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Is Asia ready for 4K?

Zafirah Salim | July 11, 2014
In this interview, Akamai’s Chief Strategist for Media, APJ, David Habben, discusses findings of the company’s recent State of the Internet report, and shares his insights on Asia’s readiness for 4K technology.


David Habben, Chief Strategist for Media, Asia Pacific and Japan, Akamai Technologies

In a Q1 2014 State of the Internet (SOTI) report, released by Akamai Technologies on June 26, 2014, it is revealed that South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong ranked the top three 4K-ready countries worldwide. South Korea dominated the rankings with 60 percent, followed by Japan at 32 percent and Hong Kong at 26 percent.

This 4K readiness metric highlights the percentage of connections at speeds above 15 Megabits per second (Mbps), identifying geographies that are most capable of sustaining 4K streams.

David Habben, Chief Strategist for Media in Asia Pacific and Japan at Akamai Technologies, attributed these countries' high readiness rate to high connection speeds, as well as the availability of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband connections. These FTTH broadband connections refer to optic cable connections providing up to 100 Mbps fibre connections to individual residences, which has the ability to support 4K streaming.

In fact, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Japan and Korea leads FTTH adoption, with fibre making up approximately 68 percent and 62 percent of fixed broadbands connections respectively.

How 4K-ready is Singapore?

Singapore, on the other hand, came in at a global ranking of 26th. Habben trusts that Singapore's 4K readiness rate will improve over time thanks to the nation's exponential growth in connection speed. Citing the same report, he said that Singapore's average connection speed has increased by 28 percent over the past year.

"This growth is largely driven by increased FTTH and 4G adoption. Over the last year, local telecoms have seen an increased uptake of 4G data plans and investment in 4G network upgrades, strengthening the infrastructure for faster connections speeds. With the infrastructure improvements and the increase in consumer demand for faster connection networks, I am confident that Singapore's 4K readiness will improve," he said.

Three factors that influence 4K adoption

Habben added that connection speed is not the only factor that influences 4K adoptions - content and device also play a role.

According to the SOTI report, Asia has some of the highest connection speeds worldwide, with South Korea leading the global ranking with an average connection speed of 23.6 Mbps, followed by Japan (14.6 Mbps) and Hong Kong (13.3 Mbps) - this explains why these three countries are the most 4K-ready within the region.

Conversely, countries like India and China are showing less than one percent readiness rate for 4K. "We are witnessing long-term positive trends like India's and China's average connection speeds having increased by at least 25 percent over the last year, which will ultimately drive higher levels of 4K readiness over time," he said.

 

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