- Market increasing as poorer nations switch from dial-up
- Philippine telecom has goal of providing high speed internet to households
- Regulation needed as broadband penetration increases
Last year, broadband penetration in Japan and South Korea reached 91%, according to a report by Paul Budde Communication.
For most of broadband’s existence, it was limited to the developed economies. Poorer nations relied on narrowband dial-up. In recent years, this has gradually changed. Across Asia, cable modem platforms and DSL are popular as is FttX.
The market is increasing as data traffic grows and the market shifts from switching from higher quality HD and 4K streaming services, growing cloud services usage and connecting people to connecting devices.
The largest fixed broadband market in Asia is China followed by South Korea and Hong Kong.
In 2016, China market penetration reached 53% and fixed broadband subscribers reached 213 million. The number of subscribers is forecasted to grow slowly because of digital media giants and telecom operators seeking new customers.
South Korea had a market penetration of 41%. Growth is expected in this market as full-service operators attract customers by offering bundled services. In South Korea, broadband subscription fees are less than $30 monthly for speeds faster than 100Mb/s.
Hong Kong had a market penetration of 32%. Growth in this market has plateaued because of higher speed mobile broadband services and the number of households with broadband.
Philippine Telecom’s Ambitious Goal
Philippine telecom Globe Telecom has announced its goal to provide high speed internet access to two million homes by 2020.
In the Philippines, fixed broadband penetration is 13%. Globe Telecom, which also provides mobile services, sees broadband as an area of growth.
It already holds a 50% market share for mobile, a 15% increase from three years ago, Jose Teodoro Limcaoco, chief financial officer of Globe Telecom’s parent Ayala Corp., told The Nikkei. The goal is to also have 50% of the broadband market.
The upgrade will occur in conjunction with Globe Telecom’s planned upgrade from copper lines to fiber optic cables. Upgrades will begin in Manila and then spread outward.
Asia’s Lack of Regulations
In many Asian nations, as broadband access increases, service providers compete for customers. However, many customers are purchasing lightly regulated or unregulated services. Some of these services are even pirated.
Governments throughout the region will need to establish regulations for things like content, advertising and taxation.
Various nations have experimented with relaxing some regulations, censorship and product placement for example, in order to attract service providers or they are considering self regulation, telecomasia reports.
- Behind Japan and South Korea, the Asian nations with the most broadband penetration are Singapore 84%, Taiwan 83%, Azerbaijan 79%, and Hong Kong 79%.
- In 2016, China had the most internet users at 730 million, followed by India at 290 million users, Japan at 115 million users and Indonesia at 63.1 million users.
- Among many number of smaller countries such as Azerbaijan, Macau and Maldives, there is considerable activity in the broadband market.