The mobile services market in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is doing very well and is expected to continue growing in the near future, reaching over $141.2 billion (£84 billion) in value by 2017, according to market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
IDC predicts that the uptrend for voice services revenue will decelerate in the years to 2017, arriving at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5%. Data connectivity and mobile broadband revenue, however, will grow at a significant pace, achieving a CAGR of 19.3% for the period from 2012 to 2017.
The growth in APAC data revenues can be put down to three major factors, namely increasing smartphone adoption thanks the affordable prices of the devices, the rollout of 3G and LTE licences and the drive of mobile users towards 'Over-The-Top-Players' (OTTP) services.
OTTP services include delivery of instant messaging, video, audio and other media over an open Internet/broadband connection directly to the user, with no carriage negotiations involved and no need for the provider to make any infrastructure investment. While providers may be aware of the Internet Protocol packets' contents, they don't hold responsibility for the viewing abilities, copyrights and/or other redistribution of the content, and they cannot control it.
LTE subscriptions will produce the highest five-year CAGR of 44.3% compared to other mobile technology, IDC forecasts. Singapore will see the biggest LTE growth in the APAC region and is expected to achieve a CAGR of 103%.
IDC's report also touches upon the deployment of 3G and 4G infrastructure and the impact it has on traditional messaging services. The company foresees a drop in revenue from such services at a CAGR of about -7% in 2017. To cover this potential revenue loss, operators should consider partnering with OTTPs, the report advises.