Mobile Broadband in Southeast Asia: Adoption and Usage Trends and Operator Strategy

Date: 2016-01

Mobile broadband traffic will grow rapidly in continental SE Asia, driven by the expansion of 3G and 4G networks and the proliferation of cheap smartphones; the fastest growth will come in the less developed markets. The region’s 3G markets have had time to mature prior to the 4G launches, but 2G networks will give way to 3G and 4G over the next five years: we expect combined 3G and 4G subscriptions to make up 88% of the regional total by 2020. Mobile data usage per 4G subscription is substantially higher than that of 3G subscriptions, and we expect average data usage per subscription to grow at annual rates of 20-40% over the next five years. Operators will rely on additional spectrum for rural expansion and capacity buildouts. Common approaches to driving mobile broadband adoption include data-centric bundles, zero-rated OTT apps and discounting of high-volume data plans. OTT services and social media are also important.

Key Findings
–聽Continental Southeast Asia is a highly penetrated mobile region, with overall subscriptions surpassing 128% of the population in 2015. Pyramid Research expects mobile subscriptions to grow at a CAGR of 2.4% from 2015 to 2020, pushing the penetration rate to 139%. LTE will grow at a 54% CAGR over the period.

–聽The vast majority of subscriptions will be on 3G or 4G networks by 2020. Overall, 3G will make up 71% of all subscriptions, 4G 17% and 2G 12%.

–聽The region has an estimated 142m mobile broadband subscriptions at year-end 2015, and we expect that number to grow at a 14.3% CAGR to 292m in 2020, driven mainly by smartphone adoption and 3G and 4G network expansion. Annual mobile data traffic will total 1,747PB in 2015, increasing to 10,799PB in 2020. We expect average monthly data usage per user to climb from 1,236MB to 3,579MB over the same period.

–聽Operators in continental SE Asia are focusing on urban centers for their initial mobile broadband network deployments but for rural expansion and capacity buildout will rely on additional spectrum, particularly in lower frequencies.

–聽As revenue from voice declines, operators are turning to multiple service pricing and positioning strategies to drive data adoption and usage, including OTT partnerships, discounting of bulk data, bundling and smartphone promotions.

This Telecom Insider Report, ‘Mobile Broadband in Southeast Asia: Adoption and Usage Trends and Operator Strategy,’ by Pyramid Research offers a thorough analysis of the mobile broadband market in continental Southeast Asia, focusing on trends in mobile data usage, the forces driving the rising adoption of mobile broadband and the various strategies operators employ to drive data revenue. First, the report provides top-level context on the current state of the mobile broadband markets in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, highlighting demographic, regulatory and economic factors that affect mobile broadband usage and adoption, including information on the mobile spectrum regulatory environments and forecasts of mobile subscriptions for all six countries. The report then breaks down mobile data usage trends for each of the markets, analyzing total and average usage by technology generation and prepaid versus postpaid data users. It examines operator strategies for maximizing adoption and revenue from mobile data given the market environment in Southeast Asia, and it concludes with four operator case studies.

What else does this Telecom Insider Report offer?

– 聽聽聽 Forecasts of mobile penetration by technology (2G, 3G and 4G) in each of Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

– 聽聽聽 Forecasts of smartphone subscriptions for all six countries (2012, 2015 and 2020).

– 聽聽聽 Forecasts of mobile broadband traffic for the six countries (2012, 2015, 2020).

– 聽聽聽 Detailed discussions of the strategies used by operators to drive mobile broadband revenue.

– 聽聽聽 Four case studies of mobile operators: Maxis in Malaysia, MPT in Myanmar, Viettel in Vietnam and AIS in Thailand.

– 聽聽聽 Forty-five exhibits that provide information on topics ranging from licensed spectrum and data usage per user to pricing and differences between prepaid and postpaid data usage.

– Actionable recommendations of best practices for mobile network operators.

–聽Learn about the prospects for mobile broadband usage and adoption in the region, both from direct subscription and traffic forecasts and from an analysis of the demographic, regulatory and economic factors that affect these prospects.

–聽Get reliable information about the strategies operators in this diverse set of markets use to drive mobile broadband revenue – strategies related to spectrum, service positioning, pricing, bundling, OTT partnerships and devices.

–聽Read detailed case studies showing what operators in four markets are doing to boost mobile data usage and adoption, with a particular look at the pricing strategies they employ.

–聽Get a clear view of how operators can use the popularity of OTT platforms to cost-effectively boost data adoption and drive overall data usage.

–聽Use the reports section of actionable recommendations to develop longer-term strategies for mobile broadband growth.

– The report is designed for an executive-level audience, boasting presentation quality that allows it to be turned into presentable material immediately.

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