Data services boom in emerging markets

Revenue from data services in Asia's emerging markets is expected to grow strongly year on year for the next four years, according to IDC.

The data services market in emerging Asian countries is set to grow steadily year on year for the next four years, according to IDC's latest report.

The analyst firm has projected the telecommunications data services market in emerging countries--defined as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam--to collectively grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 36 percent from 2007 to 2011.

IDC defines the data segment as that including mobile data services, fixed line corporate data and Internet access services, and estimated revenues to have reached US$952 million in 2006.

While data is set to grow, the markets of the four countries will still remain generally voice-centric throughout the forecast period, IDC noted.

The strongest growth will come from the mobile data segment, driven by increased SMS usage. Is it expected to grow at 41 percent CAGR till 2011, and will be given an additional boost from the development of high-speed networks over the next few years.

IDC also expects DSL (digital subscriber line) and prepaid dial-up services to be the dominant Internet services in the emerging markets in the region.

IDC said in an earlier presentation that out of the four emerging markets, Pakistan is the biggest spender of telecommunication services, although it is expected to be overtaken by Vietnam this year.