MVNOs Series explores the latest developments in the Asia Paficic MVNO market. With contributions by Gary Bhomer, Tel-Consult, and Renato Reis, Acqua Telecom, this report offers you a snapshot of the market, the impact of regulation and the latest business trends in the region.
Comprising more than 50 nations and territories, two continents and an area equivalent to more than a third of the total landmass of the Earth, the Asia-Pacific APAC) region boasts around 60% of the global population, including three of the five most populous countries.
Given its sheer size, it is no surprise the 2.7bn unique mobile subscribers across the APAC region represent an unrivalled market. But due to the varied demographics of a region characterised by sharp contrasts between urban and rural, wealthy and poor, connected and remote populations, mobile ownership only represents a 67% penetration rate.
This is why, as well as ranking as the world’s largest mobile market, APAC is the grand prize being chased by many Western brands. As domestic markets across the region open up to MVNOs, virtual operators are widely viewed as having most to gain. When asked their opinions on the prospects of regional MVNO markets, participants, were unanimous – APAC is the region where industry insiders expect to see most growth in mobile overall, and it is where they see the best opportunities for MVNOs.
This is backed up by most economic forecasts for the key APAC markets. According to GM Insights, China – the world’s single biggest domestic mobile market – MVNOs are expect to grow year-on-year 16% through to 2024, above the global average of 12%. This figure soars as high as 56% CAGR for MVNOs in emerging Asian markets, where low mobile penetration in less developed economies presents even greater growth opportunities.
In emerging economies like Pakistan and Bangladesh, mobile penetration remains as low as 50%, creating ideal ‘virgin territory’ for MVNOs to move in on. Predictions for explosive MVNO market growth in these economies are largely founded on the rapid roll out of 4G – the GSMA predicts these two countries, alongside India and Indonesia, will be major drivers of 4G connection growth in the coming years.
Relationships between virtual operators and MNOs remain crucial to MVNO prospects in individual domestic markets. In the Middle East, despite some signs that governments in countries like Israel and UAE might be prepared to introduce MVNO licenses, a lack of will on the part of MNOs is preventing virtual markets from emerging. Elsewhere, in countries including Australia, restrictive commercial structures are viewed as holding back innovation amongst MVNOs.
In this report, we provide you with a snapshot of the current state of play in the MVNO market across the APAC region, while also addressing the impact of regulation and market liberalisation, and how relationships with network operators are evolving in different domestic and sub-regional markets.
Download the full report and get a more in-depth analysis of four key markets from across the region and insights from top industry analysts with their ear to the ground – including Renato Reis from Acqua Telecom, Futoshi Sasaki from Internet Initiative Japan, and Gary Bhomer from Tel-Consult.