Four keys for LTE moves in Asia

Nikhil Shah/Juniper Networks
14 Aug 2013

Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest contributor of mobile phone users in the next six years, with a predicted 8 billion subscribers.

This diverse region has a full spectrum of mobile markets -- China is the world’s largest, India is the fastest growing and Japan and Korea are the most advanced. At the same time, the region is home to some of the globe’s most undeveloped mobile markets like Myanmar.

Within this mix is a diverse range of ARPU, which is correlated to GDP per capita. Malaysia, for example, has one of the highest GDPs per capita in the region, and its ARPU of $16.80 is more than double the regional average.

The media-rich capabilities of new smartphones have undoubtedly shifted user behavior in the region. The smartphone-equipped are typically three times more likely to access the internet and four times more likely to use email on their handsets than non-smartphone users.

Building for the anticipated surge, mobile operators are strengthening their networks today with larger pipes laced with LTE. Some carriers are investing billions of dollars to ensure their networks will deliver high performance and scale to meet the growing demand.

But the driving factors for mobile carriers across the world to embark on these often massive network overhauls are not the same. Much depends on the carriers’ end goals, resource availability and specific challenges inherent to their respective regions.

The common thread is that without new revenue-generating services, realizing a positive return on a costly LTE investment is a challenge. Enhanced services, better coverage through the use of macro and small cells and carefully planned inter-technology handoffs will all play a part in this process.

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