Cellular data traffic in emerging Asia-Pacific countries will grow 68% in 2014 compared with a global average of 48%. This is the highest growth rate of any global region.
We see several chief factors driving this growth. For a start, the region will experience faster economic and population growth than the global average. Also, it's worth remembering that even 3G has not been launched in some markets, where the period of the most accelerated growth is yet to come.
Meanwhile, while a number of operators have launched LTE, here in Asia rollouts of LTE will not begin in earnest for most of the region until 2014. TD-LTE will start to play a significant role in the supply of basic static broadband connectivity in some markets, although good take-up rates for fiber in Malaysia suggest operators in other expanding economies may look more favorably on fixed access in the coming years.
Another factor is that public Wi-Fi is more significant in some markets (most notably China) than anywhere else in the world. We would expect that share of traffic to start shifting back to cellular because of the low incremental unit costs of transport on LTE. Growth in cellular traffic in China though will be somewhat lower than the regional average because of the ambitious rollout plans for fiber.
In developed Asia-Pacific markets, we expect a cooling down of demand for cellular data, and linear rather than exponential growth rates. Nevertheless Japan, with an already established pattern of high mobile but low fixed internet usage, will see average cellular data usage rise to 1.8GB per head of population per month in 2014 - the highest in the world.
Rupert Wood is a principal analyst at Analysys Mason
Seven key strategies for thriving in 2014:
- Time to change your mindset
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- Finance services finally go mobile
- Monetization gets personal
- Mobile data traffic goes mega
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- Time for TDD
This article first published in Telecom Asia Vision 2014 Supplement