Growth of 5.9 percent forecast for telecoms

MILDER GROWTH::Taiwan’s slower expansion compared to the 6.53 percent growth of the global telecom industry, is down to decelerating smartphone sales

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Sep 23, 2013 - Page 13

Output of Taiwan’s telecommunications industry is forecast to grow 5.9 percent to NT$2.22 trillion (US$75.18 billion) this year from NT$2.09 trillion last year, driven by rising demand for mobile data delivery services used on handheld devices, such as smartphones and tablets, the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) said in its latest report.

In comparison, output of the global telecom industry is projected to grow 6.53 percent to US$2.61 trillion this year from US$2.45 trillion last year, MIC said on Tuesday last week.

MIC attributed Taiwan’s milder growth to decelerating development in the smartphone market, where vendors like Apple Inc and HTC Corp (宏達電) have been forced to launch middle market products in order to sustain sales growth while the penetration rate of high-end models is reaching to saturation point.

For next year, the Taipei-based market researcher forecast Taiwan’s telecom industry output would grow 7 percent to NT$2.37 trillion from this year, supported mainly by strong demand for IEEE 802.11ac wireless networking routers.

MIC forecast the output of Taiwan’s wireless telecom services and devices to grow 13 percent to NT$143.2 billion next year from an estimate of NT$126.4 billion this year, while that of wired telecom services and devices is predicted to increase 8 percent to NT$386.2 billion next year from NT$356.2 billion this year.

Mobile devices output, including cellphones and global positioning systems, is estimated to expand 6 percent to NT$1.56 trillion next year from NT$1.47 trillion this year, it said.

“Android smartphones are likely to continue leading the market, despite Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia and Apple’s entry into the smartphone middle market,” MIC analyst Welber Chang (張奇) said.

“As more smartphone vendors take steps and develop their own apps to expand their presence in the Android segment, we forecast that diverse services by smartphone makers will continue to drive the entire telecom industry output,” he added.

Meanwhile, with automakers increasingly taking up frequency-

division duplexing long-term evolution technologies for in-vehicle mobile data delivery equipment, the overall telecom industry output will be boosted from next year, Chang said.

Currently, Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co, South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors Corp, as well as German carmakers Audi AG and BMW AG have all initiated projects to develop equipment used for consumers to deliver data in their cars, he added.