Mobile networks are not the only platforms used to gain access to the Internet in Asia, but such networks are an increasingly important means for doing do. For 47 percent of respondents, the mobile device is the primary means of online access. Some 52 percent of mobile device users in Southeast Asia and India primarily access the internet using a mobile device.
Some 90 percent of mobile subscribers in the Asia-Pacific region access the Internet using their mobile devices every day, according to a September 2015 survey of users by the Internet Society (ISOC).
Some 90 percent of respondents using their mobile device to send and receive emails, while 87 percent use a smartphone both for social media and to search for information.
It will come as no surprise that a majority of respondents noted that faster connection speeds (77 percent) and lower data costs (68 percent) would encourage them to use their mobile data connection more often.
As typically is the case, developments vary from country to country. In South Korea, Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong,more than 100 percent of respondents use mobile data access, while in Papua New Guinea, Nepal and Timor Leste, mobile Internet adoption is less than 10 percent.
Asia-Pacific ‘s average cellular speed, at 10.9 Mbps, ranging from 13 Mbps or more for countries like Singapore and Japan, to an average of 3 Mbps for Bangladesh and Laos.
The average smartphone connection in Asia- Pacific now uses around 1Gb of data per month. While an average mobile user in Singapore or Japan would consume 1.5 to 2Gb of mobile data per month, customers in China and the Philippines use about 200Mb to 300Mb.
Affordability is a big issue. Broadband access in developing economies can cost up to 18 percnt of monthly average gross national income.
While the survey points to ways to increase the coverage and affordability of mobile broadband, the preference by many for connectivity over Wi-Fi networks also presents an opportunity to develop other wireless platforms and technologies that could allow future users in Asia-Pacific to access the Internet more cheaply, reliably and securely, the ISOC argues.