Broadband still out of reach in emerging markets

Dylan Bushell-Embling
15 Aug 2011
00:00

Broadband prices remain out of reach for many consumers in Asia's emerging markets, according to research.

An Ovum study of prices in countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, India and Pakistan found that prices have fallen in most markets since 2010. But consumers in emerging markets are still paying far more for fixed and wireless broadband than their mature market counterparts.

In some countries, broadband pricing is double or even triple the price of an equivalent service in a more developed market.

Senior analyst Richard Hurst said pricing, coupled with the lower GDP per capita, mean that “broadband is only available to the highest socioeconomic groups.”

The cheapest broadband technology in emerging markets is HSPA, according to the report, with an average global entry-level price of $223 per year. But these services often have much lower data allowances than entry-level DSL.

The Philippines and Malaysia had the lowest broadband tariffs of the 19 countries in the sample, the report states.

But in the Philippines prices are still “unaffordable,” with entry level Wimax services costing up to $223 per year.

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