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  • Access to the Internet using mobile technology is of growing importance. One reason is that there are now more mobile than fixed telephone subscribers around the world. One can assume that as mobiles become more popular, features beyond pure voice telephony will become more important. For example, look at the growth of SMS. In some countries such as Japan, access to the Internet via mobile, is significant. This could have important ramifications for other countries, particularly in many developing nations where there are more mobile than fixed subscribers. The uptake of mobile Internet also has commercial, regulatory and social implications. From a commercial sense, it is critical to understand trends in mobile data applications in terms of the demand for data services. Regulatory—licensing, etc. Social—need to provide services via WAP. But what is mobile Internet? Two answers: One is the use of mobile phones for accessing the Internet. This includes services such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) or i-mode.A second is use of high-speed mobile technology to access the Internet. This includes what is commonly known as 2.5 or 3G technologies that increase the speed of conventional mobile networks. While the mobile phone can also be used to browse the Internet, the phone can also be used as a connection device for PDAs or laptops. One major problem today is the lack of definitions and data on mobile Internet indicators. This paper attempts to draw up standard mobile Internet indicators that can help inter-country comparability and enhance understanding of trends. For example, how should we consider Japan?
  • "2.5G customers" refer to those customers who have joined the service plans for 2.5G services (including GPRS and IS-95B services) or used the 2.5G services


  • 1. IS THE INTERNET MOBILE? MEASUREMENTS FROM ASIA-PACIFIC [email_address] Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) Opinions expressed may not reflect the views of the International Telecommunication Union or it members International Telecommunications Society Asia-Australasian Regional Conference Perth, Australia 22-24 June 2003
  • 2. Contents
    • Introduction
    • Advanced Asia-Pacific Economies Overview
    • Indicators
      • Usage
      • Users
      • Infrastructure
      • Pricing
      • Revenue
    • Index
    • Recommendations
    Some of the data is estimated or from 3 rd parties. When data only available for one operator, it is used as a proxy for entire economy.
  • 3. Why measure?
    • Mobile has passed fixed & Internet use growing
      • A logical marriage?
    • Non-voice mobile use growing
    • Commercial / regulatory / social / analytical implications
    Source : ITU.
  • 4. What is Mobile Internet? Browsing Internet from a mobile… … or accessing Internet from a mobile network?
  • 5. Overview of advanced Asia-Pacific mobile markets
    • Mature
      • Taiwan, China first economy in world to have more mobiles than people!
    • Mixture of technologies
    • Trendsetters in mobile data:
      • Korea (Rep.) launched world’s first CDMA2000 1x 3G network in October 2000
      • Japan launched world’s first W-CDMA 3G network in October 2001
    Source : ITU.
  • 6. Text messaging
    • Not mobile Internet
    • Most intensely used non-voice mobile application
    • Possible indicator of potential mobile Internet use
      • Number of messages
      • Penetration (i.e., % of subscribers that use it)
    • Wide variation in region
      • Definitions? (e.g., sent & received, ‘junk’ SMS, etc.)
    Note: SMS = Short Message Service Source : ITU adapted from various reports.
  • 7. Traffic: Minutes or Packets?
    • Measure in two ways:
      • Time (minutes of use)
      • Volume (kilobytes)
    • Few operators publish this data
    Note : 2002. Data MOU is average connection to wireless data network regardless of charging system, time-based or packet-based. Source : KTF, DoCoMo. KTF (Korea, Rep.), Avg. monthly minutes of use (MOU), 2002
  • 8. Mobile phone Internet subscribers Subscribers browsing the Internet from their mobile phone (e.g., Wireless Access Protocol (WAP), i-mode) As % of total mobile subscribers, August 2002 Source : ITU adapted from Nomura Research Institute & Korea Network Information Center Mobile phone Internet subscribers as % of total mobile subscribers, 2002 Source : ITU adapted from various sources
  • 9. What is an Internet user? Source : ITU. Source : ITU adapted from Nomura Research Institute. Mobile phone only
  • 10. High-speed mobile (e.g., GPRS, CDMA2000 1x, W-CDMA)
    • Infrastructure indicator
      • Subscribers to high-speed mobile data services
      • Coverage of high-speed mobile Internet network
    • Comparability issues
      • Not all high-speed networks same (GPRS, CDMA2000 1x, CDMA2000 1x EV/DO, W-CDMA)
      • Some operators count handsets rather than subscribers
      • A subscriber may not be using high-speed features
      • Subscribers may be pay as you go
    Source : ITU.
  • 11. High-speed mobile Subscribers & Coverage Source : ITU adapted from DoCoMo. Source : ITU adapted from various sources.
  • 12. Mobile data revenue
    • Most popular metric among operators with almost all publishing
    • True mobile Internet use is often not separated from message revenues
    • May reflect high prices rather than intensity of use
    • Two basic indicators:
      • Mobile data revenue as % of total mobile revenue
      • Average Mobile Data Revenue Per User (ARPU)
    Source : ITU adapted from various sources.
  • 13. Mobile pricing
    • Two ways of pricing:
      • Time (length of period logged on). Generally used for low-speed access.
      • Volume (amount of data transferred). Generally used for high-speed access.
    • Can also have a subscription plan or “pay as you go”.
    Source : ITU adapted from various sources.
  • 14. High-speed mobile pricing
    • 1 Megabyte (MB) is approximately equivalent to:
      • 250 emails (of 200 words)
      • 20 emails with attachments
      • 20 pages of spreadsheets
      • 10 web pages
    • Source : Telstra
    Source : ITU adapted from various sources.
  • 15. Mobile Internet Index
    • Which economy is doing best overall in mobile Internet?
    • Helps to overcome limitations of different data by using a number of variables
    • Indicators:
      • Mobile to Internet Ratio
      • SMS/sub/month
      • Mobile telephone Internet users ratio
      • High-speed mobile subscriber ratio
      • Mobile data revenue ratio
    • Mobile Internet Divide
    Source : ITU.
  • 16. Recommendations
    • Agreement on standard list of mobile Internet indicators and definitions
    • Government ICT agencies need to collect and disseminate the data (only Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, China publish limited mobile Internet statistics)
    • National statistical offices should incorporate mobile Internet questions into ICT surveys
    • If mobile is important, then why not PDAs and notebooks? If wireless important, then why not 802.11? So should WiFi also be included as a mobile Internet indicator (e.g., number of users, number of hotspots)?
  • 17. Mobile Internet user Internet enabled cell phone (WAP/GPRS-CDMA2000 1x) Coverage of high-speed network Mobile subscriber
  • 18. HH Surveys
    • % HH that use wireless to access Inet (mode of connection)
      • HKG, 2’200 (via PC), 0.2%
      • Taiwan, 1%
    • % HH using mobile phones to access Inet
      • Taiwan: mobile phones, 9%
    • % individuals that use cellular phone to access Internet (both PC and cellphone; only cellphone)
      • HKG: 72’200 WAP phone, 2.5%
      • Japan: 14.8% via mobile phone only
    • % of subscribers that use wireless to access Internet
      • Taiwan: 747’000 WAP and GPRS, 10%
  • 19. Mobile Internet Data availability  Generally available at economy level (from telecom regulator)  Available from at least one operator  No primary data available. Estimated or secondary source.        KOR       Surveys       TWN        SGP       NZL       JPN       HKG       AUS Pricing Revenue Infra-structure Subscribers Traffic SMS
  • 20. What is Mobile Internet?
  • 21. 3G licenses 1’399 Feb-02 Auction 5 Taiwan, China 165 Apr-01 Auction (Cancelled)# 3 Singapore 60 Jan-01 Auction (regional) 4 New Zealand 2’886 Aug-01 Beauty contest 3 Korea (Rep.) Free Jun-00 Beauty contest 3 Japan 128* Sep-01 Auction (pre-qualify) 4 Hong Kong, China 579 Mar-01 Auction (regional) 6 Australia Amount (US$ m) ~ Date awarded Method Licenses Country Note : ~ Total amount received for all licenses. Local currency converted at rate at date of license award. * Amount bid was HK$ 4.1 (US$ 0.5) million. In addition, licensees must pay minimum of HK$ 50 million per year or 5% of turnover. Amount shown reflects first five years. # Only one offer was made for each 3G spectrum right so licenses awarded to three bidders.