Asia - Key developments to watch moving into 2014


With some 3.3 billion Asians using mobile phones - almost half of the number of mobile subscribers in the world – spread across a diverse range of markets, the region is already rapidly advancing in its exploiting of mobile data/wireless broadband services. This will provide the basis for key developments into 2014. Growth across Asia in high speed access to the internet by mobile wireless has been largely driven by highly competitive markets combined with boldness in the embracing of new generation mobile technologies. With 3G and 3G+ platforms extensively covering the region, mobile broadband services are already well established. The rapid take up has been underpinned by increasingly cheaper smartphone prices and lower airtime tariffs combining to support even wider adoption. And now, of course, we have 4G/LTE providing a fresh impetus, especially in the region’s pace-setting markets. Symptomatic of this impetus we are seeing exponential growth in data usage in the major markets. This explosion in mobile data is set to continue.

At the other end of the market, there are the laggards. A number of countries in Asia have been slow to issue 3G licences and/or have fallen into regulatory difficulties. Obviously the underlying issues are already being addressed; the coming year will no doubt see an ongoing effort by governments, regulators and operators to ensure that these markets overcome the various shortcomings and problems that have confronted them.

This report looks at initiatives and developments already started in Asia during 2013 and that are set to further evolve in 2014 and beyond. The issues discussed provide a clear view of the focus across the various countries of the region and clearly demonstrate what can be expected to take place over the coming year or so.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Broadband Developments in Asia
  • 3. A recovering economy helps boost overall growth in Azerbaijan’s broadband sector
  • 4. Mobile internet subscriptions are proving to be a booming market in Bhutan
  • 5. Cambodia’s crowded mobile sector sees major shake-out as operator numbers shrink
  • 6. Accelerated investment in FttX as 3G impacts traffic growth in China
  • 7. India’s telecom market feels the mobile sector turmoil as the shake-out from 2G scandal continues
  • 8. Indonesia’s crowded mobile market continues rush to embrace mobile broadband
  • 9. Strong mobile sector in Kazakhstan sees start of a boom in mobile broadband services
  • 10. Despite its open telecom market Kyrgyzstan’s internet sector is finding it difficult to grow
  • 11. Can Myanmar’s restructured telecom sector really be a ‘level playing field’ for new operators?
  • 12. Momentum of the reform process in Nepal’s telecom sector is showing fresh signs of a slowdown
  • 13. With a rudderless regulator, Pakistan’s telecom industry continues to wait for the 3G auction
  • 14. The Philippines and the telecom factor in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan
  • 15. Singapore deal that could see SingTel gain control of OpenNet has market rivals ‘up in arms.’
  • 16. Sri Lanka’s telecom sector experiencing a major ‘pause’ in its development trajectory
  • 17. Anticipating 2014 and a 4G launch amidst strong smartphone adoption in Taiwan
  • 18. Thailand’s telecom sector moves forward as regulator starts managing the mounting challenges
  • 19. Slow market recovery in Turkmenistan following re-launch of MTS mobile service
  • 20. Cancellation of MTS mobile licence in Uzbekistan causes major dislocation in local market
  • 21. Vietnam’s mobile market sees continuing sluggish growth as the local industry ‘sorts itself out’

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