Asia-Pacific’s mobile operators are expected to have a combined 477 million 5G subscriptions by 2023, according to a new report “Mobile Broadband Trends in Asia-Pacific” by GlobalData. The market research firm said that it expects the first 5G service launches by operators in the region next year.
Total mobile users in Asia-Pacific are meanwhile on track to reach 2.87 billion by the end of the year, growing to 3.3 billion by the end of 2023, for a CAGR of 2.8%. Subscription growth will be driven by the expansion of wireless networks in underserved markets, GlobalData predicted.
4G-LTE will become the dominant mobile technology by share of subscriptions this year, outnumbering 2G for the first time. The total LTE market share is on track to nearly double by the end of the forecast period in 2023 driven by continuous expansion of LTE networks by operators in the region.
Data services revenue is meanwhile predicted to account for 60.3% of total mobile service revenue generated by operators in the region between 2018 and 2023.
GlobalData has also estimated that MVNOs in Asia-Pacific have around 194 million subscribers, accounting for 4% of the total market.
The “Mobile Broadband Trends in Asia-Pacific” report provides in-depth analysis of the following:
– Section 1: Asia-Pacific in global context; the section provides comparison of Asia-Pacific mobile telecom market size and trends with other regions.
– Section 2: Competitive dynamics; this section provides competitive analysis of various MNOs and MVNOs in Asia-Pacific’s mobile market.
– Section 3: Mobile broadband subscription trends in Asia-Pacific; a demand profile and analysis as well as historical figures and forecasts of service revenue from the mobile voice and mobile data markets.
– Section 4: Mobile broadband revenue trends in Asia-Pacific; examines changes in the breakdown of overall revenue and ARPU over 2018-2023. –
– Section 5: Key findings and recommendations; it consists of a summary of the key findings for Asia-Pacific mobile broadband market.
An earlier related whitepaper by Frost and Sullivan stated the following:
The 5G landscape in Asia
Within Asia, South Korea and Japan are likely to be the first nations in the region to commercialize 5G. Both are attempting to capitalize on the upcoming Olympic Games in 2018 and 2020, respectively, where 5G will be showcased as an enabler of new forms of content delivery. However, one notable aspect of 5G in Asia is that, unlike in other regions, initial network uptake will not be limited to developed countries. Rapidly developing countries, such as India and China, will be important market leaders as well because of the massive size of their populations and growing middle classes. Even if a small portion of consumers and businesses in these countries adopt 5G at first, the likelihood of reaching profitability earlier is high. Further, ambitious digital initiatives in both countries have spurred strong government support of 5G rollout.
Indicators that Asia will set the global benchmark in 5G are evident. Piloting of 5G technology has already taken place, and small commercial launches are expected in South Korea by 2019, with larger rollouts unfolding in China and Japan by 2020. Rollout in India is not expected until after 2020 due to financial and infrastructure-related challenges, but mobile network operators are already strategizing ways to leapfrog to 5G. Despite delays compared with countries like South Korea and China, once commercialized, uptake should be relatively swift in India given strong backing from the Indian government, spectrum availability, and a large, addressable, market driving scale.
Device compliance is another indicator of Asia’s market readiness for 5G. Device manufacturers in Asia, such as ZTE, have already unveiled 5G-ready smartphones, further underscoring Asia’s commitment to 5G development.
As a whole, Asia is likely to account for just under half of all 5G subscriptions globally through 2022. By 2022, we expect regional revenue from 5G subscriptions to reach $4.5 billion and subscriptions to grow to over 280 million (or 49% of global totals). While this will represent only a fraction of all mobile subscriptions, growth for such a short period will be healthy.