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New mobile trends emerge in SEA region: Deloitte survey

Adrian M. Reodique | Feb. 3, 2016
The survey shows that mobile users in SEA are satisfied with their Internet speed, but want a greater data volume in their mobile plans.

Deloitte's Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) has released its Southeast Asia edition of its Global Mobile Consumer Survey, which underscores the new trending attitudes and behaviours of mobile consumers.

Conducted last year, Deloitte polled 5,000 respondents in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Philippines.

Increasing usage of instant messaging

Instant messaging (IM) is the most popular messaging tool among mobile users across the SEA region.

In Malaysia, 80 percent of respondents use IM particularly WhatsApp. Thailand was ranked the second top country at 79 percent, followed closely by Indonesia at 76 percent.

Messaging tools are also one of the most downloaded applications in SEA, especially in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. This trend has caused a decrease of SMS usage in SEA, except the Philippines, where it remains as the most popular messaging platform.

Slow adoption of VoIP, video calls

Meanwhile, usage of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and video calls remains limited in SEA except for frequent travelers who call home or abroad regularly.

According to the survey, the widespread usage of VoIP and video calls are hindered by the quality of the call and Internet connectivity. On top of that, people who uses VoIP and video calls are often faced with high roaming charges.

Hence, people only use VoIP and video calls because it is a cheaper way to make international calls, and its video calling capabilities.

The survey suggests telecommunication operators to consider partnering with other international mobile carriers to allow the customers to seamlessly use their home packages at the same voice or data rates even abroad. The survey also said that telco companies can offer a speed-based pricing packages bundled with unlimited data to address this issue. 

High satisfaction on mobile Internet speed

Respondents in SEA region are satisfied with their mobile Internet speed, but claimed that they want a greater data volume in their plans.

According to the survey, Singaporeans have the highest Internet speed satisfaction at 59 percent, but they also have the lowest satisfaction in data volumes at 27 percent.

Malaysia, which is included for the first time in the survey, showed a high Internet speed satisfaction of 51 percent, but only 31 percent are satisfied with their data volumes.

Compared to 2014 survey results, other SEA countries have experienced an increase and decrease with their Internet speed and data volume satisfaction.

In Thailand, respondents are more satisfied with their mobile Internet speed (38 percent) and data volume (41 percent).

Filipinos, on the other hand, are less satisfied with their mobile Internet speed (39 percent) but more satisfied with their data volumes (38 percent) in 2015.

In Indonesia, level of satisfaction on mobile Internet speed has increased to 49 percent but satisfaction level on data volumes data decreased to 37 percent. 


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