Diverse Solutions for Asia Pacific
Cutting-edge, yet still facing challenges – Asia Pacific is a mixture of the most advanced and least developed countries. In terms of media and communications, the APAC region is multi-faceted, with different countries at varying degrees of development; from the high tech environments of Singapore and Hong Kong to countries that have underdeveloped infrastructure and are steeped in poverty. The role of satellite remains integral as it provides the only means of connectivity or access to TV services, especially to rural areas of the region.
For many countries across APAC, the importance of broadband to every sector of society has been (or is being) fully realized. Universal Service Obligations (USOs) have been put in place by numerous governments in order to extend the reach of broadband networks to sub-urban and rural communities that are often completely cut off from connectivity and on the wrong side of the Digital Divide.
Statista reports that, by 2019, 48.8% of Asia Pacific will be connected to the Internet. Let’s compare this with the European Union, where 85% were connected in 2016. The market for broadband Internet is huge, but the challenges lie in how to make broadband affordable and how to reach communities that are otherwise cut off due to their geographic location. This is where satellite can have a transformative effect.
The DTH market in APAC is truly bucking the trend of the majority of the rest of the world in terms of the popularity of DTH. As regions such as Europe and North America have seen subscribers and revenues flatten out, Asia Pacific is booming.
In 2016, Media Partners Asia (MPA) forecast that the Pay TV industry will grow at 4.6% CAGR from 2016 to 2025 with sales climbing from $72 billion in 2021 and then again to $81 billion by 2025. Value-added services such as VOD will be a big driver for Asia Pacific revenues, especially in Australia, China, Japan and Korea with Malaysia driving the smaller markets.
In 2015, APAC added 9.6 million net new Pay TV customers. This growth will however, be challenged by the popularity of broadband, IPTV and OTT services and also by aggressive competition in the market.
Future Growth in Mobile Data
In the APAC context, we also see great opportunity in data service delivery. The rise of the mobile device has taken APAC by storm and is driving demand for data. In many APAC countries, the majority of people access the Internet from their mobile devices, rather than from a fixed broadband line. Mobile backhaul will enable mobile network operators (MNOs) to reach previously un-addressable markets.
5G / IoT
Asia is leading the charge in 5G trials with rollout of some services expected in several cities in China and other Asian countries expected to follow. 5G will also be integral to the development of IoT where both fixed and mobile devices will be connected and communicate with one another. During a panel session at Satellite 2018, Leading Regional Operators Assess the Industry’s 5G Strategy’, 5G was noted as a significant driver for future satellite business in APAC as it will require extensive backhauling due to the fact that 5G towers must be located around 100-150 meters apart. Therefore, satellite’s role in delivering 5G to rural areas will be crucial and, in many cases, the only means of achieving ubiquity of service.
Connecting Asia Pacific
Satellite has a bright future in APAC. At ABS, we are ready to support our customers, answering their demands across all of these trends and more with our extensive fleet of satellites.
We understand the need for ubiquitous mobile connectivity. Our cellular backhaul solution allows mobile operators to be flexible in their network design to give the most efficient, yet cost-effective, service possible.
We have a potential reach of over 7 billion people across the globe and many of these reside in Asia Pacific. We serve the region from our orbital positions at 3°West, 75°East and 159°East. We understand the hunger for international, local and ethnic content. We help broadcasters to open up new markets and opportunities to widen their subscriber bases.
We realize the dramatic impact that broadband brings to remote communities and we strive to empower the rural population using our IP and trunking solutions to support education, healthcare, enterprise and governments. For example, ABS is very active in the Pacific Islands, providing IP trunking and Internet services delivered via VSAT to empower communities that currently lack reliable connectivity. We entered the market a couple of years ago and have invested heavily in the region with a teleport in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. This means that ABS can provide cost effective, resilient broadband Internet via the ABS-2 and ABS-6 satellites. Just one of the projects that has benefited from the connectivity delivered by ABS is the Ulithi High School on the remote island of Ulithi, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The school has been provided with better Internet access, educational material and has become a local hub where children can go for higher education and to improve their prospects and futures.
We look forward to enhancing connectivity for businesses, organizations and individuals across the APAC region.