Mon, Jul 18, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Mobile broadband firms eye major revenue boost

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Mobile broadband technologies in Taiwan are set to see revenue hit NT$333 billion (US$11.6 billion) in 2015, equivalent to 1.8 -percent of GDP, supported by rising spending by consumers on mobile services, research conducted by a global telecoms association showed.

That compares to NT$101 billion, or 0.74 percent of GDP last year, according to a report published by GSM Association (GSMA), a trade association for the global mobile industry on Wednesday.

Wireless broadband revenue growth in 2015 will be backed by NT$161 billion in direct consumer spending on mobile services and related devices, as well as NT$103 billion generated by Taiwanese tech firms that produce wireless equipment.

The figures were released last week by GSMA, which commissioned Analysys Mason to study the impact of mobile broadband growth in Taiwan and globally.

The report indicated that while household broadband penetration rate is high in Taiwan, wireless broadband uptake will accelerate.

Wireless penetration will grow from 16 percent last year to 61 percent in 2015, GSMA Asia-Pacific senior director Jaikishan Rajaraman told a press briefing on Wednesday.

The wireless broadband industry will also benefit from the global surge in LTE adoption — a trend GSMA believes means that Taiwan should junk its current focus on WiMAX.

GSMA said that more than 210 global telecom operators have committed to LTE, with more than 20 set to roll out LTE commercial services by the end of the year.

LTE and WiMAX are competing 4G technologies and the government has currently only issued WiMAX licenses, mandating that coverage from each operator must reach 70 percent before they can apply to switch to LTE — a threshold GSMA said Taiwan should scrap immediately.

With LTE emerging as an equally good technology, but one that is downward compatible with lower-generation technologies (whereas WiMAX is not) and many telecom operators lending support, Taiwan should switch to LTE as soon as possible he said.

Representing 219 countries and territories, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile phone operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile communications industry, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organizations.

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