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‘Connected’ consumers in emerging Asia–Pacific (APAC) spend 48% more time using telecoms and media services than those in Europe and the USA, according to an Analysys Mason report. On average, respondents with Internet connectivity in emerging APAC markets spent 13 hours per day using telecoms and media services, compared with 8.8 hours for connected consumers in Europe and the USA.

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On average, connected consumers’ total exposure to telecoms and media was highest in Malaysia (14.6 hours each day), followed by Indonesia (14.2), India (13.3) and China (9.9). The survey also found over-the-top (OTT) services have high penetration rates in these markets: 44% consumers in Malaysia use VoIP services, as do 38% in India. Skype leads for VoIP services, accounting for 69% of VoIP users.

 

“Operators in emerging APAC need to develop a clear strategy to address the growing use of both fixed and mobile VoIP as well as other OTT communications services,” says Alexandra Rehak, lead analyst for Analysys Mason’s Asia-Pacific research programme. “Possible approaches include offering their own OTT communications services, partnering with major international or local OTT players to develop joint approaches to the market, or recalibrating the position or pricing of data within contract bundles and the larger prepaid market.”

Furthermore, the usage of mobile content and apps was high among connected consumers, although take-up varied from country to country. In China and Indonesia, 78% and 79% of consumers, respectively, used such services, compared with 64% in India. “We also found consumers under the age of 35 are more likely to use mobile content and apps than those aged 35 or over,” explains Helen  Karapandžić, lead author of the report. “There is a clear opportunity to provide more mobile apps and services targeted towards older users.”

The region’s smartphone adoption rates are increasing rapidly, largely driven by availability of low-cost Android devices. More than 56% of survey respondents used a smartphone and 89% of respondents with basic handsets were considering upgrading to either a feature phone or smartphone for their next handset purchase.

“Feature phones are taking on many of the functions of smartphones in these markets and offering many subscribers a mobile data and Internet experience at a significantly lower entry price,” adds Karapandžić. “The rapid adoption of smartphones and feature phones is exerting increasing pressure on already-congested networks in emerging APAC markets.”

-----Analysys Mason

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