Best of the best in Asia telecom

10 Jul 2008

Both global and emerging companies were among the top winners in the this year's Frost & Sullivan ICT awards, which recognized excellence in 23 service provider and vendor categories

For the fifth straight year, the cream of the crop among Asia-Pacific's ICT players in 23 different categories were honored at the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards in Singapore in late May.

Leading the pack of this year's awardees was China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, which clinched the Service Provider of the Year award. The judges based their pick on a set of stringent criteria, including revenue and revenue growth, technological innovation, profitability, and regional vision and strategy. China Mobile last year expanded its subscriber base to 370 million, chalking up almost $51 billion in revenue.

Receiving the Most Promising Service Provider of the Year award was Indonesia's Bakrie Telecom. The operator was able to expand its wireless subscriber base by 147% to 3.82 million last year despite the highly competitive market in the country. It likewise expanded its coverage outside of Jakarta using the cdma1xRTT technology, providing mobile internet service to its subscribers.

The Service Provider CEO of the Year award went to Telstra's Solomon Trujillo, giving the Australian operator its second award for the year. Telstra also got the Wireless Service Provider of the Year title due to the phenomenal growth in its 3G subscriber base - from less than 6% of total subscribers in 2006 to more than 33% in 2007.

According to Frost & Sullivan, Trujillo's vast experience in the telecom sector helped him steer Telstra to being a model next generation service provider, even after the company's recent transition from being a government entity into a private firm. Under him, Telstra integrated its cable, telco, broadband, yellow pages and mobile businesses, and eliminated standalone profits and losses for the next-generation network NextG.

These three awards fall under the 'Best of the Best' category, one of the broad categories in the yearly awards.

The awards aim to give credit to industry players that rise above the competition and demonstrate outstanding performance in terms of revenue, service rollout, subscriber base, market share and business strategy.

'While Asia Pacific continues to be one of the fastest growing ICT markets globally, the diversity of the region entails customized strategies for success in each given country,' said Nitin Bhat, Asia-Pacific senior VP for the ICT practice at Frost & Sullivan.

'A focus on innovative business models to suit emerging economies; strategies for new revenue streams through service bundling and blending in developed economies; and the increased focus on market segmentation in mature sectors have been some of the common themes across this year's award recipients.'

Top in telecom

Repeating its success, the NTT Group again secured the Broadband Service Provider of the Year award due to its continued leadership in the market.

The competitive service provides of the year was given to Singapore's StarHub for its vision to be the leading fully integrated info-communications and entertainment company in the market. Last year it was able to register a revenue growth of 11.8% and an Ebitda margin of 33.7% - both impressive numbers for a market as mature as Singapore.

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