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 Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Five of Asia Pacific’s largest markets report monthly numbers, and in this article we present a round-up of the figures for April 2008.

Figure: Asia Monthly Customer Growth

China, the largest market in the region and the world, reached 566.69m customers at the end of April, up 20.4% year on year. GSM is the dominant technology here with 92.4% of the total, up 0.7pp year on year. Only one of the country’s two operators (China Unicom) uses CDMA technology, and the annual growth rate for this standard was much lower at 10.6%. Unicom continued to lose market share to its rival China Mobile in April, a 2.0pp annual decline taking its proportion of the total customer base to 29.7%.

India is the second largest market in the region, and as in China GSM is prevalent. The exact percentage for the end of April is not yet available as the regulatory body responsible for releasing CDMA figures is yet to publish its April data; however, we expect GSM’s share to rise above the 75.1% recorded at the end of March. GSM customers reached 198.58m, up 59.1% year on year.

Japan was the third largest market in Asia Pacific at the end of 2007, although it may well have been surpassed by Indonesia by now. At the end of April, there were 102.99m mobile connections in Japan, up 6.0% year on year. W-CDMA dominates here with 57.7% of the market at the end of April, up 11.8pp compared to April 2007.

It is possible that Pakistan will also have overtaken Japan by this time next year. At the end of April it had 85.03m customers, up 45.6% year on year. Here the technology is almost exclusively GSM, with only 0.32m analogue connections remaining.

South Korea is the eighth largest market in the region, although Bangladesh is likely to supersede it by the end of the year. There were 44.50m mobile connections in South Korea at the end of April, a yearly gain of 7.5%.

Source: Cellular News