ICT market likely to grow: researcher

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Dec 18, 2013 - Page 13

The nation’s information and communication technology (ICT) market is forecast to grow 2.4 percent to NT$652.28 billion (US$22.03 billion) next year from an estimated NT$637 billion this year, driven by increasing demand for enterprise software and telecom operators’ fourth-generation (4G) services, market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) said yesterday.

“While many businesses plan to increase information technology (IT) spending next year, they need to make their plans more carefully as the overall ICT market is changing rapidly,” IDC senior research manager Helen Chiang (江芳韻) told a press conference.

For next year, IDC forecast the nation’s enterprise software market would expand the most at a 4.3 percent rate, followed by a 3.9 percent extension in telecom service sector, a 3.8 percent increase in the online service sector and 0.2 growth in the hardware sector.

In terms of application, IDC forecast that businesses in different industries would increase their IT spending on enterprise software that helps them analyze customers data.

“Since this year, many businesses have started using their data to analyze consumers’ purchasing decisions, and we also saw demand for ‘socialytics’ growing and drawing more businesses to analyze not just their customers, but their entire social network,” IDC analyst Leon Kao (高振偉) said.

Kao said “socialytics” is a new kind of analysis that businesses will have to conduct in order to understand their consumers’ needs as more people choose to leave feedback about products or services on online social networking sites.

In addition, due to the rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, more businesses would be in need of different kinds of enterprise software to analyze data collected from multiple channels, he added.

Meanwhile, with local telecom operators set to launch 4G services as soon as next year, IDC forecast up to 600,000 mobile Internet subscribers would renew their contracts with carriers next year to use 4G wireless technology to access the Web.

Among the nation’s top three telecom carriers — Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) — IDC forecast Chunghwa would launch its 4G services earlier than its rivals because the company won the 1800MHz spectrum that is currently not in use and therefore can be managed more easily.

“While we expect Chunghwa to launch its 4G services as soon as next year, it’s very likely we will see the telecom operator cancel its ‘all-you-can-eat’ subscription programs, but to initiate tier-pricing ones to meet consumers’ strong demand,” IDC analyst Andy Ye (葉振男) said.

Citing surveys conducted by IDC, Ye said Chunghwa would likely be charging NT$3,000 a month for 10 gigabytes of data delivery services via 4G technology from next year.

However, most mobile Internet users might only need 5 gigabytes of data delivery services and choose to pay NT$1,500 to NT$2,000 a month under their contract with Chunghwa, he added.

After next year, IDC forecast the number of Taiwanese 4G service users would grow 1,250 percent to 8.1 million in 2015, with more telecom carriers including Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone joining the market.