Mobile Phone Internet Growth In APAC: 38% Penetration By 2018

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The mobile internet is still a developing industry in Asia Pacific region. The second largest country by population and number of mobile subscribers is still far from developed mobile infrastructure. Chew this – out of the 1.24 billion people in India, only 170 million people are likely to access internet on their mobile phones in 2014. The mobile internet exposure ranks high in technologically advanced countries like South Korea, Australia and Japan but it still is below the mark in developing countries such as India and Indonesia. The latest eMarketer report on Mobile Web Usage in APAC forecasts the mobile internet penetration will increase from 29.4% in 2014 to 38.7%, of population, by 2018. The data accounts users of any age accessing internet atleast once a month using any browser or any application installed on their phones.

High-Speed Internet Access Likely to Fuel the Growth

South Korea is one of the technologically advanced countries which had attained a higher smartphone penetration, usage of 2G, 3G and now 4G technologies before the other APAC countries. Moreover, it is the only nation where everyone has access to high-speed 4G internet and almost three-fourth of population is accessing internet on mobile devices. Such a country, which experienced a multi-fold growth by being the early adopters of technology, will be having little or no scope in the growth of  internet on mobile. An almost similar trend is visible in Australia, the country to achieve the first LTE Advanced and first LTE Broadcast calls.

Mobile phone internet user growth APAC 2014 - 2018


The growth in mobile internet users is almost similar in India and Indonesia. However, there is a vast difference in the usage of internet on mobile devices of both the countries. The mobile internet usage penetration in Indonesia is almost double that of India but the population of India is almost five times that of Indonesia. Keeping that in mind and considering the fact that there are more than 243 million internet users in India, having 172 million internet users on mobile devices can’t be termed as disappointing.

The internet usage on mobile devices is increasing rapidly and is unlikely to leave room for further growth by 2018. With the faster speed, increasing mobile penetration, a hunger to devour media on internet and the comfort of carrying their world everywhere with smartphone is likely to fuel this penetration. Globally, 83% of internet usage is expected from the mobile devices by 2015.

Accessing Internet on Mobile: Anytime, Anywhere!

Using the internet on mobile has its benefits that can take over the traditional desktops any day. Though social networking is fuelling the adopting of mobile internet, it’s not the only purpose of accessing internet on mobile. Checking emails, travel details, location findings, routes and nearby destinations, watching videos, playing online games, using m-commerce sites, making transactions, mobile communication are some of the diverse but important drivers of internet on mobiles. For all such works, it is not possible to have a desktop or laptop nearby. Moreover, the large-screen smartphones, phablets and tablets are making the internet usage easier and more enjoyable. More than one-third of the population is expected to browse the web on mobile devices by 2018 in APAC, while in countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and Australia, more than half the population will be accessing internet on mobile phones.

mobile internet penetration in APAC 2014 2018


The growth of internet on mobile devices is also likely to fuel the growth of m-commerce industry in the Asia-Pacific region. In a survey conducted by SAP, 80% of the respondents used their mobile devices to pay their utility-bills while almost half the respondents use their mobile phones to make the purchases. Such a positive response and increasing penetration of usage of internet on mobile devices is expected to help the growing m-commerce industry.

What Fuels The Mobile Internet Growth?

The cost of owning a smartphone is decreasing rapidly. In addition to that, consumers in APAC are price-sensitive; therefore they make a highly informed choice when it comes to purchasing a smartphone. The rapid-economic development and attractive internet offers from the telecom companies are pushing more people to access the EDGE and HSPA technology. All these factors combined are likely to increase the number of internet users on mobile.



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