ASIA MARKET OF GROWING MOBILE SUBSCRIBERS

NAJAM KHAN,
Research Associate

July 16 - 22, 2007

INDIA

India is one of the most active and fastest growing telecom markets in the world. The numbers of cellular subscribers have increased considerably from around 10 million subscribers in 2002 to reach 150 million by early 2007 with the annual rate approaching 90%, the reasons behind this growth in the mobile subscribers are due to the lower tariffs and falling handset prices.

While GSM has proved and continued to be the dominant technology in the mobile market and this persisting boom in India saw total revenues of US$22.4 billion in 2006, and it is likely to hit US$25 billion in 2007. Of the 2006 total, the share of mobile services was around 60%.

Quarterly net mobile subscriber additions in India exceeded those in China for the first time in the September quarter of 2006.

MOBILE AND LIMITED MOBILITY SUBSCRIBER

 

CHINA

INDIA

YEAR

MOBILE (MILLION)

2000

86.5

3.1

2001

145

5.5

2002

206.6

10.5

2003

268.6

22

2004

317.2

37.4

2005

392

58.5

2006

445.8

105.4

CHINA

The graph shows that mobile subscribers during 2006 and 2007 (at the end of April, an increase of 6.7 million over March) were 445.8 million and 487.4 million respectively. The population of China is 1.3 billion having mobile phones penetration rate of roughly 38%. It is expected that 635 million Chinese people will subscribe mobile communication by 2010. If the projection is perfect, the penetration rate will reach to 45% by 2010.

Among other things, it is projected that telecom revenue will reach US$115 billion by 2010. While the number looks striking, it indicates a continuing descending trend in revenue growth from 15 percent in 2000 to 11 percent last year. It is projected to dip to 7.6 percent CAGR for the 2006-2010 periods.

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh is one of Asia's fastest growing cellular markets having mobile penetration of around 16%. With its growing network, Bangladesh's Mobile telecommunications had become one of the most vibrant service sectors in Bangladesh, which provides service to about 97 percent of the country's population and 82 per cent of the land area.

With the population of over 140 million, half of them still live on less than a dollar a day, the number of subscribers doubled in one year up from 11 million in 2006 to about 22 million in March 2007, and is forecast to increase to 44 million by 2009.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka's telecom sector climbed in 2006 to 7.3 million users as the country saw a 59 percent jump in new mobile phone connections competition and falling call rates. The number of cellular phone users grew to 5.4 million in 2006 from 3.4 million a year earlier

The cell phone industry in Sri Lanka after two years will grow in terms of demand as the number of subscribers reach eight million and the mobile telephone penetration reach 40% of the population. On the other hand, future expansion will be sluggish, in contrast to previous years. Penetration rose to 28% by the end of 2006 and will keep on rising to 40% in the next couple of years.