How 5G Thrives ASEAN Digital Economy
The widespread deployment of 5G has spurred rapid development across the globe. The ASEAN region has set itself apart as a center of 5G innovation, with Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia helping lead the way in the global adoption of 5G.
The Rapid Growth of 5G in ASEAN
Mobile broadband networks reach 96% of the population in the Asia Pacific region, with 1.2 billion current mobile Internet users, according to a GSMA study entitled The Mobile Economy Asia Pacific 2022. 5G continues to gain momentum across the region, with commercial 5G services now available in 14 markets, with sizeable markets like India and Vietnam soon to join them. The total number of 5G subscriptions in ASEAN is expected to exceed 200 million by 2025, and 5G lays the foundation for a wide range of technological innovations, spanning fields as diverse as artificial intelligence, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, IoT and edge computing.
GSA's latest report, released in December 2022, noted that there are more than 1,700 types of 5G devices and over 505 operators currently invested in 5G. Major operators in the world's largest 5G markets, like China, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines, have seen steady growth in terms of 5G subscribers, service revenue and average revenue per user. As governments across ASEAN ramp up their digitalization initiatives, the deployment of 5G promises to usher in a dynamic new digital economy.
5G Spurs Digitalization and Economic Growth
Operators have made great strides in promoting the benefits brought by 5G and making the services most valued by consumers more accessible. 5G has facilitated the high-speed and low latency connections required for cloud-based content access. Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia have all developed metaverse platforms based on AR technology to provide virtual travel experiences and convenient daily services as part of their Smart City projects.
Thailand has been one of the leaders in this trend, as it was one of the first ASEAN countries to issue 5G spectrum licenses. Local operators have rapidly rolled out 5G coverage on a country-wide basis. As of the end of 2022, it is projected that 5G now covers 85% of the country's population and reaches 10 million users. Thailand's mobile payment presence also far exceeds other countries in ASEAN, with a frequency of 89%, followed by 83% in Vietnam and 78% in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a prominent consumer payment trends study. Thailand operators have leveraged South Korea and China's content and application ecosystem to develop enriching value-added 5G services, such as VR/AR 5G content, cloud gaming services, and popular OTT content, accelerating the adoption of 5G across society.
5G networks have also proved capable of supporting a diverse array of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, education, agriculture, and travel. Thailand launched the first-ever 5G Smart Hospital project in ASEAN, which encompasses smart emergency medical services, smart emergency room capabilities, a pathological diagnosis system built around 5G and artificial intelligence, and a 5G autonomous platform for non-communicable diseases. Thai operators have worked closely with partners to develop autonomous vehicle systems powered by 5G networks, and remote controls for industrial zones. The 5G networks are expected to power the transition to Thailand 4.0 and bolster economic and social development across the board.
Huawei's Innovative Network Solutions
Huawei has supported ASEAN operators in their effort to build leading 5G networks, by providing them with innovative ultra-wideband, multi-antenna and ELAA technologies. Huawei has also facilitated the construction of simplified, intelligent and green networks that optimize 5G performance, the user experience, and energy efficiency. Huawei will continue to focus on customer-centric innovations and groundbreaking 5G technologies to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.
This content is sponsored by Huawei.