Alca-Lu flags Asia Pac digital divide

Alcatel-Lucent predicts operators in Asia Pacific will need to spend $1.1 trillion (€892 billion) on telecoms infrastructure over the next decade to be competitive in the digital economy.
The firm notes that a quarter of people living in the region still don’t have basic mobile services, despite subscriber growth of 1.5 billion throughout the area over the past five years. It estimates Asia Pacific must add almost the same number again – 1.3 billion – over the next five years to bridge the gap, with networks capable of handling growing traffic, particularly in urban areas.
“Building a strong digital infrastructure is an imperative for nations that want to compete in the digital economy,” Rajeev Singh-Molares, Alca-Lu’s Asia Pacific president told delegates of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Bangkok this week.
The infrastructure firm backs national broadband network programs as a good way to digitize the region. “Initiatives that combine socially relevant applications, network infrastructure and affordable business models will provide 36% more GDP growth than a network only approach,” Singh-Molares said, adding. “To bridge the infrastructure gaps in Asia, smarter planning and cross-sector collaboration are needed.”