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Asia - Mobile Data, Wireless Broadband Market and Forecasts - Product Image

Asia - Mobile Data, Wireless Broadband Market and Forecasts

  • ID: 1869265
  • Report
  • February 2015
  • Region: Asia Pacific
  • 275 Pages
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
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The line between mobile communications – voice services as opposed to broadband services – is becoming blurred by the rapid uptake of smartphones.
This makes it more difficult to produce reports with a clear delineation between the two sectors.

This report concentrates specifically on the mobile broadband developments and therefore, in the developed mobile communication markets in particular, it does not include statistical and other information on the underlying mobile communication part of the market – for example, general statistics on mobile subscribers and revenues. That information can be found in our other report on this market: Asia - Mobile Voice Market

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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1. Regional Overview

2. Afghanistan
2.1 Overview
2.2 Third Generation (3G)
2.2.1 Overview
2.2.2 Background
2.2.3 Bidding process
2.2.4 Licensing
2.2.5 Service launches
2.3 Mobile data services
2.3.1 Malomat
2.3.2 Mobile banking
2.4 Satellite mobile

3. Armenia
3.1 Overview
3.2 4G / LTE
3.3 Wireless broadband
3.3.1 Cornet-AM
3.3.2 ICON Communications
3.3.3 VivaCell-MTS

4. Azerbaijan
4.1 Overview
4.1.1 Statistics
4.2 WiMAX
4.2.1 AzQtel
4.3 Mobile Data
4.3.1 Trunk Mobile Radio (TMR)
4.3.2 Third Generation (3G) services
4.3.3 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
4.3.4 Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)

5. Bangladesh
5.1 Overview
5.2 Mobile data services
5.2.1 Mobile broadband
5.2.2 Mobile services – university admissions
5.2.3 Mobile banking
5.3 Wireless broadband / WiMAX
5.3.1 Background
5.3.2 WiMAX licensing
5.3.3 Operations
5.3.4 Third BWA licence
5.3.5 TD-LTE (4G) licences
5.3.6 Network expansions and roll-outs
5.3.7 WiFi

6. Bhutan
6.1 Overview
6.2 3G mobile services
6.3 4G / LTE mobile services

7. Brunei Darussalam
7.1 Overview
7.2 Statistics

8. Cambodia
8.1 Overview
8.2 Statistics
8.3 WiMAX
8.3.1 Overview
8.3.2 Frequency licensing problems
8.3.3 Smart
8.3.4 Digital Star
8.4 Long term evolution (LTE) network
8.4.1 Digital Star
8.4.2 Southeast Asia Telecommunications
8.4.3 Smart Axiata

9. China
9.1 Overview
9.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
9.2.1 Background
9.2.2 3G development
9.3 Fourth Generation (4G) mobile
9.3.1 Background
9.3.2 Service launch and development
9.4 Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
9.5 Pre-5G
9.6 Mobile Data
9.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
9.6.2 M2M
9.6.3 Mobile applications
9.6.4 Mobile internet
9.7 Forecast: 3G mobile subscribers

10. Georgia
10.1 Overview
10.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
10.2.1 Background and licensing
10.2.2 3G mobile statistics
10.3 4G / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
10.4 WiMAX
10.4.1 Warid Telecom Georgia
10.4.2 VTel Georgia
10.4.3 MagtiCom
10.5 Mobile broadband

11. Hong Kong
11.1 Overview
11.2 Mobile technologies
11.2.1 High-speed circuit-switched data (HSCSD)
11.2.2 General packet radio service (GPRS)
11.2.3 Enhanced data for GSM evolution (EDGE)
11.2.4 High-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA)
11.2.5 CDMA
11.2.6 CDMA2000
11.2.7 Third Generation (3G) mobile
11.2.8 LTE (Long-term evolution)/4G
11.2.9 Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
11.3 Mobile services
11.3.1 Short message service (SMS)
11.3.2 Mobile data usage
11.4 WiFi

12. India
12.1 Overview
12.2 Statistics
12.3 GSM
12.4 CDMA
12.4.1 Overview
12.4.2 CDMA auction – March 2013
12.5 Third Generation (3G) mobile
12.5.1 Background
12.5.2 Licensing process
12.5.3 Spectrum allocation
12.5.4 Auction procedure
12.5.5 Auction
12.5.6 BSNL and MTNL
12.5.7 Start of the roll-outs
12.5.8 Developments
12.5.9 3G roaming dispute
12.6 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
12.6.1 Overview
12.6.2 Reliance Jio Infocomm
12.6.3 Bharti Airtel
12.7 Voice-over-Long Term Evolution (VoLTE)
12.8 Mobile data services
12.8.1 Market overview
12.8.2 Short Message Service (SMS)
12.8.3 i-mode
12.8.4 BlackBerry
12.8.5 Mobile TV
12.8.6 Mobile content
12.9 Wireless broadband
12.9.1 WiFi
12.10 WiMAX
12.10.1 Background
12.10.2 Pilot projects and early networks
12.10.3 Licensing process
12.11 WiMAX spectrum auctions
12.11.1 2.3GHz
12.11.2 700MHz
12.11.3 Qualcomm
12.12 Mobile wireless
12.13 Satellite

13. Indonesia
13.1 Overview
13.2 Mobile statistics
13.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile
13.3.1 Background and initial licensing process
13.3.2 Second 3G auction
13.3.3 Launch of 3G services
13.3.4 Expansion and marketing of 3G services
13.3.5 Further auction of 3G spectrum
13.4 4G / Long Term Evolution (LTE) services
13.5 Mobile data services
13.5.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
13.5.2 Mobile TV
13.5.3 Blackberry
13.5.4 Mobile advertising
13.5.5 Mobile banking
13.5.6 Village Phone Program (VPP)
13.6 Wireless broadband
13.6.1 Background
13.6.2 WiFi hotspots
13.6.3 WiMAX
13.6.4 LTE / Fourth Generation (4G)
13.7 Internet via satellite

14. Japan
14.1 Overview
14.2 Statistics
14.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile
14.4 LTE (Long-Term Evolution)/4G
14.5 LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)
14.6 Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
14.7 Wi-Fi
14.8 Mobile Internet
14.8.1 NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode
14.9 World Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX)
14.9.1 WiMAX auction
14.9.2 UQ Communications
14.9.3 WiMAX 2
14.9.4 Willcom
14.10 Broadband Internet via satellite

15. Kazakhstan
15.1 Overview
15.2 Mobile technologies
15.2.1 Third Generation (3G)
15.2.2 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
15.2.3 Trunk Mobile Radio (TMR)
15.3 WiMAX

16. Kyrgyzstan
16.1 Overview
16.2 Mobile statistics
16.2.1 Mobile data
16.3 WiMAX

17. Laos
17.1 Third Generation (3G) mobile services
17.2 Long Term Evolution (LTE) / 4G services
17.3 Statistics
17.4 WiMAX

18. Macau
18.1 Overview
18.2 Statistics
18.3 WiFi

19. Malaysia
19.1 Overview
19.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
19.2.1 Background
19.2.2 Bidding and auction
19.2.3 Network planning and development
19.2.4 Service launch
19.2.5 Further development
19.3 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
19.4 Mobile data services
19.4.1 Short Message Services (SMS)
19.4.2 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
19.4.3 Mobile TV/Video-on-Demand (VoD)
19.4.4 Blackberry
19.5 Wireless broadband
19.5.1 Background development
19.5.2 WiMAX: 2.3GHz licences
19.5.3 WiMAX: other developments
19.5.4 WiMAX operators

20. Maldives
20.1 Overview
20.2 3G
20.3 4G
20.4 Wireless broadband
20.4.1 WiFi
20.4.2 WiMAX
20.4.3 Mobile broadband
20.5 Satellite internet

21. Mongolia
21.1 Overview
21.2 statistics
21.3 Wi-Fi

22. Myanmar
22.1 Overview
22.2 Statistics
22.3 Third Generation (3G) development
22.4 WiMAX

23. Nepal
23.1 Overview
23.2 Statistics
23.3 Third Generation (3G)
23.4 Fourth Generation (4G) / LTE
23.5 Satellite mobile
23.6 WiMAX
23.7 WiFi

24. North Korea
24.1 Overview
24.2 Mobile phone costs
24.3 Mobile phone restrictions
24.4 Koryolink 3G network
24.5 Mobile phone production
24.5.1 Fines for using unofficial Chinese mobile phones
24.6 North Korea’s answer to the tablet

25. Pakistan
25.1 Overview
25.2 Third Generation (3G) licences
25.2.1 Background
25.2.2 Auction – 2013 / 2014
25.2.3 Licensing
25.2.4 Launch
25.3 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
25.4 Mobile data services
25.4.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
25.4.2 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
25.4.3 Blackberry
25.4.4 Mobile TV
25.4.5 M-commerce / m-banking
25.4.6 Innovation in mobile financial services
25.5 Wireless broadband
25.5.1 WiMAX
25.5.2 Internet via satellite
25.6 Mobile broadband

26. Philippines
26.1 Overview
26.2 Mobile technologies
26.2.1 Third Generation (3G) mobile
26.2.2 Long Term Evolution (LTE) /Fourth Generation (4G) networks
26.2.3 Smartphones
26.2.4 AppBridge project
26.3 Mobile data services
26.3.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
26.3.2 Multimedia Message Service (MMS)
26.3.3 Mobile TV
26.3.4 Data Centres
26.4 Mobile broadband

27. Singapore
27.1 Overview
27.2 Statistics
27.3 Mobile networks
27.3.1 GSM
27.3.2 Third generation (3G)
27.3.3 Fourth generation (4G) / long-term evolution (LTE)
27.3.4 Fifth Generation (5G) R&D
27.4 Mobile data services
27.4.1 Short messaging service (SMS)
27.4.2 Payment systems
27.4.3 Smartphones
27.5 Mobile content and applications
27.5.1 Background
27.5.2 Mobile TV
27.6 Wireless broadband

28. South Korea
28.1 Overview
28.2 Mobile data services
28.2.1 Market overview
28.2.2 Wireless Internet NIDA survey 2010
28.3 Mobile content and applications
28.3.1 Overview
28.3.2 M-commerce/m-payment
28.3.3 Mobile banking (m-banking)
28.3.4 Mobile government (m-government)
28.3.5 Apps Stores
28.3.6 Mobile advertising
28.3.7 NFC chips in smartphones
28.3.8 Mobile TV
28.3.9 Mobile learning
28.3.10 OTT Voice
28.4 Mobile technologies
28.4.1 Analogue (AMPS)
28.4.2 Personal Communication Service (PCS)
28.4.3 Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
28.4.4 Wideband CDMA (WCDMA)
28.4.5 LTE
28.4.6 Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
28.4.7 LTE-Advanced (LTE-A)
28.4.8 Smartphones
28.5 Wireless broadband
28.5.1 Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN)/Wireless Fidelity (WiFi)
28.5.2 WiBro

29. Sri Lanka
29.1 Overview
29.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
29.2.1 Background
29.2.2 Licences and service launch
29.2.3 Development of 3G
29.3 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
29.4 M-banking
29.5 Wireless broadband/WiMAX

30. Taiwan
30.1 Overview
30.2 Mobile services
30.2.1 SMS message volume, WAP and GPRS subscribers
30.2.2 Mobile internet
30.2.3 Mobile TV
30.2.4 Mobile value-added services
30.2.5 Mobile banking
30.2.6 NFC payments
30.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
30.4 Personal Handyphone Service (PHS)
30.5 Third Generation (3G) mobile
30.5.1 Background
30.5.2 3G roll out
30.6 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long-term Evolution (LTE)
30.6.1 Background
30.6.2 4G / LTE spectrum auction
30.7 Forecast 3G mobile subscribers – 2013 (actual); 2014, 2018
30.8 WiFi
30.9 WiMAX
30.9.1 Background
30.9.2 WiMAX in Taiwan – licensing
30.9.3 WiMAX in Taiwan – network rollouts
30.9.4 WiMAX roaming
30.9.5 WiMAX subscribers and revenue

31. Thailand
31.1 Overview
31.1.1 Smartphones
31.1.2 2100MHZ 3G launch marks big change in market
31.2 Mobile technologies
31.2.1 CDMA
31.2.2 PCT service
31.2.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
31.2.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
31.2.5 Third Generation (3G) mobile
31.2.6 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
31.3 Mobile data services
31.3.1 Overview
31.3.2 Short Message Service (SMS)
31.3.3 Multimedia Message Service (MMS)
31.3.4 Mobile payment schemes
31.4 Mobile content and applications
31.4.1 Overview
31.4.2 Mobile TV
31.5 Wireless internet
31.5.1 WiFi
31.5.2 Free WiFi hotspot project
31.5.3 WiMAX

32. Turkmenistan
32.1 Overview
32.1.1 Third Generation (3G) services
33. Uzbekistan

33.1 Overview
33.2 Mobile data
33.2.1 Long Term Evolution (LTE) / Fourth Generation (4G)
33.3 3G
33.4 WiMAX

34. Vietnam
34.1 Overview
34.2 Mobile technologies
34.2.1 GSM and CDMA
34.2.2 Third Generation (3G) services
34.2.3 4G / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
34.3 Mobile data services
34.3.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
34.3.2 Multimedia Message Service (MMS)
34.3.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
34.3.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
34.3.5 International remittances
34.4 Mobile applications
34.5 Wireless broadband
34.5.1 WiFi
34.5.2 WiMAX
34.5.3 Mobile broadband
34.6 Satellite internet

Table 1 – Azerbaijan – Wireless broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2014
Table 2 – Azerbaijan – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2014
Table 3 – Bangladesh – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2013
Table 4 – Bangladesh – WiMAX subscribers – 2012 - 2014
Table 5 – Bhutan – B-Mobile’s 3G subscribers – 2008 - 2013
Table 6 – Brunei Darussalam – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2014
Table 7 – Cambodia – Mobile broadband subscribers –2010 - 2014
Table 8 – 3G subscribers in China – 2008 - 2014
Table 9 – Growth of text messages (SMS) in China and annual change – 2000 - 2014
Table 10 – China Mobile SMS usage volume and annual change – 2003 - 2012
Table 11 – China – Leading mobile value added services by subscribers and penetration - 2012
Table 12 – China – Mobile internet subscribers and annual change – 2006 - 2013
Table 13 – China Mobile - mobile internet use – 2010 - 2013
Table 14 – China – Forecast 3G mobile subscribers and share of mobile market – 2013 - 2014, 2018
Table 15 – Georgia – 3G mobile subscribers and market share – 2008 - 2012
Table 16 – Georgia – 3G mobile operators and subscribers – 2009
Table 17 – Georgia – WiMAX subscribers – 2010 – 2013
Table 18 – Georgia – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2013
Table 19 – Hong Kong – 2.5G subscribers – 2002 – 2014
Table 20 – Hong Kong – 3G/4G mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2014
Table 21 – Hong Kong – SMS messages sent and received – 2002 – 2012
Table 22 – Hong Kong – SMS statistics for Christmas Day and New Years Day – 2005 - 2014
Table 23 – Hong Kong – SMS statistics for Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year Day – 2006 – 2014
Table 24 – Hong Kong – Mobile data usage – 2002 – 2014
Table 25 – India – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2014
Table 26 – India – GSM mobile subscribers by region/circle – 2012 – 2014
Table 27 – India – GSM ARPU – 2003 - 2013
Table 28 – India – GSM ARPU by region/circle, prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2013
Table 29 – India – GSM mobile operators, subscribers and market share – 2013
Table 30 – India – GSM ARPU by operator grouping, prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2012
Table 31 – India – GSM ARPU by operator grouping, prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2013
Table 32 – India – CDMA mobile operators, subscribers and market share – 2013
Table 33 – India – CDMA ARPU – 2003 - 2013
Table 34 – India – CDMA ARPU by region/circle, prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2013
Table 35 – India – 3G auction (2010): Number of licences and total fees paid by operators
Table 36 – India – SMS traffic by technology and subscriber – 2011 - 2013
Table 37 – Indonesia – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2014
Table 38 – Indonesia – 3G mobile operators and subscribers – March 2013
Table 39 – Japan – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2013
Table 40 – Japan – 3G mobile subscribers by operator – December 2013
Table 41 – Japan – 3G mobile subscribers – 2001 – 2014
Table 42 – Japan LTE subscribers – 2010 - 2014
Table 43 – Japan – NTT DoCoMo LTE roadmap – 2011 – 2013; 2015
Table 44 – Japan – Mobile Internet subscribers, services and technology by provider – December 2013
Table 45 – Japan – Mobile Internet subscribers by providers – 2005 - 2013
Table 46 – Japan – Mobile internet subscribers – 2000 – 2013
Table 47 – Japan – WiMAX subscribers (BWA) - UQ Communications: 2009 - 2013
Table 48 – Kyrgyzstan – SMS sent – 2010 - 2011
Table 49 – Kyrgyzstan – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2014
Table 50 – Laos – Active mobile-broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2012
Table 51 – Macau – Mobile subscribers 2G and 3G – 2007 – 2014
Table 52 – Macau – Local SMS statistics: Christmas, Lunar and New Years holidays – 2008 – 2014
Table 53 – Macau – Local Mobile Data Usage (MB) – Special Dates – 2013 - 2014
Table 54 – Macau – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2007 – 2013
Table 55 – Macau – WiFi Hotspots – 2008 – 2014
Table 56 – Malaysia – 3G mobile subscribers and market share – 2006 – 2009; 2012 - 2013
Table 57 – Malaysia – SMS volume and subscriber ratio – 2002 - 2014
Table 58 – Malaysia – Wireless hotspots and hotspot subscribers – 2005 – 2014
Table 59 – Malaysia – Packet One WiMAX subscribers – 2009 - 2013
Table 60 – Malaysia – YTL’s WiMAX subscribers – 2011 - 2013
Table 61 – Mongolia – Mobile broadband internet subscribers – 2010 – 2014
Table 62 – Myanmar – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2014
Table 63 – Nepal – Mobile broadband subscriptions – 2010 - 2014
Table 64 – Nepal – Mobile internet subscribers – 2011 – 2014
Table 65 – North Korea – Koryolink quarterly revenue, EBITDA, EBITDA margin, capex – 2009 - 2011
Table 66 – North Korea – Koryolink quarterly subscribers, MoU and ARPU – 2009 – 2014
Table 67 – Pakistan – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2013
Table 68 – Pakistan – WiMAX subscribers – 2008 - 2014
Table 69 – Pakistan – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2014
Table 70 – Philippines – Total SMS messages – 2003 - 2012
Table 71 – Singapore – Mobile broadband subscribers –2007 - 2013
Table 72 – Singapore – Total SMS messages per month – 2004 - 2014
Table 73 – Singapore – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2014
Table 74 – South Korea – Purpose of using mobile phone wireless internet – 2009 - 2010
Table 75 – South Korea – Wireless internet device usage - 2010
Table 76 – South Korea – Mobile banking service subscribers – 2003 – 2010
Table 77 – South Korea – CDMA mobile subscribers by operator – 2002 - 2013
Table 78 – South Korea – WCDMA subscribers by operator – June 2013
Table 79 – South Korea – LTE mobile subscribers by operator – 2011 – 2013
Table 80 – South Korea – Smart phone subscribers and market share – 2009 - 2012
Table 81 – South Korea – Forecast smart phone and tablet PC subscribers and market share – 2010 – 2015
Table 82 – South Korea – KT and SK Telecom WiBro subscribers – 2006 - 2013
Table 83 – South Korea – KT and SK Telecom WiBro domestic investment plans – 2006 - 2011
Table 84 – Sri Lanka – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2014
Table 85 – Sri Lanka – 3G mobile operators and subscribers – 2009; 2013
Table 86 – Taiwan - SMS message volume and revenue, WAP and GPRS subscribers – 2001 - 2013
Table 87 – Taiwan - Mobile internet subscribers – 2001 - 2013
Table 88 – Taiwan PHS subscriber growth – 2001 - 2014
Table 89 – Taiwan - Forecast 3G mobile subscribers and penetration – higher band: 2014; 2018
Table 90 – Taiwan - Forecast 3G mobile subscribers and penetration - lower band: 2014; 2018
Table 91 – Taiwan 2.5GHz spectrum winners – 2007
Table 92 – Taiwan – WiMAX subscribers – 2011 - 2012
Table 93 – Taiwan – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2013
Table 94 – Thailand – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2013
Table 95 – Vietnam – 3G mobile subscribers by operator – 2012 - 2013
Table 96 – Vietnam – Total 3G mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2013

Chart 1 - Brunei Darussalam – Mobile broadband subscribers - 2009 – 2014
Chart 2 – China – Leading mobile value added services - penetration – 2012
Chart 3 - China – Mobile internet subscribers and annual change - 2007 - 2013
Chart 4 - Georgia – 3G mobile subscribers market share - 2008 – 2012
Chart 5 – Hong Kong 3G/4G mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2014
Chart 6 – India – GSM mobile operator market share – 2013
Chart 7 – India – CDMA mobile operator market share – 2013
Chart 8 – Japan 2G, 3G and LTE growth – 2000 - 2013
Chart 9 - Laos – Active mobile-broadband subscribers - 2009 – 2012
Chart 10 - Malaysia – 3G mobile subscribers and market share - 2006-2013
Chart 11 – North Korea – Koryolink quarterly revenue, EBITDA, ARPU – Q1 2009 – Q3 2011
Chart 12 – North Korea – Koryolink subscribers and minutes of use (MoU) – Q1 2009 – Q3 2011
Chart 13 - Pakistan – Broadband, FttH and WIMAX subscribers - 2008-2014
Chart 14 - Singapore – Wireless broadband subscribers - 2007-2014
Chart 15: South Korea – Trends in wireless internet usage rate – 2002 - 2010
Chart 16 – Taiwan - Mobile internet subscribers – 2001 - 2013

Exhibit 1 – Bangladesh – Licensed wireless broadband access (WBA) operators in Bangladesh – 2013
Exhibit 2 – India – CDMA 3G commercial deployment in India
Exhibit 3 – India – 3G auction results: Service area licences by operator – May 2010
Exhibit 4 – Long-term evolution (LTE) roadmap in Japan – 2008 - 2012
Exhibit 5 – Singapore – Third Generation (3G) licensees, spectrum and vendors
Exhibit 6 – Singapore – Self-regulation of content
Exhibit 7 – South Korea – Comparison of WiBro and mobile technologies in South Korea

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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The highly developed telecom markets of Asia signal where the overall mobile data and broadband wireless market is headingWith some 3.6 billion people across Asia using mobile phones – around 52% 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.

Asia - mobile services – total mobile and mobile broadband – subscribers/penetration – 2011 – 2014
Category | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 (e) |
Mobile subscriptions |
Subscribers | 3,000,000 | 3,205,000 | 3,457,000 | 3,604,000 |
Penetration | 76.5% | 80.9% | 86.4% | 89.2% |
Mobile broadband subscriptions |
Subscribers | 432,000 | 605,000 | 753,000 | 920,000 |
Penetration | 11.0% | 15.3% | 18.8% | 22.8% |
(Source: BuddeComm based on ITU data)

Growth across Asia in high speed access to the internet by mobile wireless has been largely driven by highly competitive markets combined with preparedness to embrace 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. By end-2014 mobile broadband subscriptions in Asia totalled just over 0.9 million – about 40% of all the mobile broadband subscribers in the world.

The more highly developed markets in the region, such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, have positioned themselves well to generally exploit mobile data and broadband wireless opportunities and lead the rest of the region into the next generations of mobile applications. As 3G transitions through 3.5G and onto 4G/LTE and we see consequential increases in speeds, as service improves, as content providers offer more services, and over-the-top (OTT) services gain greater traction, an exponential growth in data usage is occurring in the major markets. Hong Kong is a prime example of this explosion in mobile data. (See table below)

Hong Kong - mobile data usage – 2002 – 2014
Year (Dec) | Total | Per 2.5G + 3G/4G subscriber |
Mbytes |
2002 | 42,000 | 0.2 |
2003 | 247,200 | 0.3 |
2004 | 2,330,400 | 1.7 |
2005 | 4,603,700 | 2.5 |
2006 | 9,076,700 | 4.1 |
2007 | 32,301,500 | 11.0 |
2008 | 133,145,700 | 38.1 |
2009 | 638,388,700 | 127.6 |
2010 | 1,847,525,600 | 295.6 |
2011 | 4,133,960,500 | 508.7 |
2012 | 7,674,492,900 | 762.6 |
2013 | 12,073,456,300 | 996.6 |
2014 (Oct) | 15,694,435,800 | 1,230.2 |
(Source: BuddeComm based on OFCA data)
Note: Figures are for December usage each year unless indicated otherwise. 

While 3G licensing and the ongoing launch of 3G services in Asia has certainly provided the fundamental platform for growth in wireless data services, 3G has also been providing opportunities for both wireless access and content providers in domestic markets. In South Asia, in particular, more people own a mobile phone than a PC, giving the delivery of mobile data services huge potential there. Although one can obviously say that in terms of system sophistication ‘the show has moved on’ in the more advanced markets, 3G is continuing to provide the basis for ongoing development of mobile data across much of the region. 
It should also be noted that mobile data is by no means a new phenomenon in the region. An example of the early widespread adoption of a particular mobile data service in Asia was the Short Message Service (SMS). SMS became very popular throughout Asia ahead of the wider market, with remarkable growth being experienced in particular in the Philippines and Malaysia, as well as in China. 
The business plans of the majority of mobile operators have been built on the assumption that the key to further revenue growth lies not just in accumulating more and more subscribers, but in the ability to offer more Value-Added Services (VAS) and, most importantly, efficient and effective access to the internet. This in turn allows the operators to pursue higher ARPUs based on offering genuinely greater value added services plus improved quality to customers. 

Another early move into mobile data within Asia was Japan’s NTT DoCoMo launching its i-Mode service and its two rivals –SoftBank and KDDI – following with the launch of their own versions of i-Mode. The result was dramatically successful as an early push into largescale mobile data services; at its peak over 80% of mobile subscribers in Japan were logging on from a mobile using one of these platforms. 

More recent mobile data development in Asia has essentially been built on the 3G and 3G+, now 4G/LTE technology. As a consequence, right across Asia, with the transition to a range of new generation mobile platforms, there has been a major shift from mobile voice to mobile data. 

A good example of the way in which next generation networks have been progressively reshaping the mobile markets across the region can be found in Singapore. (See table below.) By August 2014 the number of mobile subscribers stood at 8.2 million for a penetration of 152%; most significantly, of these subscribers 7.9 million were signed up to 3G or 4G services. That meant that just the 3G and 4G subscribers combined represented a population penetration already well in excess of 100% by that stage. In other words, Singapore had far more mobile broadband subscriptions than population. 

Importantly, 4G/LTE already has a significant presence in the Singapore market. The three mobile operators all launched a form of 4G in 2012 and have since been rapidly expanding their coverage at a rate that effectively saw a full national presence by end-2013. 

Singapore - Mobile subscribers - 2G, 3G and 4G, prepaid and postpaid – August 2014
Category | Subscribers | Percentage of total subscriber base |
2G subscriptions |
Postpaid | 98,500 | 1% |
Prepaid | 218,600 | 3% |
Total 2G subscribers | 317,100 | 4% |
3G subscriptions |
Postpaid | 1,901,900 | 23% |
Prepaid | 3,199,600 | 39% |
Total 3G subscribers | 5,101,500 | 62% |
4G subscriptions |
Postpaid | 2,626,200 | 32% |
Prepaid | 184,500 | 2% |
Total 4G subscribers | 2,810,700 | 34% |
Total subscribers (2G+3G+4G) | 8,229,300 | 100% |
(Source: BuddeComm based on IDA data)

Although the two sample markets noted above – Hong Kong and Singapore - are obviously exceptional in that they are both geographically compact (which delivers a major advantage in the roll out of networks), we should nevertheless take careful note of the way things are developing as these markets provide useful models for how the wider market is likely to move.

Regionally, overall mobile broadband penetration was around 23% by early 2015. This represented a total of 920 million mobile broadband subscribers across the region. The number of mobile broadband subscribers was growing at around 25% annually.

In the context of mobile broadband services, we should not ignore the WiMAX platform. Whilst there has been some activity in the providing of fixed WiMAX networks, the real test has been the advent of mobile WiMAX. The roll-out of WiMAX-based mobile services in Asia has begun; however, significant rollouts have been limited to just a few markets. The technology is looking more and more like a platform suited for niche markets. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia have notable WiMAX roll outs.

Key operators in the region have been investing heavily in WiFi and the deployment of femtocells for mobile network offload. South Korea for example, saw an 11-fold jump in mobile data traffic over a one year period and WiFi traffic accounted for a third of all mobile traffic.

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

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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- Afghanistan
- Armenia
- Azerbaijan
- Bangladesh
- Bhutan
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cambodia
- China
- Georgia
- Hong Kong
- India
- Indonesia
- Japan
- Kazakhstan
- Kyrgyzstan
- Laos
- Macau
- Malaysia
- Maldives
- Mongolia
- Myanmar (Burma)
- Nepal
- North Korea
- Pakistan
- Philippines
- Singapore
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Taiwan
- Thailand
- Turkmenistan
- Uzbekistan
- Vietnam
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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