By Satyen K. Bordoloi
TMCnet Contributing Writer
According to report from Frost and Sullivan
, the number of mobile phones and other cellular subscribers in Asia may reach 800 million by the end of this year.
The research report titled “Asia Pacific Mobile Communications Outlook 2006” surveys 12 Asian mobile markets. The largest among them is China, with over 400 million mobile users, and Japan, with another 100 million. The prediction that the figure will reach 800 million stems from the observation that - despite the massive growth in wireless subscribers - both India and Indonesia remain relatively underdeveloped.
Though being in the low end of the market, prepaid services will have a significant impact on the growth and operators, according to the study. Low cost handsets and flat-rate calling plans are further expected to boost growth. The research also observed that Asian Carriers are too “voice-centric,” with as much as 75 percent of total revenue coming from voice services.
The report shows a contrast between customers in Europe and North America and those in the Asian and developing countries. Asian consumers use prepaid mobile phone cards more than post-paid subscriptions. Though a single call is more expensive this way, prepaid users spend less and make fewer calls than those with subscriptions.
Driven by a push in 2.5G services, data revenues will continue to soar, despite the fact that 3G services are still unavailable in many Asian countries. Revenue opportunities are also seen in paid wireless broadband services and WiMAX, despite being rare, and being focussed in markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.
Satyen K. Bordoloi is a contributing writer for TMCnet.