Home Global-ICTGlobal-ICT 2006 3G in Asia-Pacific – mobile opportunities and lifestyles

3G in Asia-Pacific – mobile opportunities and lifestyles

by david.nunes
Jing Wang Issue: Global-ICT 2006
Article no.: 8
Topic: 3G in Asia-Pacific – mobile opportunities and lifestyles
Author: Jing Wang
Title: Senior Vice President of QUALCOMM and Chairman
Organisation: Qualcomm Asia Pacific
PDF size: 320KB

About author

Jing Wang is the Senior Vice President of QUALCOMM and Chairman of QUALCOMM Asia Pacific. Jing Wang also serves as a director on the boards of both QUALCOMM Wireless Communication Technologies (China) Ltd and QUALCOMM Wireless Semi-Conductor Technologies Ltd. He is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Unicom BREW Technologies Ltd, a joint venture between China Unicom and QUALCOMM. In addition, Jing Wang is a member of the President’s Asia Task Force of San Diego State University and the Overseas Experts Advisory Committee of the Chinese State Council. In 2005, major media in mainland China and Hong Kong elected Jing Wang one of the ‘Ten Most Valuable CEOs’ in China. Jing Wang received his Bachelor’s Degree from Anhui University, his LL.M from the People’s University of China, Department of Law, and an LL.M from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Article abstract

The Asia-Pacific region is rapidly adopting the use of 3G mobile technologies. Asia has also become a true world leader in high-end manufacturing, design operations and R&D. China, for one, is now a major player in 3G innovations and development of the wireless industry. Mobile technology is also internally changing lifestyles in the region, where not only the number of users is increasing but also the number of applications and innovations developed specifically by and for the mobile culture.

Full Article

The 21st Century began with a rush into cyberspace and wireless communications for millions around the globe – a world that, due to the various forces of globalization, was communicating at an extraordinarily accelerating speed. As continue into 3G technologies and beyond, at this rapid pace – connecting and increasing communication among the peoples of the world – one of the challenges that we face as we move into a new wireless lifestyle is to create innovative technologies that enhance equal opportunities for all. We can think of this as building a universal and sustainable community through accessibility of technology, as well as creating applications that not only respond to the world that we are living in today but also to the wireless world that we will create tomorrow. When I look at which region will play an increasingly crucial role to meet this challenge, I look to Asia. The world of wireless in Asia Pacific is moving quickly, according to latest statistics on mobile subscribers and netizens from India and China. These numbers are just part of the transformation, however. Cultural and technological trends created in the region can be even more important. Wireless lifestyle is increasing not only the number of users but also the number of applications and innovations developed specifically by and for this market. Asia’s leadership in high-end manufacturing, design operations and R&D is growing. China is becoming a major player in 3G innovations and development of the wireless industry. Major companies, such as ZTE and Huawei and others throughout Asia and India are expanding into new markets around the globe. Innovation New technology is driving the transformation of the telecommunications sector. More than just offering new ways to communicate, the wireless industry is creating new systems of communication and causing social transformation by expanding beyond traditional industry partnerships and consumer-provider relationships. The wireless industry is driving innovation in our lives – creating a true wireless lifestyle. This is clearly seen in China, where SMS and new applications have connected millions of people from vastly different geographies and cultures. The evolution of mobile technology, paired with China’s unparalleled scale of mobile phone adoption, is essentially China’s secret weapon to bridge the digital divide, raise personal and enterprise productivity and competitiveness to world-class levels, and enhance the nation’s social cohesion. But this socially transformative innovation is not just unique to China. I strongly believe that the deployment of 3G services around the world will allow developing economies to move rapidly into the advanced digital wireless age, joining other forward-looking countries around the world in empowering local communities to enhance their competitiveness and bring prosperity to its people. Asia-Pacific offers prime opportunities as its geography, existing infrastructure and socio-economic factors will accelerate the adoption of new technologies at a faster rate than other markets. Major wireless equipment manufacturers and operators in the region are increasingly successful at managing and benefiting from convergence, their own competitive advantages causing the region to continue to see tremendous growth and to lead 3G wireless developments. Wireless technologies in Asia are changing lives at an unprecedented rate by enabling mobile technology to bring tangible change and benefits to the people across the region, even in the most remote areas, in terms of opportunity and economic development. QUALCOMM’s Wireless Reach™ initiative, in cooperation with the ITU’s Connect the World initiative, has demonstrated how adapting wireless solutions can create real benefits in some of the most underserved areas. These projects, through partnerships with government and non-government organizations, universities, development agencies and the private sector, are ensuring that technology is provided to those who require it the most. These projects aim to empower underserved communities, enhance their competitiveness, governance and efficiency in the areas of education, healthcare, disaster relief and public safety through the use of 3G CDMA technology. In Vietnam, QUALCOMM has collaborated to equip community technology and learning centres in Vietnam’s 64 provinces with computers, software, training and Internet connectivity via 3G CDMA technology. Greater access to wireless technology will increase IT skills and aid in education, ultimately improving the socio-economic opportunities for participants. In China, we have recently contributed CDMA2000 handsets to microfinance-supported workers and loan recipients, in an effort to bring the benefits of mobile communications to underserved citizens in these rural areas. These CDMA2000 handsets will not only support wealth creation in the countryside by boosting the efficiency of microfinance organizations, but will increase access to valuable information and improve security for its recipients. In Indonesia, five high schools in Way Kanan, a rural area with minimal telecommunications infrastructure, were equipped with a computer lab and provided with 3G CDMA broadband Internet access to augment IT skills and enhance educational opportunities for the youth in the area. Cellular kiosks are also being placed in each of Way Kanan’s 59 villages to provide telecommunications access to citizens and handsets will be supplied to each village chief to improve governance. These countries represent dynamic markets throughout Asia with large digital divide challenges that are being met at an unprecedented rate. In remote areas that have a low population density and often limited purchasing power, affordable telephony, high-speed Internet and multimedia access have enabled rural operators to deliver, and their subscribers to enjoy, the same opportunities and access to wireless connectivity that has been offered in major urban centres such as Tokyo and Seoul. A 3G future There is a bright 3G future for developing Asian economies. The convergence of technologies and the increasing demand for sophisticated devices will only further drive the wireless industry. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are well positioned to harness such growth, and continue to drive innovation in the development of 3G. So far, 3G has achieved tremendous success and development globally. As of August 31, 2006, commercial 3G networks are providing service to more than 385 million 3G CDMA subscribers globally (source: 3gtoday.com). With 3G, voice and data traffic have increased significantly, leading to greater demand for more bandwidth-intensive, high-speed multimedia applications and services. Operators are looking for new methods to expand capacity and improve the performance of existing networks to provide advanced, multimedia and IP services. Greater collaboration on 3G amongst operators, handset and content developers, chipset manufacturers and players in other fields, such as broadcast, has offered consumers compelling, differentiated, cost-effective applications and devices. Asia, with its savvy consumers and increasing appetite for multimedia devices and services, will continue to be a key market and driving force for 3G services. At present, 3G networks have much more capacity for data services, such as content-rich multimedia, and the mobile phone is becoming an increasingly powerful and necessary device in a region where wireless, computing, entertainment and consumer electronics are converging. Convergence of telecoms, computing and broadcasting will further break down the traditional correlation between services and networks. Given the adoption of 3G in China and other Asian countries, 3G market demand will help operators to increase substantially non-voice revenues. Recently, SK Telecom announced impressive ARPU growth rates as a result of non-voice revenues focused on services, including video downloads, streaming video, music and broadband data access with EV-DO cards. VoIP and alternative broadband networks also offer an additional opportunity to drive 3G services. What’s next? The transition from 2G to 3G makes convergence possible; convergence will grow as increasingly sophisticated wireless technologies are deployed. The idea of accessing a single homogeneous network has been supplanted by the notion that, in a heterogeneous world, the device will simultaneously link with multiple networks and protocols. In tomorrow’s markets, we will stop talking about voice and data because, by the end of this decade, we will see that voice is data and data is much more than we imagined when wireless moved to IP-based communications. As Asia continues to drive some of the most advanced media and data applications, and the call for greater mobility and support of new mobile lifestyles increases, Asia will be at the forefront of next-generation network adoption.

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