The region's telecom service providers need to be savvy enough to modernise and transform themselves in ways that will give them the edge in a consumer driven economy, according to an IDC analyst.
"Telcos need to reinvent themselves to accommodate the Asian consumer who has radically reinvented themselves," said Adrian Dominic Ho, Principal Telecom, Mobility Lead, IDC.
He explained that telcos, whose very existence embodied the concept of consumerism for the longest time, prospered with the rise of the Asian consumer spending.
According to IDC, the rapid rise of the Asian consumer is a story that could play out for half of this century with one billion people expected to become middle class by the end of the decade. Asian MNCs are radically retooling their strategy and business models to take advantage and realise what could possibly be a period of unprecedented sustained high growth.
"The radical change in the Asian consumer has translated to the emergence and rise of what is called the digital market economy," Ho added.
According to Ho, the digital market economy would include content development, application marketplace and mobile advertising.
By 2016, IDC estimates that some of the opportunities for regional telecom service providers will come from consumer mobility (US$313 billion), smartphones (US$188 billion and digital content (US$88 billion).
Ho pointed out that the potential and possibilities are only limited by the telco's imagination in what is truly a trillion dollar cross-border opportunity for many of them.
"The transformation to digital content service providers for telcos will not happen overnight but it is highly encouraging that telcos like SingTel, Telstra and SK Telecom have set up separate divisions and entities to focus on these exciting new opportunities," observed Ho.
However, he stressed that an enormous amount of work and new partnerships are required. "In addition, some deep pockets in the form of venture capital investments and seeding investments would also be required."
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