Youth and apps driving data growth in SEA

CMO Innovation editors
26 Jun 2014
Daily News

Expect mobile data traffic to grow by more than 10 times between 2013 and 2019, fuelled by the usage of apps and services, according to the first appendix to the Ericsson Mobility Report covering the South East Asia and Oceanic region.

And with a youth population of more than 170 million in the region, youth culture is one of three factors pegged to drive ICT growth in the region, according to Arun Bansal, Head of Ericsson’s Region South East Asia and Oceania.

“Youth are active users of apps, especially messaging apps, and in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia nearly one-third of the population is aged 10-24,” said Bansal. “In these countries we also observe that the smartphone is the primary device for internet access and as smartphones become cheaper, more consumers will be able to enjoy the benefits of connectivity.”

Aside from youth culture, the other two factors driving ICT growth are urbanization and the proliferation of the smartphone. The proportion of people already living in cities or large town in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines is between 30% and 55% today, and the figure continues to increase. These countries also rely on the influx of cheaper smartphones as the primary device for accessing internet services.

Brands looking to target smartphone users with high speed data access in the region will be interested to know that LTE deployment is currently centered on Australia and Singapore, which represents almost all of the 20 million LTE subscriptions that the region will have by end-2014.

Though 4G/LTE subscriptions are currently concentrated in developed markets, developing markets are expected gain momentum in the next five years.

As it is, LTE subscription growth is expected to reach around 230 million subscriptions by end-2019, bringing LTE penetration for the region to around 20%.

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