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2008 Asian - Fixed Voice Market

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Last updated: 3 Dec 2008 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 266

Analyst: Peter Evans

Publication Overview

This market report looks at the fixed-line market in Asia and provides an overview of some of the main players in that segment of the market within the various economies of Asia.

 

Researchers: Peter Evans, Lisa Hulme-Jones

Current publication date:- December 2008 (14th Edition)

Next publication date:- December 2009

 

Executive Summary

While the fixed-line market is growing at a comparatively slow pace and is overshadowed by frenzied activity in the booming mobile market, fixed infrastructure remains an important component in the overall development of the telecom sector. By March 2008, Asia had a total of more than two billion telephone subscribers; of these, more than 630 million were fixed-line subscribers, the remainder of course being mobile subscribers. 

The standout market in terms of fixed-line subscribers is China with its 365 million subscribers representing more than half the total regional subscriber base. As shown in the table below, China is well ahead of the rest of the market in this respect. It is interesting to note that a number of the highly sophisticated telecom markets in Asia are also highly penetrated fixed-line markets; leaders in this regard are Taiwan (63% teledensity) and Hong Kong (54%). These two are followed by Singapore (42%) and Japan (40%). 

Of the 35 or so countries in Asia, the top 10 that are listed in the table ‘Asia – Major fixed-line markets – subscribers and penetration – 2007 - 2008’ could claim 550 million (87%) of the region’s 630 million fixed-line services coming into 2008. As with other segments of the telecom market in Asia, we note the ever-present gap between the developed and developing economies of the region. In the developing economies, the building of essential fixed-line infrastructure has been largely ignored in favour of rolling out mobile networks as a quick way of providing telephone services to the population. In developing countries where governments have tried to force the pace of fixed-line roll-outs, the success rate has been mixed. In the Philippines and Indonesia these programs have been conspicuously ineffective; however, in a market like Vietnam, significant progress has been made, lifting that country up to become one of the more highly-penetrated fixed-line markets in the region at 34% teledensity. 

Asia - Major fixed-line markets - subscribers and penetration – 2007 - 2008

Country

2007 Subscribers (million)

2008 Subscribers1

(million)

2008

Penetration1

China

365.4

355.0

27%

Japan

51.2

46.0

36%

India

39.4

38.5

3%

Vietnam

28.5

29.5

34%

South Korea

23.3

23.0

46%

Indonesia

17.8

25.5

11%

Taiwan

14.3

14.1

62%

Pakistan

4.9

4.5

2%

Malaysia

4.4

4.3

15%

Hong Kong

3.9

3.7

51%

(Source: BuddeComm based on ITU data)

Note: 1 estimates

 

The other characteristic of the fixed line markets in Asia is that growth has flattened out and in some markets gone into serious decline. The table shows the estimated subscriber base for Asia’s major markets at the end of 2008; many of the listed markets are clearly revealing a downward trend. The two exceptions in this group of countries are Indonesia and Vietnam.
Apart from the voice services supported by the fixed-line infrastructure in the markets of Asia, the bonus of a healthy and extensive fixed network has been its ability to support DSL-based broadband access. This has seen DSL become the most popular platform for broadband access in Asia. This aspect of the market is addressed more extensively in the complimentary publication: 2008 Asian – Broadband Market.

 

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

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