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More Than Three-Quarters of Southeast Asia's Broadband Households Still On Speeds Below 100 Mbps

Southeast Asian broadband providers report varying performance amid COVID-19

Cable networks react to pandemic by cutting SG&A, programming costs

Strong Competition Remains For Thailand Digital Terrestrial TV Channel

ITU: Regulators discuss impacts of COVID-19 on policymaking


More Than Three-Quarters of Southeast Asia's Broadband Households Still On Speeds Below 100 Mbps

Highlights

The following post comes from Kagan, a research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence’s TMT offering.

To learn more about our TMT (Technology, Media & Telecommunications) products and/or research, please request a demo.

Kagan estimates about 34.5 million broadband households receive below 100 Mbps speeds among our six surveyed countries in Southeast Asia, translating to 77.1% of the total 44.8 million broadband households as of year-end 2019. This is a complete 360-degree turn from Asia-Pacific’s overall regional penetration, with 74.6% of its total broadband subscribers having access to download speeds of 100 Mbps and above as of 2019.

The Philippines ranks second next to Pakistan in the whole region as the market with the least number of ultra-fast subscribers. Majority of fixed broadband households in the Philippines are still on legacy cable and copper networks, with only an estimated 29.5% connected through fiber as of year-end 2019. Aside from the limited infrastructure, high-tier subscriptions are still above the spending limit relative to the citizens' purchasing power.

Kagan estimates 92.8% of Indonesia's broadband households subscribed to plans below 100 Mbps in 2019, equivalent to 10 million out of the total 10.8 million fixed broadband subscribers. The country's average download speed recorded by Ookla was at 20.11 Mbps as of December 2019, denoting that most households are still leaning towards subscribing to lower broadband speeds with lower prices.

Vietnam boasts the largest number of broadband subscribers in Southeast Asia, with 14.8 million households subscribed to fixed broadband in 2019. However, broadband households with 100 Mbps and above plans represent a mere estimated 10.7% slice of the subscriber base. Despite the small percentage of households subscribed in 100 Mbps and above plans, Vietnam's broadband speeds has continuously improved, reaching an average of 45.09 Mbps in 2019 as measured by Ookla. This has further sped up to 57.51 Mbps in June 2020 as ISPs offer increased speeds without additional charge in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Driven by intensive speed upgrades, Kagan estimates nearly half of Thailand's fixed broadband households subscribed to plans with download speeds of 100 Mbps and above, reaching 5.1 million out of the country's 10.1 million fixed broadband households as of year-end 2019. Thailand also experienced the highest growth in average broadband speeds in Asia during the past year. According to Ookla Speedtest Global Index, the country reached an average download speed of 171.36 Mbps in June 2020, up by 115.7% year-over-year.

Malaysia ranks next as the second Southeast Asian market with the most number of ultra-fast broadband subscribers, following Singapore by a wide margin. According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, about 1.3 million broadband households subscribed to 100 Mbps and above plans as of year-end 2019, which makes up 51.7% of the country’s 2.5 million fixed broadband subscribers. While more than half of the fixed broadband subscribers had ultra-fast subscriptions, a quarter of the market, or 630,100 households, were still in the 1 Mbps to 10 Mbps range in 2019.

Fiber migration paved the way for Singapore to achieve the highest penetration of ultra-fast broadband in the Asia Pacific region, with an estimated 99.9% of subscribers connected with at least 100 Mbps speeds as of year-end 2019. Kagan forecasts fiber will be the sole broadband technology by the end of 2020, as leading broadband providers Singtel and StarHub Ltd. complete the conversion of legacy cable and DSL connections to fiber. The country also reached the highest average download speeds in the Asia Pacific region, clocking in at 200.12 Mbps as of year-end 2019 according to Ookla.

Global Multichannel is a service of Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence's TMT offering. Clients may access the full article, with Asia Pacific’s fixed broadband subscriber breakdown by speed tier and affordability rates by clicking here.

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