Asia Pacific will Dominate the Connected Device Market, Fuelled by Explosive Growth in China, says GSMA

Mobile Health Will Be a Major Driver of the Connected Life with a Market Opportunity in Asia Pacific of US$7 Billion by 2017

The GSMA, in partnership with Machina Research, today announced that the growth of connected devices is booming in Asia Pacific, with the region expected to be the biggest market by 2020 with over 11 billion total connected devices1, and within that, almost 5.6 billion mobile connected devices2, accounting for a 47 per cent market share and far outstripping Europe (19.1 per cent) and North America (9.4 per cent). The growth of connected devices makes the vision of a Connected Life a reality by delivering new services to multiple device types beyond traditional mobile phones. Powered by ubiquitous Mobile Broadband, this will allow consumers and businesses to interact with the people, information and objects they require, whenever and wherever they need.

“Asia Pacific has more than half of the world’s six billion mobile connections and is at the forefront of next-generation Mobile Broadband technologies and cutting-edge innovation, but there is far greater scope for growth,” said Michael O’Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, GSMA. “The projected rise of connected devices across the region demonstrates the enormous potential for the entire Connected Life ecosystem, with billions of new devices connected via mobile networks enabling innovative applications, services and experiences across all sectors.”

China will be the chief driver of this growth and will have nearly five billion total connected devices by 2020 – more than any other market globally – resulting in China-based mobile operators being able to benefit from the highest addressable revenue opportunity3 across the region of US$180 billion. The global addressable revenue opportunity for mobile operators for this space by 2020 is US$1.2 trillion, and from this, operators across Asia Pacific could benefit from revenues of US$447 billion, nearly 50 per cent higher than Europe at US$305 billion4.

In Asia Pacific, connected mobile growth enabling seamless and pervasive connectivity between people and processes will increase dramatically over the next ten years, in part because mobile is virtually the only option for connectivity for many countries in the region. In a market that already comprises more than half of the world’s mobile connections, this presents a huge opportunity for mobile operators.

Emerging Asian markets will be the main contributors to connected growth, with the total number of connected devices increasing by more than 150 per cent between 2011 and 2020. In developed nations in Asia Pacific, consumers in Japan and South Korea will each have an average of eleven connected devices by 2020, making it the highest share of connected devices per capita in the world. By 2020, Japan will also have the third highest device share by volume, behind China and the United States.

Mobile Health Market Stimulating Growth of Connected Devices

Growth of mobile health services in Asia Pacific is stimulating demand for connected devices and making the Connected Life a reality. In a separate study, new figures from the GSMA, developed in collaboration with PwC for a global report entitled ‘Mobile Health – Enabling Healthcare’5, indicates that the Asia Pacific mobile health market will grow to almost US$7 billion in 2017 at a CAGR of approximately 70 per cent. The mobile health services representing the largest opportunity across the region include monitoring services, with a 55 per cent market share in 2017 and diagnostic services, with a 24 per cent market share.

China will have the biggest mobile health market in 2017, driven by growth in monitoring and diagnosis that will facilitate the delivery of effective healthcare to a widely spread population who have poor health access. This will help to create a market opportunity of US$2.4 billion in China, dwarfing the next largest markets, Japan (US$1.3 billion) and India (US$540 million). Monitoring represents the biggest opportunity in Japan (63 per cent market share) due to the large number of elderly, and in India diagnostics will create the biggest opportunity (67 per cent market share) due to most Indians living in rural areas.

“Mobile health is a prime example of how mobile operators can leverage existing platforms and technology to provide innovative services to connect people throughout Asia Pacific,” continued O’Hara. “Asia Pacific’s predicted growth in connected devices, through an array of applications, means that the region is on the threshold of radically transforming the lives of its consumers, professionally and personally. To make the Connected Life ubiquitous, it’s vital that the mobile industry works with key adjacent industries in the region, including healthcare.”

The Connected Life opportunity is by no means confined to healthcare. The close collaboration of mobile operators with companies in a range of vertical sectors, such as automotive, utilities and consumer electronics, will provide compelling new ‘connected’ services to consumers and businesses all over the world. The benefit of this is huge, as the Connected Life will create new opportunities for companies to engage with existing customers while adopting new ones, as well as deliver new service opportunities that will generate additional revenue.

For more information on the GSMA’s Connected Life programme, please

Watch Connected Devices, the $1.2 Trillion Revenue Opportunity on Mobile World Live now!

Notes to editors

1Connected devices are smart wide area and short range devices that have the benefit of connecting to a network, including: remote sensors, remote monitoring, actuating devices, associated aggregation devices, PCs, laptops, tablets, eReaders, mobile handsets, femto cells & routers.

2Of the 11 billion ‘total’ connected devices forecast to be available across Asia Pacific by 2020, almost 5.6 billion of these will be ‘mobile’ connected devices, which represents a 75 per cent increase from 2011 and a 47 per cent market share globally. Mobile connected devices are either currently or likely to include SIM technology and therefore be connected by wide area mobile networks.

3 The addressable revenue is what a pure-play mobile operator could potentially compete for a share of. This is comprised of revenues from the sale of mobile devices by the mobile operator, data traffic, applications, system integration, installation, and most significantly, specific service revenues available to mobile operators. These revenues are largely incremental to the majority of mobile operator’s existing revenue streams and therefore present a real opportunity for future revenue growth beyond basic data browsing, messaging and voice revenues. The addressable opportunity for mobile operators that have access to fixed infrastructure and systems integration capabilities is clearly going to be greater.

4The global addressable revenue opportunity for mobile operators by 2020 is US$1.2 Trillion. Regionally, this equates to:

  • Asia Pacific: US$447 billion
  • Europe: US$305 billion
  • North America: US$241 billion
  • Latin America: US$92 billion
  • Middle East & Africa: US$87 billion

5Mobile Health – Enabling Healthcare is a global study on the potential of mobile health services and solutions up to 2017 by the GSMA and PwC. It will be available, in full, in December 2011.

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries and territories, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Congress.

For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at or the GSMA corporate website at

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