Asian Cellular Subscriber Growth Drops 21%

Asia-Pacific mobile subscriber growth dropped down by 21 percent in the fourth quarter 2008, with Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines hit particularly hard, reports Business Week, citing a report prepared by Informa Telecoms and Media, a research firm.

Research report suggests that this was lowest growth rate in seven quarters, and the trend has been witnessed throughout the region with somewhat similar manner.

The region’s operators added just 68.7 million new subscribers, the researchers said. Some of the fastest-growing mobile markets – Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines – were hit particularly hard.

Moreover, globally, subscriptions fell 15% to 162 million in Q4, and growth also slowed markedly in Europe, North America and Latin America, Informa said. The quarter is usually the strongest in the year because of the Christmas holiday.

The global recession is the main factor in the slowdown, but market saturation also contributed. By the end of 2008, there were just under 4 billion active mobile subscriptions globally – a 58% penetration rate, Informa said. EMEA, where the penetration rate is 38%, proved relatively resilient.

[Via Business Week]


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