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Which International Audience Will Lead In 2003?

Story:

According to a study by Gartner's Dataquest, the Asia-Pacific market will have the largest number of Internet subscribers in 2003. Dataquest analysts project that 183.3 million people in the Asia-Pacific area (which includes Japan) will subscribe to Internet services, compared to 162.8 million in the US and 162.2 million in Europe.

At present Japan is the largest subscriber in its area, with 24.4 million, followed by South Korea (16.7), China (14.6) and Taiwan (4.6).

Highest growth can be expected from India - from 2001 to 2005, Dataquest expects that India will grow by 44% per year, resulting in 21.3 million subscribers.

In terms of revenue, Asia-Pacific will lag behind the US market. In 2005, Asia-Pacific is expected to generate $17.2 billion, compared to $21.2 billion in the US.

Analysis:

"This differential between subscribers and access revenue illustrates a major reason why Internet use is still growing rapidly in Asia-Pacific; the region has some of the lowest Internet access rates in the world, and prices are still coming down as result of competition or, in some cases, government direction," said Andrew Chetham, senior analyst for Gartner Dataquest's Asia-Pacific Telecommunications and Networking group. "There is a clear pent-up desire by vast numbers of people in Asia-Pacific to go online. Falling prices and improved infrastructure, especially in countries with big populations like China and India, are a recipe for encouraging large numbers of new subscribers."

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