2011 and onwards will see growth in mobile devices with the Asia Pacific region expecting to sell 100 million smartphones in 2011, which represents nearly 20% of all mobile devices sold. The number of smartphone devices sold is expected to reach almost 500 million by 2015.
According to Nitin Bhat, Partner & Vice President of the Frost & Sullivan ICT Practice Asia Pacific, driven by price decline and application richness, smartphones will be mass market by 2015 and is expected to account for 60% of mobile sub base in Asia Pacific.
'While Asia's wireless market is saturated for 2G services with only China and India with room left for significant 2G growth, 3G services still represent significant opportunity with 3G services penetration at less than 50% in most Asia Pacific markets. Increased smartphone usage will drive the 3G services market,' says Nitin.
Despite Singapore being one of the most saturated markets in the Asia Pacific region, Frost & Sullivan believes that mobile connections will continue to expand with the growing population and the proliferation of devices in Singapore, holding a connection base of over 9.7 million by 2015 with a corresponding penetration rate of 160.5%.
Nitin continues, 'We believe that the Singaporean mobile market peaked in terms of revenue growth in 2007 when the market expanded by nearly 23%. Going forward we expect modest single-digit growth in mobile service revenues as the prepaid base expands and mobile broadband becomes more prevalent.'
Smartphones will also pave the way for mobile cloud and security as carriers and vendors start introducing services such as remote wipe, remote storage and virus protection to smart devices to the consumer space. Mobile cloud services will also help overcome smartphone challenges such as memory space, battery power and processing speed.
2011 will also see a rise in Tablet PCs, as Tablet PCs will fill the niche that netbooks tried to fill. The most common applications of the tablet are for consumers to access 'content' such as reading materials, videos, and games online and offline.
The global market is expected to reach approximately 15 - 17 million tablet PCs in 2011, amounting to 6% of the market share for PCs and is expected to rise to 12% in 2014.
Other areas with high potential growth include IPTV, high-speed Fixed Broadband and Cloud Computing.
Pay TV will transform into Smart TV
'Successful operators will need to offer a hybrid of traditional Pay TV and internet TV. This approach will further accelerate IPTV service take-up. In developed markets, consumers will be able to enjoy a converged TV experience. They will be able to consume content on TV, mobile, PC or tablet with one subscription,' says Nitin.
Frost & Sullivan estimates APAC pay TV subscribers to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% from 404.5 million at the end of 2010 to 536.7 million at the end of 2016. 2010 APAC IPTV subscribers at 13.2 million are expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.2% to 27.8 million in 2016.
IPTV subscribers in Singapore are expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.97% from 290 000 at the end of 2010 to 636 000 at the end of 2016. By the end of 2016, IPTV is expected to capture 51% of the pay TV market in Singapore and the pay TV penetration is expected to reach 70.1% from 61.1% at the end of 2010.
Ultra high speed broadband will become predominant in developed markets
According to Nitin, the number of APAC fixed broadband subscribers is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% from 217.6 million at the end of 2010 to 346.6 million at the end of 2015 as many government broadband initiatives are already underway in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. Initiatives are expected in New Zealand, China, and Taiwan this year.
In Singapore, The National Broadband Network initiative has helped to further grow the market even though the market is reaching saturation with a fixed broadband household penetration rate of 83% at the end of 2010. The 2010 broadband growth rate was 14% and the rate is expected to stay above the 10% mark in 2011 and then gradually reduce as the market saturates further.
Frost & Sullivan expects the number of fixed broadband subscribers in Singapore to grow at a CAGR of 6.67% from 1.2 million at the end of 2010 to 1.8 million at the end of 2016.
Increasing adoption has created a US$1.1 billion Cloud Computing market in Asia Pacific
'With a 90% share of the market, SaaS is the dominant segment of the Cloud market in the Asia Pacific region. The APAC SaaS market expected to grow at a CAGR of 39% for the 2010-2014 period,' says Nitin.
He continues, 'Cloud Computing is to be an important driver of growth as Singapore establishes itself as one of the Cloud hubs in Asia Pacific. The Singapore Cloud Computing market is set witness strong growth powered by CRM, Collaboration and HRM applications.'
Most of the early SaaS adopters in the Singapore market have adopted CRM to start their journey towards SaaS, resulting in the CRM applications accounting for a large share of the market in 2010. The Singaporean SaaS market is witnessing strong growth owing to a large MNC base, and the presence of enabling broadband infrastructure and penetration in the country.
'With global players either setting up their own data centers in the country or partnering with local data center players, the market is set to witness the next phase of growth in the coming years,' says Nitin.
Enterprises are looking to engage with service providers that have multiple capabilities, i.e., are one-stop ICT solutions providers. This offers a prime opportunity for players such as SingTel and StarHub to quickly ramp up their services offering and meet the demands of the market.
A large part of the demand for SaaS is driven by the SMB enterprises in Singapore. Due to limited customization capabilities, large enterprises have not adopted SaaS for core applications and are currently limited to non-core systems.
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