Telecom markets in China, India and Indonesia to drive mobile broadband growth in 2012

By Telecom Lead Team:
Emerging market operators will see double digit mobile connections growth in
2012. Mobile markets with relatively low mobile penetration, such as China,
India and Indonesia, will be the key drivers of this growth. Mobile broadband
will be the main driver of this growth, according to Ovum.

Recently, GSMA said India has been
ranked 14 in mobile broadband readiness index among 17 Asia Pacific nations.


India ranks 14 in mobile broadband
readiness index among 17 Asia Pacific nations

According to GSMA report, Japan is
ranked number one in the index. Singapore (2), Hong Kong (3), Australia (4) and
South Korea (5) are the in top 5. Below India, countries such as Thailand (15),
Pakistan (16) and Bangladesh (17) are finding place. While the mobile broadband
readiness index 2011 scrore for Japan is 78.7, India’s score is 20.2. Sri
Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, New Zealand are above

Top 25 mobile broadband markets based
on subscribers in 2011


Ovum said that revenue
growth, margins and return on investment will be far more important metrics
than connections growth in 2012 as connections and average revenue per user
(ARPU) are becoming increasingly irrelevant due to the growing prevalence of
multiple SIM ownership in most markets.

Mobile broadband
growth will be the biggest opportunity for emerging market operators in 2012.
Operators across all emerging markets will experience strong data connection
and revenue growth in 2012 as users look to gain access to data services, the
Internet and mobile content and applications.

Emerging market
operators will look to expand their 3G network coverage and capacity to cater
to the increasing demand for data services. Many operators will also start to
evaluate and plan for the acquisition of spectrum for LTE services in 2012,
while a select few will launch LTE networks. The increase in capacity that the
deployment of 4G services will enable will cause a number of disruptions and
shifts in the industry.

Many emerging market
operators went through a transitional period in 2011. Operators had to continue
adjusting to slower mobile connections growth, tougher competition, more
regulation and lower prices and margins. While many emerging markets are still
expected to experience double-digit connections growth in 2012, few will report
double-digit revenue growth,” said Angel Dobardziev, Ovum Telecoms Emerging
Markets practice leader and co-author of the report.


A decline in smartphone
prices and feature phones with enhanced capabilities will further drive the
demand for data. Many feature phones will offer comparable capabilities and
user experiences to smartphones at a significantly lower price.

The rapid growth of
data traffic will also increase the demand for domestic and international
backhaul capacity that links emerging markets. Many operators will find that
they need to deploy strategies to better manage the considerable increase in
data traffic, which will increase the demand for traffic shaping and local
content-caching solutions.

The rapid growth of
mobile broadband will force emerging market operators to question their role in
the expanded mobile content and applications value chain. While the shift to
downloading content and applications from over-the-top app stores appears to be
inevitable, emerging market operators have not given up on their ambitions to
assume a role beyond that of a LEAN (low-cost enabler of agnostic networks)

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