5G to drive APAC mobile services market


The total mobile communications services revenue in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% from $321.9 billion in 2023 to $388.7 billion in 2028, mainly driven by the 5G mobile data services segment, according to GlobalData.

An analysis of GlobalData’s Asia-Pacific Mobile Broadband Forecast Pack (Q4-2023) reveals that mobile data services will remain the largest revenue contributing segment to the overall mobile services market in the region during 2023-2028. The growth will be primarily driven by the expansion and increasing adoption of high- average revenue per user (ARPU) in 5G services in the region.

Hrushikesh Mahananda, Telecom Analyst at GlobalData, says: “With 5G services already launched in almost all the developed markets including Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea, and set to be launched soon in countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the revenue prospect for mobile data segment will remain strong through the forecast period. Operators like Grameenphone, Robi and Teletalk in Bangladesh and Dialog and Airtel in Sri Lanka, for instance, have conducted 5G network trails in major cities in their respective countries and are gearing up for 5G service roll out by year end.”

Government support for 5G expansion will also strengthen the mobile data services market in the region. Telecom regulatory bodies and governing authorities in countries like Australia, China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, have launched national 5G strategies/action plans, outlining the vision and guidelines to establish 5G ecosystems and drive 5G coverage expansions. These action plans include supporting initiatives such as public sector investment in 5G applications, favorable tax incentives, forums for industry-government collaboration, promotion of 5G led-technological innovations, and license arrangements to enhance spectrum use and reuse.

China will remain the largest 5G market in the world through the forecast period with 88% of its mobile subscriptions to be on 5G network by 2028, primarily driven by the telco investments and the regulator’s efforts to expand 5G service coverage to rural areas and industrial parks, and boost 5G adoption.

Mahananda continues: “The average monthly data usage (excluding voice-only subscriptions) is forecast to increase from 22.5GB in 2023 to 40.7GB in 2028, receiving a significant boost from 5G service launches and expansions across regional markets. Growing consumption of online video and social media content over smartphones, on the back of the growing availability and adoption of 5G services, data-centric packages offered by MNOs and mobile broadband penetration levels, will also drive growth in mobile data usage levels through the forecast period.”

APAC has become the center of the technological race for 5G+ supremacy. South Korea, Japan, and China have gone beyond just the deployment of 5G, to the development of the wider 5G ecosystem. This also means supporting the vast electronics manufacturing and ICT industries in these countries and driving IoT/M2M opportunities.

Mahananda concludes: “While mobile data segment will continue with the growth trajectory, mobile voice service revenue will decline at a CAGR of 5% over the forecast period, as consumers continue to migrate towards OTT/internet-based communication services.”


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