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Thriving Mobile Economy

About the Talk

November 23, 2009 12:00 PM

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

More than half of mobile subscribers in the world are located in Asia Pacific and they are growing annually with no sign of slowing down.

Analysts had pointed how the increase in mobile economy for leading countries in the Asia-Pacific region has dramatically grown in a small amount of time. As of 2013, total global subscriber base is 3.4 billion. 1.7 billion of them are living in Asia-Pacific. China, India, Japan and Indonesia had the largest number of subscribers, ranked according to their sizes. In a nod to the diverse nature of the region though, subscriber penetration was above 90 percent of the population in markets including Japan, but below 15 percent in countries such as Myanmar.

Indonesia has more mobile phones than people considering that the archipelago is the fourth most populous country in the world. The Big Three mobile operators in the country, Telkomsel, Indosat and XL Axiata have been reported to lead other industries in keeping the country’s economy intact. Different strategies were even applied to the point of selling towers and affiliating with competitors. Both strategies were done by XL Axiata when it sold some of its towers to PT Solusi Petronas and then made Axis Capital Group, 8th largest mobile operators in the country, its subsidiary. Axis’ subscribers in Jakarta and other parts of Java are now under XL’s services as well.

China has 630 million unique subscribers which is about 46% of the country’s population. According to 2015 review by the international mobile analyst, GSM, China has the largest cellular M2M market with 73 million connections or 30% of the global total by the end of 2014. The US is second with 42 million connections, followed by Japan with 11 million. Overall, the top 10 markets accounted for 73% of global connections. By 2020, China will have increased its share to 36%, with 355 million cellular M2M connections. Fraudulent mobile businesses in China are not recorded in the report and if they are, analysts predict that the numbers for China would have doubled.

Fuelled by the growing range of mobile subscription and new services, data traffic is expected to see a ten-fold increase by 2019. As mobile disrupts and affects more areas of consumer and business life, the potential for collaboration also grows. Players from across the digital ecosystem, ranging from mobile operators to new entrants and existing players in adjacent industries, will increasingly recognize the need for collaborative innovation, rather than competition, if they are to realize the full potential of mobile.

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