APAC small cell market awaits early movers

Serene Chan/Frost & Sullivan
11 Mar 2013

Operators single out customer experience as a key differentiator in a highly competitive market such as the mobile services space in Asia Pacific. Mobile traffic in the region is expected to increase several-fold.

Enhancing operators’ network performance has been essential towards achieving customer satisfaction. The measure come as no surprise given that the cost of acquiring a new subscriber ranges between $250 and $350.

The installation of radio equipment and antenna after a lengthy process of network planning and site acquisition has been a common approach. But given that many operators’ capital and operating expenditure budgets are coming under pressure of late, is there a more sustainable and cost effective approach than the traditional macro expansion?

Over the past few years, operators including Vodafone have launched femtocells products in mature markets like the United States and Europe. Considering that the market for small cells as a whole in Asia Pacific remains at an infancy stage, operators should consider gaining an early mover advantage, particularly with the enterprise segment.

But why would enterprises need small cells? The answer lies in the way people use their handheld devices such as in the growing trend of “Bring-Your-Own-Devices” or “BYOD.” As more and more data traffic are sent and received over wireless devices, operators have a role in meeting the demand, especially in coping with traffic coming from multimedia content.

But even if the math makes sense for mobile operators, why and how should budget-conscious companies support employees who choose to use their smartphones for work?

In a recent study by Dell Software conducted with nearly 1,500 IT decision makers around the world, it was found that two-thirds of businesses experienced improvements in employee productivity and customer response time with BYOD. And more than half of the companies fear that they would lose their competitive edge without BYOD.

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