The rise of the consumer

Gene Reznik/Accenture
Telecom Asia

Four key forces are shaping the future landscape and influencing the manner in which communications service providers (CSPs), electronics and high-tech firms, and media and entertainment companies will serve their customers and compete.

The first and probably the most central force is the rise of the digital consumer. In April China declared its one billionth mobile subscriber. It is likely that India will reach the same milestone later this year. As a result, the Asia-Pacific region will constitute roughly two-thirds of the world's mobile population.

Technology companies must adapt their products, price points and channels for the marketplace. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, there was considerable discussion regarding low-cost mobile devices, and their affordability for consumers in the Asia-Pacific region. With the proliferation of mobile devices, technology and infrastructure deployment goes hand in hand, followed by a variety of industry solutions in banking, health care, education and entertainment.

Paralleling the rise of the digital consumer is the emergence of Asia-based global technology leaders, a number of which have become industry heavyweights and have their sights set on even greater success. In China, particularly, tremendous entrepreneurism and innovation are fueling the next generation of tech leadership.

The next dynamic is the ongoing restructuring of the technology sector in Japan, where the fundamental challenges of competing on cost against other Asian manufacturers, while simultaneously competing with the innovation coming out of Silicon Valley, have created a very challenging environment. We see significant downsizing at some of the traditional tech leaders and the restructuring of assets, acquisitions and ventures into new business areas, such as medical equipment, and more active investment into emerging markets. And the industry-wide "reset" in Japan, in particular, is expected to impact the Asia-Pacific region as well as the way tech companies compete worldwide.

The fourth and final dynamic is the increasing interdependence between public and private sectors. In Asia, perhaps more than any other part of the world, governments play an active role in how technology is deployed, used and managed. Spectrum awards, nationalized broadband and consumer privacy are some of the key areas where we see public and private worlds meet.

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