Singapore leads in 5G commercialisation in Asia Pacific | Asian Telecom
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Singapore leads in 5G commercialisation in Asia Pacific

“It’s time for boldness—not risk inversion”

Singapore has pulled ahead of its APAC peers in 5G commercialisation while South Korea led globally in terms of penetration, according to Kearney’s latest 5G Readiness Index report.

The Lion City scored 7.6 in the 5G readiness index, the highest in the region surpassing Japan which scored 7.1, and trailing behind the United States which ranked first globally at 8.4. 

“Operators in 25 markets now offer 5G private networks or multi-access edge computing… but only two markets, US and Singapore, are truly innovating and engaging with stakeholders via 5G-focused APIs and active ecosystem development,” Kearney said. 

Providers in the two countries like Singtel’s Paragon in Singapore and US-based T-Mobile US DevEdge are leading in monetisation as they team up with companies and programmers on new services.

“This B2B2x (B2B to any end-user) is one of the main roads to monetization,” it said.

In terms of penetration rate, or the share of 5G users to total subscribers, South Korea recorded the highest adoption at 36.4% to lead in adoption not only in the region but among all the 33 nations studied worldwide. It was followed by Finland and Australia with 22% penetration each while Japan and China each have 20% penetration.

All countries recorded higher scores in the readiness index mainly due to greater penetration and as more operators launch standalone networks.

Thailand saw the highest jump in take-up among the APAC countries with more than 8% improvement in the fourth quarter of 2022 from the first quarter of the same year, compared to the typical 2% to 6% increase in most countries.

Moving forward, Kearney urged the sector to foster collaboration, take more risk in trying radical new business models to expand revenue streams, and choose speed.
“Rather than maintain the status quo and operate the way they always have, telcos can be bold, find the opportunities inherent in 5G, and lead from the front,” it said.

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