The total number of mobile communication subscribers in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) market will reach 744.3 million in 2016, with 3G to account for 53.1%, 2G for 39.9% and 4G for 7%, according to Digitimes Research.
Eight of 10 ASEAN countries had mobile communication user density (number of subscribers divided by population) of over 100% in 2013, with Malaysia ranking first with 145%, Digitimes Research indicated. Maxis, Celcom, DiGi and Umobile, the four largest mobile telecom carriers in Malaysia, have begun 4G commercial operations and have been pushing 2G subscribers to shift to 3G or 4G. Currently, 4G subscribers in Malaysia account for less than 10% of all mobile subscribers.
In comparison with Malaysia, mobile telecom communication user bases in the Philippines and Indonesia are still growing, with significantly intense market competition in Indonesia due to too many operators. Because the governments of the Philippines and Indonesia have policies that enable mobile telecom carriers to secure certain revenues and profits, the less competitive environment makes them slow to upgrade networks.