The Asian broadband market is vast and fragmented, with some countries enjoying the world's fastest speeds and others the slowest.
However, operators across the region -- from Korea to India -- face similar core challenges: improving speeds and coverage, enhancing customer satisfaction and increasing profit margins and return on investment from network investment.
For many, government support is a defining factor. Those operators that receive political or tax incentives for nationwide or regional broadband deployments tend to provide better coverage or at least have more ambitious plans to expand. (See Australia's NBN Plots Gfast Launch in 2018, Blames RSPs for Network Issues.)
Availability of fiber is critical, too, especially as 5G-enablement takes center stage in both developed and emerging nations.
Of course, network investment requires ROI, and across the region operators fight for market share in their respective countries. Challenged by increasing competition, growing consumer expectations and risk from over-the-top players, service providers pushed to deliver new services. More operators in the region, including TRUE Corp. and PTCL, are developing their own pay-TV ecosystems to counter the threat of Netflix and other prominent OTT players.
Analytics and artificial intelligence help operators improve service offerings. In addition empowering service providers to propel offerings to consumers at the right time, AI delivers traffic management, anomaly detection and prediction, plus greater automation and optimization. It has the power to solve issues of customer care, billing and personalization of service. Analytics for network performance is nothing new, but AI capabilities will unleash the power of the data in the network for operator advantage.
The Broadband TV Connect Forum Asia held in Bangkok (pictured on home page) next month brings together participants from across the region to solve operators' challenges and share successes, underscoring both the differences and similarities service providers face.
— Heather James, Portfolio Director, Broadband and Optical World Series, KNect365. Follow on Twitter @BBWorldForum.