Asia - Mobile Network Operators and MVNOs

Asia - Mobile Network Operators and MVNOs

  • June 2019 •
  • 544 pages •
  • Report ID: 4680715 •
  • Format: PDF
Asia is arguably the world’s most diverse region with regards to its telecoms industry.

The region contains a vast array of countries, ranging from those with highly mature and advanced telecommunications markets, that are world leaders in the move towards 5G and next generation fibre networks, such as South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, to some of the poorest and least developed countries such as North Korea and Afghanistan.

Asia’s mobile subscriber market is now witnessing moderate growth in a fast maturing market.
In early 2019 all three of South Korea’s mobile network operators – SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus launched commercial 5G services to consumers.

China is also highly active in its progression towards a 5G launch. All three major mobile operators – China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom are preparing for 5G launches.

Whilst there are still developing markets continuing to grow their mobile subscriber base at moderate to high annual rates, there are few countries left in Asia with significantly underdeveloped mobile markets and low mobile penetration rates.

In 2019 market penetration is anticipated to reach well over 100%. The stronger mobile subscriber growth rate in emerging markets is evident in countries including Bhutan and North Korea. In contrast developed and mature markets such as Japan and Singapore have seen very low growth, due to their high state of maturity and saturated markets.

Only a few Asian countries have low mobile penetration including India and Pakistan. These countries are generally expected to see moderate subscriber growth over the next five years, as they strive to catch up with the rest of Asia.

Total mobile subscriber market growth will continue to ease off over the next five years as the remaining mobile markets now head towards saturation and their mobile subscriber growth rates ease off. This has already occurred in the more mature markets.
With 3G, 3G+ and 4G platforms extensively covering the region, mobile broadband services have already become well established.
The mobile broadband subscriber base across all of Asia continues to grow strongly. The region’s mobile markets have continued to offer huge potential for mobile data services, driven by the high volume of mobile services.


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