Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had a total of 700 million mobile handset users and 20 million fixed-line broadband users in 2013, and compound annual growth rates (CAGR) for handset users and fixed-line broadband users from 2003-2013 were 24% and 40%, respectively, higher than the average growth of global users, according to Digitimes Research's finding.
Although the number of mobile handset users in ASEAN countries accounted for 11% of the total number of worldwide users, related revenues only accounted for 4% because 93% of ASEAN users are using prepaid services and 75% of the users only had average revenues per user (ARPU) of less than US$5.
However, as ASEAN economies grow, with imports and exports reaching US$2.4 trillion in 2013 to hold a 6% global share, and populations reaching an approximate 624 million, telecom providers are omptimistic about potential business opportunities that lie ahead.
There will be challenges telecom and fixed-line broadband operations face developing in ASEAN economies due to political factors as well as disperse of populations throughout island communities. However, the economies are quickening their schedule for issuing next-generation WiMAX and LTE licensing and commercialization, and countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have already begun developments of 4G service, added Digitimes Research.
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