This market report provides a comprehensive overview of the Mobile Network Operator and MVNO segment of the telecom market across the 34 countries in Asia.
Researcher:- Phil Harpur Current publication date:- June 2019 (15th Edition)
Leading Asian nations prepare for 5G launches
Asia is arguably the world’s most diverse region with regards to its telecoms industry. The region contains a vast array of countries, ranging from those with highly mature and advanced telecommunications markets, that are world leaders in the move towards 5G and next generation fibre networks, such as South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, to some of the poorest and least developed countries such as North Korea and Afghanistan.
Asia’s mobile subscriber market is now witnessing moderate growth in a fast maturing market.
In early 2019 all three of South Korea’s mobile network operators – SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus launched commercial 5G services to consumers.
China is also highly active in its progression towards a 5G launch. All three major mobile operators – China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom are preparing for 5G launches.
Whilst there are still developing markets continuing to grow their mobile subscriber base at moderate to high annual rates, there are few countries left in Asia with significantly underdeveloped mobile markets and low mobile penetration rates.
In 2019 market penetration is anticipated to reach well over 100%. The stronger mobile subscriber growth rate in emerging markets is evident in countries including Bhutan and North Korea. In contrast developed and mature markets such as Japan and Singapore have seen very low growth, due to their high state of maturity and saturated markets.
Only a few Asian countries have low mobile penetration including India and Pakistan. These countries are generally expected to see moderate subscriber growth over the next five years, as they strive to catch up with the rest of Asia.
Total mobile subscriber market growth will continue to ease off over the next five years as the remaining mobile markets now head towards saturation and their mobile subscriber growth rates ease off. This has already occurred in the more mature markets.
With 3G, 3G+ and 4G platforms extensively covering the region, mobile broadband services have already become well established.
The mobile broadband subscriber base across all of Asia continues to grow strongly. The region’s mobile markets have continued to offer huge potential for mobile data services, driven by the high volume of mobile services.
Phil Harpur June 2019
Table of Contents
Market overview and analysis
Asian Telecoms Maturity Index
Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
Key market characteristics by market segment
Leading mobile operators by country
Major domestic operators
Major international operators
Afghan Wireless (AWCC)
Salam Telecom (Aftel)
MTS Armenia (VivaCell-MTS)
U!com (Formerly Orange Armenia)
Azerfon (Nar Mobile)
Historic - Citycell (PBTL)
Tashi InfoComm (Tashicell)
Progresif Cellular (formerly B-Mobile)
Historic - GT-Tell (Excell)
Historic - Mfone (CamShin)
Historic - Smart Mobile
Historic - Beeline Cambodia (Sotelco)
Financial and operational statistics
Hong Kong Telecom (HKT)
Hutchison Telekom (3 Hutchison)
China Mobile Hong Kong
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
Subscribers by Operator
Merger Activities – 2016 – 2018
Idea - Vodafone merger
RCOM / Aircel Merger
RCOM / SSTL Merger
Telenor / Bharti Airtel merger
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)
4G / LTE
4G / LTE
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)
Reliance Communications (RCOM)
Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio)
Vodafone - Historic
PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia
PT SmartFren Telecom (SmartFren)
PT Bakrie Telecom (BTEL)
Sampoerna Telekomunikasi Indonesia (STI) / (Net1)
Entry of new mobile providers
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
Tele2 / Altel
Tele 2 Kazakhstan
MegaCom (Alfa Telecom)
Sky Mobile (Beeline)
Zheti Mobile / Aktel (background)
Nur Telecom (O!)
Lao Telecom (LTC)
3 Macau (Hutchison Telecom Macau)
SmarTone Mobile Communications (Macau) Ltd
Myanmar P&T (MPT)
Myanmar National Tele & Communications (Mytel)
Nepal Telecom (NT)
Smart Telecom (SPTL)
Nepal Satellite Telecom (NSPTL)
Koryolink / Kang Song Net
Special Communication Organisation (SCO)
Historic - Instaphone (Pakcom)
NOW Telecom (Next Mobile)
Singapore Telecom (SingTel)
3G / 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE)
Development of products and services
Next Generation Growth Strategy
Etisalat Sri Lanka
Bharti Airtel Lanka
Far EasTone Telecommunications Group
Chunghwa Telecom Co Ltd (CHT)
Asia Pacific Telecom (APT)
Tacom / Beeline
Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service
Advanced Info Service (AIS)
Telephone Organization of Thailand Corp (TOT)
Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT)
New Fourth Operator
TM Cell (Altyn Asyr)
Asgabat Saher Telefon Ulgamy (ASTU) (New Operator)
Universal Mobile Systems (UMS)
Other mobile operators
Historic - MTS (Uzdunrobita)
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
List of Tables
Table 1 - Asia - major domestic operator subscribers – 2011 – 2018
Table 2 - Asia - international mobile operator subscribers – 2011 – 2018
Table 3 – Afghanistan - Mobile operator and systems
Table 4 – Afghanistan - Subscribers and Market share by Major Operators – 2018
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