By Telecom Lead Team: Asian telecom operator capital
expenditure is expected to grow at 5.7 percent in 2012 compared to 29.1 percent
Asian telecom capital expenditure in
2012 is forecast to increase 5.7 percent year-on-year to $58.8 billion.
Over 63 percent of the CAPEX budget
for 2012 will focus on the construction of radio access network infrastructure,
8 percent on upgrades and capacity expansions to the core network, and 29
percent on development of new technologies and new businesses, construction of
backhaul transmission facilities, etc.
NTT DoCoMo is expected to have
transitioned 100 percent of its subscribers to 3G/4G services by the end of
March 2012 and switch off its 2G network completely. DoCoMo completed a soft
launch of its 4G LTE service in December 2010 and subscribers have ratcheted up
to 0.66 percent (390,000) of the operator’s installed base.
KDDI’s WiMAX subsidiary achieved
1.237 million users (3.54 percent share of installed base) and 95 percent+
coverage of Japan’s main cities.
SoftBank plans to launch its 4G
TD-LTE service in mid-February or March and has announced that TD-LTE
smartphones will be on retail shelves by mid-2012.
In China, China Mobile has
reaffirmed its commitment to accelerate TD-SCDMA/TD-LTE development so as to
further develop mobile Internet services and enable the Internet of Things.
China Unicom’s investment strategy
has been to accelerate 3G network building, optimize 2G network coverage,
expedite indoor coverage, and establish WiFi hotspot zones to increase network
China Telecom is focused on rolling
out integrated information service projects, strengthened the integration of
wireline and mobile IT platforms, and implementing risk control systems.
In India, only 10 to 20 percent of
base stations are 3G-based. Operators like Idea Cellular are adding around
2,000 new cell sites per quarter to their networks and almost 3,000 3G base
stations in base station upgrades and new cell site deployments.
A number of Asian operators are
looking at improving 3G and 4G subscriber adoption in 2012,” said Jake Saunders,
vice president of forecasting, ABI Research.