Mobile Data Revenue Could Triple in Asia-Pacific
At its Asia-Pacific Telecom Summit held in Seoul and Tokyo earlier this month, telecommunications market research firm Pyramid Research isolated 10 trends they expect to be following within that region next year. More than 120 senior executives from the operator, vendor, and financial services communities in the region attended the conference. Forecasts covered significant ground, ranging from a continued niche for the mobile virtual operator network model in the business space to a tripling of mobile-data revenues for the area, says Marc Einstein, Pyramid senior analyst.
Though Einstein expects the mobile data market to grow in the Asia-Pacific region next year, spending per user should eventually start to decrease as broadband becomes more available in those emerging markets, Einstein says. Still, he expects Asia-Pacific mobile data revenues to nearly triple over the next five years, to $110 billion.
Next year, China, India, and parts of Southeast Asia will be among the few places to see handset purchases grow, Pyramid researchers told conference goers. Handset providers should look for falling revenue there and market consolidation in 2008.
The conference also looked at the future of WiMAX for Asia-Pacific users. "The scale of WiMAX in the region can't yet be forecast," Einstein says. The acronym refers to the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, a telecommunications technology aimed at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access. WiMAX is an alternative to cable or DSL, a boon to areas not wired for those technologies.
"Pyramid continues to see a niche the mobile virtual network operators in the Asia-Pacific, despite some failures in that space," Einstein says. Still, consumers are price-sensitive and the networks can offer cheaper alternatives. "Those types of networks can be a cheaper option than nonvirtual networks because they don't require an extensive deployment of infrastructure or cell towers. Calls go over an already existing cellular network," Einstein says.
Users could see more advertisements on their mobile devices in the very near future as well, he adds. The competition from businesses now offering free mobile advertising in the region now serves as a litmus test for future business models.
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