Asian markets are ready for advanced mobile technology and fast connectivity, according to new insights released by Telenor Group in Asia.
Based on TNS's annual global Mobile Life study, these insights also indicate that emerging Asia is varied when it comes to telecommunications development.
On the plus side, mobile service providers and device-makers get opportunities for diversified approaches to do business in this region.
Smartphones are becoming more affordable for Indian consumers and analysts are expecting smartphone popularity to soar in the nation over the coming weeks as prices of these devices drop to US$ 100 and below.
"While we're working to connect more people in the rural areas of Malaysia, India and Thailand with basic feature phone connectivity, we're also committed to helping our markets develop advanced telecommunications networks that will place them on par with the rest of developed Asia and established Western markets," said Sigve Brekke, executive vice president and head of Asia Operations, Telenor Group.
Preferences and priorities
Telenor's Asia markets are characterised by consumers that exhibit different preferences and priorities. While Malaysians are least brand conscious, Thais are highly loyal to brand names.
Mobile devices are the single most important electronic device for Indians and the need to connect to the Internet is one of the key drivers for buying a smartphone in Malaysia.
Smartphone purchases in Thailand increased from 7.1 million to 8 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2013 and Malaysia now boasts 80 percent smartphone ownership.
Only 4 percent of Indians in contrast to 53 percent of mobile users in Malaysia have conducted banking on their phones. Thais prefer banking in person or using PC for financial transactions.
Mobile Internet is still limited in a large region of emerging Asia as 60-80 per cent of mobile owners do not use mobile data.
"This is why we want to be increasingly able to offer smartphones and the mobile data connectivity at price points accessible to the average consumer in our Asian markets," said Brekke.