table 28 – Dial-up Internet subscribers in Malaysia – 1995 - 2006
Table 29 – TMNet dial-up Internet subscribers and market share – 1999 - 2006
Table 30 – Broadband statistics in Malaysia – 2006
Table 31 – Broadband subscriber growth in Malaysia – 2002 - 2006
Table 32 – Broadband subscribers by access type in Malaysia – 2006
Table 33 – Broadband subscribers and households in Malaysia - 2006
Table 34 – TMNet (Streamyx) subscribers – 2003 - 2007
Table 35 – Hotspots market in Malaysia – 2003
Table 36 – Internet provider statistics in Myanmar – 2006
Table 37 – Internet user statistics in Myanmar – 2006
Table 38 – Internet users in Myanmar – 1999 - 2006
Table 39 – Internet host computers in Myanmar – 1998 - 2006
Table 40 – Internet user statistics in the Philippines – 2006
Table 41 – Internet users in the Philippines – 1996 - 2006
Table 42 – Internet subscribers in the Philippines – 1996 - 2006
Table 43 – Broadband statistics in the Philippines – 2006
Table 44 – Broadband subscribers in the Philippines – 2001 - 2006
Table 45 – Broadband subscribers and households in the Philippines - 2006
Table 46 – PLDT broadband subscribers and market share – 2005 - 2007
Table 47 – PLDT DSL subscribers – 2001 - 2006
Table 48 – Internet user statistics in Singapore – March 2007
Table 49 – Overview of Internet market in Singapore – March 2007
Table 50 – Internet users in Singapore – 1996 - 2006
Table 51 – Internet subscribers in Singapore – 1997 - 2006
Table 52 – Registered domain names in Singapore – April 2007
Table 53 – Broadband statistics in Singapore – March 2007
Table 54 – Broadband subscriber growth in Singapore – 1999 - 2007
Table 55 – Broadband subscribers and household subscribers in Singapore - March 2007
Table 56 – Overview of broadband access in Singapore - March 2007
Table 57 – Broadband subscribers by access type and market share in Singapore – March 2007
Table 58 – Broadband subscribers by major provider & annual change in Singapore – 2005 - 2006
Table 59 – Cable modem subscribers in Singapore – 2000 - 2007
Table 60 – DSL subscriber growth in Singapore – 2000 - 2007
Table 61 – Internet user statistics in Thailand – 2006
Table 62 – Internet users in Thailand – 1996 - 2006
Table 63 – Internet subscribers in Thailand – 1996 - 2006
Table 64 – Broadband statistics in Thailand – 2006
Table 65 – Broadband subscribers in Thailand – 2001 - 2006
Table 66 – Broadband subscribers and households in Thailand - 2006
Table 67 – DSL subscribers in Thailand – 2002 - 2006
Table 68 – True’s broadband subscribers – 2004; 2006
Table 69 – Internet user statistics in Timor Leste– 2006
Table 70 – Internet user statistics in Vietnam – 2006
Table 71 – Internet users in Vietnam – 1998 - 2006
Table 72 – Internet subscribers in Vietnam – 1998 - 2006
Table 73 – ISPs, subscribers and market share in Vietnam – October 2005
Table 74 – Broadband statistics in Vietnam – 2006
Table 75 – Broadband subscriber growth in Vietnam – 2003 - 2006
Table 76 – Broadband subscribers and households in Vietnam - 2006
Table 77 – DSL subscriber growth in Vietnam – 2003 - 2006
Table 78 – DSL service providers and subscribers in Vietnam – June 2005

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Number of pages 156

Status Archived

Last updated 17 Oct 2007
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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