London, 20 January 2016- The total number of mobile subscriptions in the Asia Pacific region reached 3.6 billion by the end of Q3 2015, an increase of 0.73% vs Q2 2015 and +3.12% vs Q3.

In Q3 2015, the number of LTE connections passed 445 million, representing 12% of the mobile market in the region.  Looking ahead, Quantum Web predicts that mobile subscriptions in Asia Pacific will rise to 4.6 billion by the end of 2020.

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Top Ten Asia- Pacific Mobile Markets

China, with 1.3 billion mobile subscriptions, is the largest country in the region and in the world. Quantum Web forecasts an additional 20 million net new connections this year, giving a base of 1.320 billion by the end of 2016, an increase of 1.2%.

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The fastest growing market in Asia Pacific in Q3 2015 was Bangladesh with an increase of 3% over Q2 2015 and 6.5% vs Q3 2014. The number of subscriptions in Thailand and Vietnam declined by 6.2% and 2.1% respectively in Q3 2015 and 8.8% and 5.8% compared to Q3 2014.  Quantum Web attributes these trends to an increase of OTT applications.


Top Ten Asia- Pacific Mobile Operators by Number of Subscriptions

At the end of Q3 2015, China Mobile had 817 million mobile subscriptions and is by far the largest telecom operator in the region.  China Unicom is in second place with 289 million, then and Airtel of India with 230 million.
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The fastest growing operator in Asia Pacific in Q3 2015 was the Indian operator, Idea Cellular, with 2.9% growth vs Q2 2015 and 11% vs Q3 2014.  China Unicom lost 5 million net subscriptions since Q2 2015 and was the only top Asia Pacific operator to register a negative growth in the quarter. Reliance India, despite 400,000 net adds in the quarter, has lost nearly 4 million clients since Q3 2014.

Top Ten Asia- Pacific Mobile / Wireless Operators by Service Revenue

China Mobile recorded over $28 billion (USD) service revenue in Q3 2015 and was the dominant player in the Asia Pacific mobile market, followed by China Telecom ($16.5 billion USD) and NTT DoCOMo of Japan ($9.44 billion USD).

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The possible merger between China Telecom and China Unicom, the third and the second largest mobile operators in China, will put both companies in a better position in terms of network coverage and will reduce pressure on revenue margins.

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