A Frost & Sullivan report says that mobile broadband services market is expected to witness a twentyfold growth with a CAGR of 52.8 pc till 2018
MUMBAI, INDIA: South Asia's low broadband penetration and high mobile subscriber base create an ideal setting for mobile network and infrastructure development. This, coupled with increasing demand for high-quality, seamless broadband connectivity is driving the growth of fixed and mobile broadband services market in the South Asian markets of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure market in South Asia is currently riding high on the roll out of next-generation technology networks, increased demand for broadband, and operator focus on high-return data services. Infrastructure vendors will gain more opportunities for revenue generation as operators look to overhaul their networks to support packet-based Internet protocol (IP) traffic. Government initiatives to bridge the digital divide and operator focus on data services will ensure the rapid growth of broadband services.
New analyses from Frost & Sullivan's 'Fixed and Mobile Broadband Infrastructure in South Asia and Fixed and Mobile Broadband Services in South Asia', finds that the infrastructure and services markets earned revenues of more than $6.09 billion and $6.89 billion respectively in 2011 and estimates this to reach $17.36 billion and $48.72 billion respectively in 2018. The mobile broadband services market is expected to witness a twentyfold growth with a CAGR of 52.8 per cent till 2018, while the fixed broadband services segment will grow fourfold with a CAGR of 21.2 per cent during the same period.
On the infrastructure front, the Frost & Sullivan Analyst said, "The telecom sector in South Asia has several next-generation technology deployments in the pipeline, leading to higher investments in mobile and fixed network transformation. The market will also get a boost from commercial third-generation (3G) and pilot fourth-generation long term evolution (4G LTE) projects in India and Sri Lanka, and pilot 3G deployments in Bangladesh."
"On the services front, South Asia's high mobile subscription base offers room for the broadband services market to grow, as demand from the domestic and business segments increases," said the analyst "The rising popularity of social networking applications will further expedite adoption."
Government initiatives and public-private partnerships for broadband deployment, especially in far-flung rural areas, will continue to aid broadband adoption and infrastructure growth in South Asia. Regardless of these efforts by governments and operators, regulatory uncertainties in the region and rising capital and operational expenditures can hamper network deployment.
Nonetheless, the falling prices of access devices, especially smartphones and tablets, will continue to propel demand for broadband services. Smartphones are likely to be the most preferred medium of access for broadband by 2018. Mobile operators are also looking to provide broadband services to bolster their average revenue per user (ARPU) and differentiate themselves from the intense competition. Their strategies to appeal to a wider customer base enhance the scope for the adoption of mobile broadband solutions. Although service providers are striving to extend their reach, the poor quality of service, slow connectivity, and lack of localized vernacular content threaten to slowdown the uptake of broadband services in South Asia. The high costs of broadband services and the lack of innovative pricing models may further impede market growth.
"To ensure market expansion, the entire broadband value chain must come together to provide affordable services," noted the analyst. "Governments, telecom operators, device manufacturers, value added service providers, and infrastructure vendors need to create an environment of seamless collaboration for both urban and rural consumers in South Asia."