Asian telecom market takes cues from Wi-broadband
Home to nearly half the world's mobile subscribers, Asia has a dynamic telecommunications landscape. According to BuddeComm, mobile data and wireless broadband services will provide the basis for key developments this year.
Supported by cheaper smartphones and tablets, growth activities have been directed at establishing 3G platforms and deploying the current 4G/LTE technology. Research and Markets estimated that LTE will constitute 63 per cent of all mobile connections in Asia Pacific by 2017.
Whereas several operators have been providing LTE services, the Philippines largest telecommunications company, PLDT, picks up pace with the rollout of a $45 million LTE network, the country's first Time-Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) sites. The network aligns with the company's efforts to deploy broadband across the country via fibre-to-the-home and Next Generation Network services, as reported by the Philippine Star. PLDT currently implements two wireless technologies based on LTE international standards—TD-LTE and LTE-FDD.
Over in Vietnam, local operators are taking an aggressive approach to the market. VietNamNet Bridge reported that the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) is being equitized, with MobiFone becoming an independent operator. MobiFone is one of the country's three largest mobile network operators, the other two, Viettel and Vinaphone are also managed by VNPT. Minister of Information and Communications (MoIC) Nguyen Bac Son told the VietNamBridge that the division of MobiFone will create a thriving telecommunications market and encourage a healthy competition.
In India, meanwhile, a fierce competitive market is taking its toll on local companies. Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo is reportedly looking to sell its entire 26.5 per cent in Tata Teleservices. The Indian joint venture is apparently making losses and lagging in its targets, forcing NTT DoCoMo to exercise its put option. According to a Reuters report, NTT DoCoMo President and CEO Kaoro Kato blamed Tata's poor performance on a delay in introducing 3G networks, in addition to an alleged scandal that cost the joint venture their zonal operating permits.
In a moving market participated by competitive players, Asia also has laggards. These are companies who are slow to issue networks that could carry high-margin data services, failing to position themselves well to capitalise on mobile broadband services.
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