Asia-Pac to dominate connected device market fuelled by Chinese growth, says GSMA

Michael O'Hara, the GSMA's CMO Michael O'Hara, the GSMA's CMO

Mobile Asia Congress, Hong Kong. November 16, 2011 — The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the connected device market, largely as a result of growth in China, says the GSMA. In partnership with Machina Research, the GSMA reports that the growth of connected devices is booming in Asia Pacific. The region is expected to be the biggest connected device market by 2020 with over 11 billion total connected devices and, within that, almost 5.6 billion mobile connected devices accounting for a 47% market share and outstripping Europe (at 19.1%) and North America (9.4%).

The growth of connected devices makes the vision of a Connected Life a reality by delivering new services to multiple device types beyond traditional mobile phones. Powered by ubiquitous Mobile Broadband, this will allow consumers and businesses to interact with the people, information and objects they require, whenever and wherever they need.

“Asia Pacific has more than half of the world’s six billion mobile connections and is at the forefront of next-generation Mobile Broadband technologies and cutting-edge innovation, but there is far greater scope for growth,” said Michael O’Hara (pictured), the GSMA’s Chief Marketing Officer. “The projected rise of connected devices across the region demonstrates the enormous potential for the entire Connected Life ecosystem, with billions of new devices connected via mobile networks enabling innovative applications, services and experiences across all sectors.”

China will be the chief driver of this growth and will have nearly five billion connected devices by 2020 — more than any other market globally — resulting in China-based mobile operators being able to benefit from the highest addressable revenue opportunity across the region of US$180 billion. The global addressable revenue opportunity for mobile operators for this space by 2020 is US$1.2 trillion, and from this, operators across Asia Pacific could benefit from revenues of US$447 billion, nearly 50% higher than Europe at US$305 billion.

In Asia Pacific, connected mobile growth enabling seamless and pervasive connectivity between people and processes will increase dramatically over the next 10 years, in part because mobile is almost the only option for connectivity for many countries in the region. In a market that already comprises more than half of the world’s mobile connections, this presents a huge opportunity for mobile operators.

Emerging Asian markets will be the main contributors to connected growth, with the total number of connected devices increasing by more than 150% between 2011 and 2020. In developed nations in Asia Pacific, consumers in Japan and South Korea will each have an average of 11 connected devices by 2020, making it the highest share of connected devices per capita in the world. By 2020, Japan will also have the third highest device share by volume, behind China and the United States.

Mobile health market stimulating growth of connected devices

The growth of mobile health services in Asia Pacific is stimulating demand for connected devices. In a separate study, new figures from the GSMA, developed in collaboration with PwC for a global report entitled Mobile Health – Enabling Healthcare, indicates that the Asia Pacific mobile health market will grow to almost US$7 billion in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 70%. The mobile health services representing the largest opportunity across the region include monitoring services, with a 55% market share in 2017 and diagnostic services, with a 24% market share.

China will have the biggest mobile health market in 2017, driven by growth in monitoring and diagnosis that will facilitate the delivery of effective healthcare to a widely spread population with poor health access. This will help to create a market opportunity of US$2.4 billion in China, dwarfing the next largest markets, Japan (US$1.3 billion) and India (US$540 million). Monitoring represents the biggest opportunity in Japan (63% market share) due to the large number of elderly, and in India diagnostics will create the biggest opportunity (67% market share) due to most Indians living in rural areas.

“Mobile health is a prime example of how mobile operators can leverage existing platforms and technology to provide innovative services to connect people throughout Asia Pacific,” said the GSMA’s CMO, Michael O’Hara. “Asia Pacific’s predicted growth in connected devices, through an array of applications, means that the region is on the threshold of radically transforming the lives of its consumers, professionally and personally. To make the Connected Life ubiquitous, it’s vital that the mobile industry works with key adjacent industries in the region, including healthcare.”

The Connected Life opportunity is by no means confined to healthcare. The close collaboration of mobile operators with companies in a range of vertical sectors, such as automotive, utilities and consumer electronics, will provide compelling new ‘connected’ services to consumers and businesses all over the world. The benefit of this is huge, as the Connected Life will create new opportunities for companies to engage with existing customers while adopting new ones, as well as deliver new service opportunities that will generate additional revenue.

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