Bangladesh mobile operators began offering 4G services last month, albeit in limited areas, after gaining the necessary licences.
Rising demand for broadband will spur economies in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC).
According to a new GSMA report, increased broadband connections in APAC will generate US$1.2 trillion of GDP growth and create up to 35 million new jobs by 2020.
However, this opportunity can only be realised if governments act now to fully release existing harmonised mobile spectrum bands and allocate more spectrum for mobile to meet rising consumer demand and support the development of new mobile services in the longer term.
Apple and Samsung, beware! Chinese smartphone vendors are hot on your heels. According to IDC, a wide range of Chinese OEMs more than outpaced the market in Q2, with Huawei nearly doubling its shipment from a year ago, followed by Lenovo.
Huawei’s growth is spurred by 4G LTE pick up, particularly in China, as all three national carriers subsidised 4G handsets to encourage consumers to upgrade from 3G. Outside of China, large volumes of its lower-cost Y series fueled growth across most regions. The company continues to focus on broadening its global reach and the Q2 results show that the momentum is undoubtedly there.
Lenovo had a record quarter in China despite tremendous pressure from local brands. During the quarter, Lenovo saw increased success from the A788T and the 3G A388T. While its Motorola acquisition is undergoing approval, Lenovo continued to gain traction in international markets. Though less than five percent of Lenovo’s shipments were registered outside of China in Q2 2013, this share nearly tripled this Q2, with emerging markets, particularly BRIC countries, picking up the largest volumes.
The launch of new 3G data plans by all three Thai mobile operators will introduce broad changes to the competitive dynamics among mobile operators, particularly in how they deal with the mass market segment.
IDC issued this warning after a review of the price plans and potential market share of the three mobile operators after the release of their 3G service plans.
IDC believes the industry is set for a slew of promotional and pricing competitive pressures in the next six months, possibly resulting in significant churn among the customer base if one of the telco operators does not keep its defenses up.
The GSMA and Deloitte has released the first comprehensive assessment of the incremental benefits of next-generation mobile telephony services, such as 3G technology and mobile data services, and their impact on economic growth. The report ‘What Is the Impact of Mobile Telephony on Economic Growth?’ provides the first estimates of the impact of mobile data usage on GDP growth in developed and developing markets. The report draws from research of data usage and economic growth across 14 countries provided by Cisco Systems based on their Visual Networking Index (VNI), as well as Deloitte studies on the productivity impact of mobile in 79 countries and the impact of 3G penetration across 96 countries.
“The development of data services have the potential to drive economic development in the same way in which voice services have in previous generations,” said Chris Williams, Deloitte telecommunications partner. “This report offers the first serious quantification of this impact and confirms industry expectations that the impact is significant. Policy makers need to consider the implications of this report in their support for the development of mobile data”.
Key findings of the report include:
- A doubling of mobile data use leads to an increase of 0.5 percentage points in the GDP per capita growth rate across the 14 countries;
- Countries characterised by a higher level of data usage per 3G connection have seen an increase in their GDP per capita growth of up to 1.4 percentage points;
- A 10 per cent rise from 2G to 3G penetration increases GDP per capita growth by 0.15 percentage points; and
- In developing markets, a 10 per cent expansion in mobile penetration increases productivity by 4.2 percentage points.
The impact of 3G penetration on GDP growth
The report measures the impact on GDP growth of consumers moving from basic 2G connections to 3G connections. This analysis of 96 developed and developing markets shows the positive effect of consumers substituting a 2G connection with a 3G connection. A 10 per cent rise in 3G penetration increases GDP per capita growth by 0.15 percentage points.
“Total mobile connections will stand at 6.8 billion with mobile subscriber penetration at 45 per cent by the end of 2012,” said Tom Philips, Chief Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, GSMA. “In this period of economic uncertainty, governments should look to the mobile industry as a key partner for economic growth and put in place policies that encourage investment in broadband infrastructure, which will serve to enhance productivity, as well as policies to drive the development of new data services that will boost the economy and benefit society.”
The impact of mobile data on GDP growth
The increase in 3G connections, supported by the proliferation of data-enabled devices that allow mobile Internet connectivity, has led to a massive growth in the use of mobile data. Total mobile data usage has more than doubled on average every year from 2005 to 2010 in each of the 96 countries in the sample. In Western European countries, it grew by 350 per cent.
Using data from Cisco’s VNI for 14 countries, this study finds a strong relationship between usage of mobile data per 3G connection and economic growth. A doubling of mobile data use leads to an increase of 0.5 percentage points in the GDP per capita growth rate across the 14 countries.
The impact of increased mobile data usage is stronger in countries where the average level of mobile data consumption per 3G connection is comparatively higher. Countries characterised by a higher level of data usage per 3G connection, such as Russia, the UK and South Korea, have seen an increase in their GDP per capita growth of up to 1.4 percentage points. The effect is more limited for countries where mobile data usage is currently less prevalent, such as China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
“This study is an important addition to the growing body of empirical evidence demonstrating the impact of broadband on economic growth,” said Dr. Robert Pepper, Vice President, Global Technology Policy, Cisco. “As people around the world increasingly connect to the Internet via multiple wireless devices to use rich content anytime, anywhere, it is creating a deluge of data that is changing the way we work, live and play. The fact that increasing high-speed mobile broadband data usage leads to greater average per capita income underscores the need for increased investment in wireless networks as well as for government policies to foster that investment, including the allocation of additional spectrum.”
Impact of mobile telephony on productivity in developing markets
While the effects from mobile data are most evident in more developed markets, mobile telephony in developing markets continues to deliver strong benefits through voice services, with huge potential for additional benefits as mobile data networks are rolled out. In developing markets, a 10 per cent expansion in mobile penetration increases productivity by 4.2 percentage points. Rather than look to capture value from the mobile industry via sector specific taxation and high regulatory fees, government could seek to incent investments in mobile broadband networks, which will deliver significant economic and social benefits.
The full report is available at www.gsma.com/tax