Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Asian broadband markets head to 50 percent penetration, but equal access set to be a bigger challenge than better bandwidth

SINGAPORE: In a key presentation at the CommunicAsia2011 Conference in Singapore, leading telecoms analyst Oliver Johnson will detail the factors that could see fixed broadband household penetration in markets such as China, the Philippines and Vietnam surge past the 50 percent mark by 2020.

Johnson, CEO of specialist broadband analysis company Point Topic, will also discuss the prospect of a single regional Asian broadband market.

The deployment of next generation networks in Asia is allowing service providers to supply new innovative offerings such as multiplay packages, IPTV, fixed-mobile convergence and sophisticated enterprise solutions. Factors shaping this dynamic market include Gross National Income (GNI), the growth of urban populations, national regulatory environments and the spending plans and policies of governments in the region.

According to Johnson, while regional broadband growth is strong, some non-trivial challenges remain. “Some markets are at risk of being left behind and will need some central intervention to avoid that outcome,” judges Johnson. “In addition it’s essential that competition in the service market is free and fair.”

The region is also home to a mix of mature, emerging and youthful broadband markets. “In Asia at the country level it is clear that the internal as well as international digital divides will remain a fact of life to the end of the decade and beyond,” states Johnson.

“If we look more closely at the mix of infrastructure and technology deployment the divides can be even greater. The national challenges are not so much how to deliver ever-faster broadband services but how to provide them across whole countries.”

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