According to industry analysts Media Partners Asia (MPA), the broadband market will continue to grow at a rapid pace in Asia Pacific, driven in particular by next generation mobile networks.
The rollout of fibre-based broadband networks is growing rapidly in emerging Asian markets but income demographics and topography suggest that wireless will become the de facto standard of broadband access.
By 2023, there will be approximately 3 billion wireless broadband subs, driven by smartphone usage, compared to 444 million fixed broadband households, according to MPA. Much of mobile broadband’s growth will be driven by China, India and Southeast Asia, while the smartphone base is also significant in Korea and Japan.
At the same time, the market for fixed broadband infrastructure is also developing, boosted by fiber deployment and advanced cable networks in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, joining existing leaders such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
MPA analysis indicates that close to 80 per cent of total fixed broadband connections in Asia-Pacific will be upgraded to fibre by 2023, versus 47% in 2014.
This means that fibre will grow from 145 million subs in 2014 to more than 346 million by 2023. Such growth will be invariably driven by North Asia in addition to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Mobile broadband penetration will be at its highest in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand.
While broadband subs will grow rapidly in both India and Indonesia, infrastructural development and high levels of penetration will only occur over a long time-frame. That said, in India mobile broadband infrastructure will develop more rapidly relative to fibre broadband.