The Asian mobile subscribers market is currently home to around three billion who are being served by a large number of mobile operators. The operators are continuing to drive the market, expanding it by more than 10% annually coming into 2012.
In some countries, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai (and much of the Middle East), there are already more mobile phones than people. Across the region mobile penetration is 74%.
The list of Asian operators ranges from the giant China Mobile with almost 700 million subscribers right through to a number of much smaller operators with only a few thousand subscribers each.
Over the next few years, Asia is expected to overtake North America and Europe in terms of mobile advertising revenue. In 2015 Asia will be the largest market, accounting for 30.9% of the global mobile ad market (mostly due to strong growth in China and India).
India and China are the markets to watch - in 2010 there were 339 million new mobile subscriptions in these two countries, that's more than the total number of mobile subscribers in the US, the world's third biggest nation, with 279 million.
With the progressive opening up of markets to more competition, we have seen the licensing of more and more operators across the region. One phenomenon in Asia has been the granting of a significant number of mobile operator licences in what have been regarded as smaller markets, i.e. with relatively low populations as well as low income per capita.
This has occurred for example in Cambodia, Laos and Georgia. Over time, we can certainly expect some rationalisation of the operator numbers in such markets.
For more information on the Asian mobile subscribers market, see the latest research: Asian Mobile Subscribers Market
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