Thursday, November 20, 2008

Malaysians spend a lot on voice call and text messages. Myth or Truth?

Well, well, well. It turns out average Malaysians spend more on phone bills and reload coupons, as compared against users in China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Phillipines.

Based on Wireless Intelligence stats, Malaysia ranks 9th in terms of ARPU (average revenue per user) in Asia Pacific, probably ranks 2nd behind Singapore. Average mobile phone users in the country spend US$15.34 a month, on phone bills and reload coupons.

So, which Asian country has the highest ARPU? Here's the top 10:

1. Japan US$50.76
2. South Korea US$43.58
3. Australia US$37.34
4. Singapore US$30.30
5. Macau US$27.43
6. New Zealand US$22.98
7. Taiwan US$22.62
8. Hong Kong US$19.08
9. Malaysia US$15.34
10. China US$9.15

Here's an interesting finding: Japan and South Korea, the two highest ARPU countries in Asia Pacific, are mainly made up of postpaid subscribers. In Japan, 97.6 per cent of users are on postpaid, while in Korea, is 99.3 per cent!

As for Macau, which ranks 5th, with an ARPU of US$27.43 (about 35 per cent more than Malaysia ARPU), is mainly made up of prepaid users. 87.6 per cent of Macau mobile users are on prepaid. I believe, the fact that Macau, being one of the top tourists' destination, does help drive higher ARPU and prepaid segment.

I was in Macau for 6 days, and i have spent almost US$90 on a prepaid starter pack, reload coupons. Prepaid registration is not implemented in Macau, making tourist's life much easier when comes to purchasing a prepaid starter pack. I bought mine for HK$100, it comes with HK$130 worth of credit.

Enough about Macau for now. Back to the Asia Pacific findings.

Overall, ARPU in Asia is declining, as competition forced mobile operators to lower their tariff. Asia Pacific ARPU was about US$25 in Q1 2006, today, it is below US$20 in Q4 2007. ARPU sank further in 2008, by another 10-15 per cent so far this year.

At first, I thought that another reason that could reduce ARPU is that consumers are cutting down on voice calls and SMS, as a result of lower disposable income. However, the stats showed otherwise, Asia Pacific AMPU (Average minute per user) has grown by about 10 per cent between Q106 and Q407. Asia Pac AMPU for 2008 is not available.


mafiz said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog here. It would be interesting to see how the Indonesian mkt ranked interms of ARPU.

I noticed that in many Wireless Intelligence stats (as posted in your blog), they left out Indonesia.

NoktahHitam said...

ARPU is reduced due to lower cost per call implemented nationwide i.e. from 15sen/min to 10 sen/min. Lesser ARPU could also mean the market is already saturated. However AMPU is increasing, which shows the telco are doing their work very well ;)

- Edwin, Mesiniaga


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