'Yusus' driving ICT in Asia-Pacific region, Ericsson says

By Lorenz S. Marasigan, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jul 08 2014 07:35 AM | Updated as of Jul 08 2014 03:35 PM

MANILA - Three key trends are driving the growth of information-communications technology (ICT) sector in the Asia-Pacific region, namely, the youth, urbanization and the uptick in smartphone users (“Yusus”), the local unit of Swedish telecom firm Ericsson said on Monday.

In a report, Ericsson said that the three aforesaid trends have a particularly big impact on the sector in the region. “Youth are active users of apps, especially messaging apps, and in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia nearly one-third of the population is aged 10 to 24. In these countries we also observe that the smartphone is the primary device for Internet access and as smartphones become cheaper, more consumers will be able to enjoy the benefits of connectivity,” Elie Hanna, President of Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, said in a news briefing.

Today, smartphone penetration ranges from around 20 percent for developing markets to more than 60 percent for advanced markets, documents provided by the company said.

As smartphone subscriptions are expected to grow about five times, there will be more than 700 million smartphone subscriptions in the region by 2019 and will constitute more than half of its expected 1.3 billion total mobile subscriptions, Hanna explained. As usage of apps and services increases, mobile-data traffic will grow by more than 10 times between 2013 and 2019, he added. “This means there is a need to create high performing networks to keep up with more complex user demands and support increasing mobile data consumption.”

Australia and Singapore, both mature ICT markets, represent almost all of the 20 million Long-Term Evolution (LTE) subscriptions that the region will have by the end of 2014. Australia, closely followed by Singapore has the best in class networks in the region based on median throughput network speeds.

Fourth Generation (4G)/LTE subscriptions are currently concentrated in developed markets, but developing markets will gain momentum in the next five years. By the end of 2019, as networks are deployed in more countries, LTE subscription growth is expected to reach around 230 million subscriptions, bringing LTE penetration for the region to around 20 percent.