LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE ASIA EXPO 2013: The number of unique mobile subscribers in Asia Pacific has outpaced the rest of the world over the last decade, reaching 1.5 billion at the end of 2012, according to a new report from the GSMA.
The Association predicts that by 2017 Asia Pacific will reach 1.9 billion unique mobile subscribers, accounting for almost half of the predicted global total of 3.9 billion.
The report – ‘Mobile Economy: Asia Pacific 2013’ – claims that the rapid penetration of mobile services and early roll-out of mobile broadband networks is driving economic change in Asia Pacific. As of the end of 2012, the report notes the mobile industry had invested US$80 billion in mobile infrastructure, generated US$1 trillion in GDP for Asia Pacific economies and contributed US$100 billion to public funding.
In a statement, the GSMA suggests that with access to “vital spectrum resources and regulatory policy focused on driving further investment,” for the period through 2020 the mobile industry could contribute an additional US$2.3 trillion to GDP and a further US$200 billion to public funding.
And Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA, specifically targeted the regulation issue: “We are now at the dawn of a far greater growth opportunity and we urge regional Governments and regulators to support mobile operators in meeting that full potential,” she said. “Making the right decisions around regulatory frameworks and spectrum availability will encourage the mobile industry to continue investing in expanding and upgrading services across the region.”