Asia Pacific is unique in terms of its diversity and the pace of digital evolution. Low fixed-broadband access in emerging Asia has led to a regional digital divide, but public projects aim to address this issue. Despite the low broadband access, the region has the highest internet user base globally helped by expanding mobile internet coverage. East Asia is the digital hub with China dominating across a number of indicators. This report aims to explore the factors that connect this otherwise di
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Expanding mobile internet coverage, favourable demographics and increasing usage of smartphones are driving internet usage in Asia. The region has the largest number of internet users and leads Eastern Europe and Latin America in mobile connectivity according to Euromonitor International’s Digital Mobile Connectivity Index.
Despite the growth in cellular connectivity and higher internet access, Asia trails most regions in fixed-broadband coverage, according to Euromonitor International’s Home Connectivity Index. However, public broadband projects have been launched in many emerging Asian nations to address the digital divide.
According to the Digital Connectivity Index, Singapore, South Korea and Japan are the regional leaders both in terms mobile and fixed-broadband penetration. Robust network investments and tech-savvy consumers have led to a highly advanced digital landscape. Operators are trialling technologies such as 5G.
China is the regional behemoth and has driven the push towards greater mobile internet access in emerging Asia. The country was placed third in Euromonitor International’s Mobile Connectivity Index in 2015 and will occupy the top spot in 2020. Moreover, Indonesia will move up 13 places in the index by 2020 due to plans to expand 3G and 4G access.
Despite advances in digital connectivity, cash transactions are still high in most Asian nations and this poses a challenge for the uptake of digital commerce. Online security and privacy concerns are prevalent in both developed and emerging nations, such as Japan and Indonesia.