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Singapore leads smartphone and mobile broadband adoption in SEA

Adrian M. Reodique | June 23, 2016
Smartphone subscription in Asia Pacific region will reach 1.7 million by 2021, with Singapore expected to reach almost 130 percent smartphone subscription penetration.

Singapore leads both the smartphone and mobile broadband subscriptions in the South East Asia (SEA) region with more than 100 percent and 140 percent respectively, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

In the first quarter of 2016, the mobile subscriptions globally grew around three percent year-on-year and reached 7.4 billion. Indonesia and Myanmar emerged as key surge markets in the region with an additional 5 million subscribers in each country for the first quarter of 2016.

In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, smartphone subscriptions will reach 1.7 million by 2021, with Singapore expected to reach almost 130 percent smartphone subscription penetration.

On mobile application, WhatsApp is most popular in Singapore, followed by YouTube which is the top app in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, voice coverage now constitutes less than five percent of mobile traffic but users still expect good voice coverage as well as good user experience when accessing the internet through mobile apps.

Singapore remains on the lead for highest cell-edge downlink speed and lowest latency in the SEA region.

Besides mobile broadband and smartphone adoption, the report also underscored the huge growth expected in Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the APAC region. IoT devices are expected to surpass mobile phone subscriptions globally by 2018.

In essence, the IoT growth will be driven by emerging applications and business models, and supported by dropping costs of devices. Across the globe, IoT connected devices are expected to surge to close to 16 billion by 2021, with Asia having the highest level of adoption with about 5 billion IoT connections.

The report indicated that in Singapore, IoT will focus on two major segments: massive and critical connections. Massive IoT connections have high connection volumes, low cost, low energy requirements and small data traffic volumes, such as smart buildings and transport logistics.

Critical IoT connections, on the other hand, require ultra-reliability and availability with very low latency, such as traffic safety, industrial applications, and remote manufacturing and healthcare.

"This report highlights the exceptional growth of mobile broadband and smartphone technology in Singapore and across the region. It also demonstrates how IoT promises to change society in the next few years. A recent IDC study predicts that by 2019, we will see $1.3 trillion worth of investment being poured into IoT technology globally which will empower the digital transformation of all our lives, accelerating our progress towards becoming a truly Networked Society," said Martin Wiktorin, Country Head for Singapore & Brunei of Ericsson.


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