It's now official - Asia-Pacific is the world leader in ICT. A new report from the ITU, published to co-incide with ITU Telecom Asia 2008 next month confirms what analysts and observers, including Developing Telecoms, have believed to be the case for years, that Asia-Pacific dominates in fixed and wireless telecommunications. But there is still a big divide in the region between ICT rich and poor economies.
The Asia Pacific Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Report, confirms that the Asia-Pacific region has the world's largest fixed telephone market, with almost half of the world’s total fixed telephone lines. Asia-Pacific is also home to over a billion mobile cellular subscribers and has the largest mobile market share globally.
The Report’s main focus is on broadband - high-speed Internet access. Increasingly recognized as a development enabler as well as an industry in its own right, broadband transforms the way people communicate, work, and do business. The region is home to many of the world’s broadband leaders in terms of fixed and mobile broadband penetration and services.
Despite the many success stories, the region is fraught with disparities. Broadband in Asia-Pacific: too much, too little? - the subtitle of the Report - refers to the divide between economies with ubiquitous and affordable access and those where ICT applications are limited by narrowband networks.
Some people in Asia live the ultimate Internet high-speed experience but there is a stark contrast between the region’s high-income economies and the low and lower-middle income economies. Here progression towards fixed and mobile broadband is slow and Internet access is limited and costly. While most of the region’s high-income economies have launched mobile broadband networks, few of the low and lower-middle income economies have done so.
ITU’s Asia-Pacific Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Report is a useful information tool to inform and guide policy-makers, investors, analysts and other observers of the Asia-Pacific telecommunications and ICT landscape. It contains an extensive statistical overview of key sector developments, and identifies a number of steps that policy makers in countries with limited access can take to accelerate broadband deployment.
Copies of the report will be available at ITU Telecom Asia 2008 which takes place in Bangkok.