2011 will be dominated by increasing smartphones take-up

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

Melbourne, 25th October 2010. Ovum, the analyst and consulting company, unveils the Asia-Pacific's trends in 2011 for telecoms industry, both from fixed and mobile sectors.

For Mobile, 2011 will be dominated by increasing smartphone and wireless broadband take-up. Attractive smartphones will also proliferate more into the prepaid segment this year. But while the data traffic boom will continue unabated, operators will struggle on to seek answers on ways to monetise data.  "We are already seeing some innovative new broadband pricing strategies emerge to milk incremental ARPU from customers, but this year the monetising data dilemma will keep many senior executives awake at night", said Nicole McCormick, Senior Analyst.

On fixed side, David Kennedy, Research Director believes that the growth of next-generation access is the trend to watch. "The continued growth of household data traffic, driven by growing demand for video services is putting pressure on older networks. We are now seeing major fibre rollouts in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Fibre is already entrenched in Hong Kong, Korea and Japan. The Asia-Pacific region is increasingly the leading region for fibre access, and we expect to see big investments here in the coming year and beyond. More operators will imitate the leading companies to pursue service bundling, fixed value-added services, and in-home devices in an effort lock in household revenue.

For Service Providers, Ovum expects wireline revenues in AP to decline slightly in 2011, but mobile revenues will rise 6% to US$317B, supported by 10% growth in China and 15% in India. Total revenues in AP, fixed plus mobile, should grow at roughly the same 4% rate achieved in 2009 and projected for 2010. Service provider capital expenditures (capex), which eked out 1.2% growth in 2009 in AP, are on track to fall 11% in 2010 but we expect a 5% bounceback in 2011, with the Indian mobile sector a key contributor. Looking beyond 2011, we expect the ratio of capex to revenues (capital intensity) to continue falling: from 23.7% in 2008 regionally, the ratio should hit 19.7% in 2010 and 18.8% by 2015. Matt Walker, Ovum Principal Analyst, notes that this is still well above the global average of under 16%, as many markets within AP remain relatively unsaturated, retain strong economic fundamentals, and will outperform global averages for many years to come.