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In our first analysis on 4G take-up in Europe, we found common success factors relating to how operators had rolled out their networks. In our latest analysis, looking at 30 countries in the APAC region, we identify what market characteristics drive or inhibit 4G adoption, and which countries are likely to grow fast now and why.
Introduction: 4G strategies need the right market conditions to take off
Implementing 4G can help operators increase ARPU by reducing churn, offering a platform for new services, and encouraging increased data use. 4G networks also give operators greater control over data traffic management, and can ease pressure on overloaded 3G networks.
However, rates of adoption are not the same in every market. Therefore, for operators to successfully implement 4G and drive high adoption, they need to understand which key factors influence 4G adoption the most, and how they should adapt their strategies accordingly.
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region encompasses over 30 individual countries and is home to more than half the world’s population. The range of economic, geographic, societal, and technological factors within the region is incredibly diverse: for example, at one end of the scale countries like Japan, Australia and South Korea enjoy high standards of development and technology adoption, and at the other there are countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, which are still developing. The region is also home to China and India, two countries that have undergone incredibly fast economic development over the past few decades, and emerged as important global markets – several other countries in the region are expected to follow suit in the future. Other influential factors such as government technology policies and market dynamics such as competition also vary widely.
For telcos outside this region looking in, some APAC countries will be trailblazers for new technologies like 5G, and other APAC countries will be attractive investment opportunities because of their potential for rapid development. To understand where opportunities lie – both for investment opportunities and for case studies to learn from – telcos need to study the region at an individual market level.
This report is the first of two that focus on the 4G market in APAC. This report uses quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify:
- Which economic conditions influence 4G adoption the most
- Where 30 individual countries are in their 4G adoption journey (and, implicitly, their path to 5G)
- What prospects these countries have for further 4G growth
- And what strategies operators should use to encourage 4G adoption
- Executive Summary
- 1. Introduction: 4G strategies need the right market conditions to take off
- 2. APAC – a region of challenge and opportunity
- Why should operators invest in 4G?
- A potentially huge 4G market
- 3. Diversity across the region means a “one size fits all” approach won’t work
- Urbanisation and GNI per capita have the strongest correlation with 4G adoption…
- Which countries have the most potential?
- Qualitative factors also influence 4G adoption
- 4. Quadrant analysis and country profiles
- Quadrant I – 5G front-runners and 4G champions
- Quadrant IV – High growth potential, but can it be realised?
- Quadrant III – Challenging environment, but some exciting opportunities
- 5. Recommendations and conclusions
- Figure 1: Comparing 4G penetration to adoption environment
- Figure 2: APAC has the largest population in the world
- Figure 3: And has more 4G subscribers by volume
- Figure 4: But APAC has not yet fulfilled its 4G potential
- Figure 5: APAC could be a 3 billion subscriber market
- Figure 6: Analysis of 30 individual countries
- Figure 7: Comparing 4G penetration to adoption environment
- Figure 8: Quadrant I 4G adoption
- Figure 9: Quadrant I heatmap scores
- Figure 10: Quadrant IV 4G adoption
- Figure 11: Quadrant IV heatmap scores
- Figure 12: In eight countries 4G adoption is currently low but could take off
- Figure 13: Quadrant III, Group 1 heatmap scores
- Figure 14: Nine countries will continue to have slow 4G adoption
- Figure 15: Quadrant III, Group 2 heatmap scores