Asia continues to be a global leader in broadband rollout, according to statistics compiled by Research and Markets. The market is anchored by China as the region’s largest market and engine for growth. The region’s broadband market is characterized by a rapid shift from dial-up to broadband, and the ongoing rollout of 3G service in major markets.
By March 2006, there were 153 million DSL subscribers and 76 million cable modem subscribers across the region.
South Korea continued to be a world and regional leader, Research and Markets reported, with 70 percent of households having a broadband connection by end-2005.
The two major technologies supporting broadband in Asia were digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modems.
Price cutting continues to be widespread, the offering of value-added services has been expanding and innovative product promotion and packaging is popular. Working in such highly competitive markets, the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) across the product range has inevitably suffered, but some equilibrium has been achieved. And, with the introduction of 3G services, an opportunity to grow ARPU has presented itself.
Nevertheless, profit margins have been falling, and operators need to be flexible in a quickly changing market.
The Asian telecommunications market was estimated to be worth around $300 billion in 2006. The big new drivers are broadband and IP services, as well as ongoing growth in the mobile sector, particularly as value-added services come into the market.
NGNs are also being rolled out by the regional heavyweights, with a strong move into triple play services.
The Asian region has continued to experience a generally stronger run of economic growth through 2005 and into 2006. The region, however, continues to share the concerns of the rest of the world about rising oil prices and the likely impact on the global economy, Research and Markets reports, accompanied by a degree of anxiety about a slowdown in China.
China’s mobile sector expanded rapidly to become the largest in the world, and has continued to expand at a rate of almost 20 percent per annum. China had 400 million mobile subscribers by April 2006.
Japan, meanwhile, has embraced the application of wireless Internet access, with over 79 million mobile subscribers using either NTT DoCoMo’s i-Mode or one of the other proprietary products by early 2006.