Report: Growing appetite for connected services in PH, SE Asia

An appendix to the Ericsson Mobility Report covering South East Asia and Oceania showed that the region has high social media engagement and a growing appetite for connected things.

Ericsson PH and Pacific Islands head Elie Hana

Ericsson PH and Pacific Islands head Elie Hana

The study, which included analysis from new Ericsson ConsumerLab research of daily Internet users aged 16 to 60 years old, found that mobile phones are increasingly becoming a key tool for accessing online services, particularly social media.

Elie Hanna, head of Ericsson Philippines and Pacific Islands, said: “The region is a leader in adopting social media and instant messaging services. In South East Asia and Oceania two-thirds of daily Internet users have at least two instant messaging apps, and in the Philippines, 74 percent of those surveyed said that they use social media on a weekly basis.”

Hanna added: “The attractiveness of social media and instant messaging is important because users are moving beyond chat on these platforms. Additionally, improving user experience of social media apps through network performance optimization could lead to improved customer satisfaction.”

The ConsumerLab research findings also showed that across the region Malaysian, Singaporean, and Australian Internet users are most likely to embrace wearable technology, use connectivity in their cars, and have devices in their homes connected to the Internet enabling control.

On average, one in three daily Internet users in Malaysia are already using or have access to connected services, and in Singapore this is one in four.

In all countries, connected home services have the highest number of current users — it is also the service that people are most interested in adopting, as is the case with the Philippines (36 percent).

The Ericsson ConsumerLab analysis showed a high level of interest across the region for connected services, indicating a huge growth potential for such new services.

At the end of 2014 there will be around 10 million cellular M2M devices in use in South East Asia and Oceania; this is predicted to grow by two to four times by 2020.

“Ericsson predicts a four-fold smartphone subscription growth in the region from just over 200 million to more than 800 million in 2020, which makes network performance a key consideration for operators, especially considering the new ways consumers are discovering to consume data,” Hanna said.

As apps deliver more data-intensive services such as video streaming, better measurements than voice coverage are needed for consumers to assess if a network can deliver high quality app performance, the report said.

Ericsson calls this measure “App Coverage” or network performance from a user’s perspective. This shows the level of network performance needed for a specific app to function satisfactorily.

For example, video streaming requires 720kbps downlink and video telephony 320kbps uplink/downlink for a typical smart device.

Ericsson’s assessment of Ookla’s NetMetrics data from Speedtest.net shows that the cell-edge (worst case scenario) downlink throughputs for mobile networks in Australia and Singapore are able to easily deliver video streaming and video telephony. However, the same situation would prove a challenge in other Southeast Asian countries.

The strong outcomes for Australia and Singapore are the result of increased penetration of 4G/LTE and proactive spectrum management strategies.

In developing markets, momentum is growing for 4G and the deployment of Dual-Carrier HSPA will drive short term improvements in network performance, the report said.

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