LTE adoption is exploding in Japan, Korea and other highly developed Asian countries; but in this “red ocean” competition is fierce – companies find themselves in a continuous arms race to deliver the most innovative solutions and keep their service offering one step ahead of the curve.
In the Emerging Markets of Asia (EMAP) development has, until now, been slower. But the opportunity for growth is huge.
One Analysys Mason report stated that EMAP is soon to dominate the global LTE market with more subscribers that anywhere else in the world; and in support of the this theory, EMAP currently has the highest number of planned and trialled LTE networks.
So what has been slowing the development of LTE in EMAP so far? Are there still limiting factors preventing substantial LTE adoption? And when can we expect the LTE data explosion?
The first thing to consider is whether consumers actually care about LTE? Is there a need for faster speeds? Or is 3G technology sufficient? Consumers often struggle with the high cost of LTE devices and the expense of 4G as a whole. This price barrier means LTE adoption is not widespread, and the economies of scale needed to make LTE investments worthwhile and therefore prices lower are not met. Additionally companies have invested heavily in 3G infrastructure which is now to be wasted as 4G is introduced?
Despite this, investment in the region is happening and all experts predict that in the next few years LTE adoption will explode. One reason for this is the immense video consumption in Asia, which is of much higher quality when streamed over LTE and provides a real reason for the consumer to upgrade.
However, mass adoption will happen with the development of low cost devices. When these are launched we can expect EMAP to dominate the LTE markets globally.
If you want to get closer to the emerging markets of Asia; hear operator case studies and investor perspectives – join us at LTE Asia 2015, where we will be launching the new emerging markets track.