NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With 3.9 billion mobile subscribers and over 50% of the mobile subscribers in the world, spread across a diverse range of markets, the region is already rapidly advancing in the adoption of mobile broadband services. Mobile broadband as a proportion of the total Asian mobile broadband subscriber base, has increased from 2% in 2008 to 18% in 2013, 27% in 2014, 33% in 2015 and 37% in 2016. Thus mobile broadband subscribers now account for over one third of all mobile subscribers in Asia.
Growth across the region in high speed access to the internet by means of mobile broadband services has been largely driven by highly competitive markets combined with the preparedness of the customer to embrace new generation mobile technologies. With 3G, 3G+ and 4G platforms extensively covering the region, mobile broadband services have already become well established. The rapid take up has been underpinned by increasingly cheaper smartphone prices and lower airtime tariffs combining to support even wider adoption.
A major shift from mobile voice to mobile data continues across most markets in Asia. The more highly developed markets in the region, such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, have seen their mobile networks strongly driven by mobile data services. They have positioned themselves well to exploit mobile data and broadband wireless opportunities and lead the rest of the region into the next generations of mobile applications.
The mobile broadband subscriber base across all of Asia continues to grow strongly. The total number of mobile broadband subscribers has increased from 1.12 billion in 2014 to 1.41 billion in 2015 and 1.6 billion in 2016. Although the rate of increase of mobile broadband subscribers has subsided as the initial rapid rollout of services has slowed down, the growth rate is still reasonably strong, implying that there is still significant growth opportunity left in the market over the next five years to 2021, especially in the less developed Asian markets that are still predominately dependant on voice networks for mobile services.
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