The mobile telecommunications sector is expected to grow steadily in the next five years with subscribers reaching 3 billion users worldwide by 2009, driven by emerging economies such as China and India, market watchers said yesterday.
The number of mobile network subscribers is expected to exceed 2 billion this year, Eric Lin (林山霖), a senior industry analyst at the Market Intelligence Center (市場情報中心), told a seminar on mobile communications in Taipei.
Users in the Asia-Pacific region constitute 44 percent of the total, with the largest amount of subscribers in China, Lin said.
Demand for low-priced handsets in emerging markets and purchases of new high-end handsets in developed countries to replace older phones as the third-generation (3G) mobile network is introduced will also drive up shipments, he said.
As a result, worldwide shipments of handsets are estimated to hit 772 million units this year, Lin said.
Nokia Oyj and Motorola Inc will continue to hold the lead in both emerging and developed markets, while South Korean players Samsung Electronics Co and LG Electronics will use their edge in consumer electronics to expand in the high-end handset segment.
Meanwhile, applications for high-end handsets will move beyond photo and digital music functions, said Day Ji-feng (戴基峰), another center analyst.