SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

News Feed Item

Asia Pacific is Home to Half the World’s Mobile Subscribers Says New GSMA Study

The GSMA today issued the latest report in its Mobile Economy series, which reveals that the Asia Pacific region now accounts for half of the world’s mobile subscribers and will remain one of the world’s fastest growing mobile markets through 2020 and beyond. According to the “Mobile Economy Asia Pacific 2014” report, there were 1.7 billion unique mobile subscribers in the Asia Pacific region at the end of 2013, accounting for half of the 3.4 billion global subscriber base. The number of Asia Pacific subscribers is expected to grow by 5.5 per cent a year (CAGR) until 2020, reaching 2.4 billion. Only Sub-Saharan African is expected to grow at a faster rate during the period. Total mobile connections1 in Asia Pacific stood at 3.4 billion at the end of 2013 and are forecast to increase to 4.8 billion by 2020.

“Asia Pacific is at the forefront of mobile subscriber growth and service innovation, reflecting its position as home to a diverse range of markets and people,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA. “Innovation in the region is happening at many levels, from leading the way in advanced super-fast mobile services in mature markets to providing essential services such as education, healthcare and banking in the developing world. In every case, mobile operator investments are helping drive economic growth and creating jobs.”

A Diverse Mobile Region

The majority of Asia Pacific mobile subscribers are currently concentrated in four major markets: China, India, Japan and Indonesia, in order of size. Together, these account for three quarters of the region’s subscribers and over a third of the global subscriber base. China, the world’s largest mobile market, was home to 630 million unique mobile subscribers at the end of 2013, representing about 46 per cent of the country’s population. According to GSMA Intelligence research, there were 1.13 billion active mobile connections in China at the end of 2013, which means millions of Chinese subscribers use more than one SIM card or device; there were 1.79 SIM cards per unique subscriber in China at the end of 2013.

The Asia Pacific region incorporates a diverse range of mobile markets, from highly advanced 4G ‘Digital Pioneers’, including Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea to developing ‘Discoverer’ markets, such as India, where operators are focusing on building-out networks to rural areas and offering affordable mobile broadband services. With 1.7 billion mobile customers in Asia Pacific, subscriber penetration at the end of 2013 was 43 per cent compared to a global average of around 50 per cent. Subscriber penetration is above 90 per cent of the population in markets such as Japan and below 15 per cent in markets such as Myanmar, further underscoring the diverse nature of the region.

Mobile Driving Internet Usage in China

A GSMA Intelligence research note issued today reveals that 500 million Chinese citizens have subscribed to mobile internet services at the end of 2013. The remaining 130 million Chinese subscribers used their mobile connections only for placing voice calls and sending text messages. It is estimated that the total number of Chinese internet users stood at just over 600 million in 20132, meaning that more than 80 per cent access the internet via mobile. This demonstrates the critical role that mobile networks play in connecting the population to the internet.

Over two thirds (69 per cent) of Chinese mobile internet subscribers accessed internet services via mobile broadband networks (3G/4G), with the remainder using 2G, according to the research. Chinese mobile operators are driving mobile internet usage by introducing a growing range of affordable mobile broadband tariffs and subsidised devices.

Operator Investments Fuelling the Asia Pacific Economy

The mobile industry contributed US$ 864 billion to Asia Pacific’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, equivalent to 4.7 per cent of the total. The industry directly supported 3.7 million jobs and contributed US$ 82 billion to public funding in the region, even before considering regulatory and spectrum fees. By 2020, mobile is forecast to be an even greater driver of Asia Pacific’s economy, contributing over 6.9 per cent to the region’s GDP and directly supporting more than 6.1 million jobs by this point.

The positive social and economic contribution of the mobile ecosystem to the Asia Pacific economy is supported by substantial investments in new infrastructure by regional mobile operators. Over the last six years, capital expenditure (capex) by Asia Pacific operators totalled US$ 430 billion. Operators are forecast to invest an additional US$ 730 billion (capex) in the period between 2014 and 2020.

Migrating to Mobile Broadband

Rapid subscriber migration to 3G/4G mobile broadband networks is occurring across the Asia Pacific region, both in advanced and emerging markets. For Asia Pacific as a whole, just over a quarter of the 3.4 billion mobile connections in the region at the end of 2013 were 3G, while three per cent of connections were running 4G. However, these figures are forecast to rise to 34 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively, of the 4.8 billion total connections expected by 2020.

South Korea is the world’s most advanced 4G market and is the only country to date to have covered 100 per cent of its population by 4G networks. At the end of 2013, over half of all mobile connections in South Korea were running on 4G networks, the highest 4G penetration rate of any country worldwide.

Mobile operators in China were awarded 4G licences in December 2013 and are now building 4G networks across the country. Recent research from GSMA Intelligence3 indicated that the take-up of 4G services in China is likely to be at twice the rate of the earlier move to 3G. It is forecast that there will be almost 900 million 4G mobile connections in the country by the end of 2020, up from around 100 million in 2014.

GSMA Research Published at Mobile Asia Expo

In addition to the Mobile Economy Asia Pacific 2014 report, the GSMA issued a GSMA Intelligence research note and infographic focused on the China mobile market. All reports and research can be accessed below:

Notes to Editors

1 A ‘mobile connection’ refers to a SIM connection rather than a unique subscriber. A subscriber can account for multiple SIM connections

2 The China Internet Network Information Center: ‘Report on Internet Development in China’ (Jan 2014)

3 GSMA Intelligence: ‘China to trigger major shift in global 4G landscape’ (Feb 2014).

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
"Verizon offers public cloud, virtual private cloud as well as private cloud on-premises - many different alternatives. Verizon's deep knowledge in applications and the fact that we are responsible for applications that make call outs to other systems. Those systems and those resources may not be in Verizon Cloud, we understand at the end of the day it's going to be federated," explained Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at...
"For the past 4 years we have been working mainly to export. For the last 3 or 4 years the main market was Russia. In the past year we have been working to expand our footprint in Europe and the United States," explained Andris Gailitis, CEO of DEAC, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. Acco...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
"Cloud consumption is something we envision at Solgenia. That is trying to let the cloud spread to the user as a consumption, as utility computing. We want to allow the people to just pay for what they use, not a subscription model," explained Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We help companies that are using a lot of Software as a Service. We help companies manage and gain visibility into what people are using inside the company and decide to secure them or use standards to lock down or to embrace the adoption of SaaS inside the company," explained Scott Kriz, Co-founder and CEO of Bitium, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...