Fixed-line access still declining in APAC, says Ovum

Access to fixed line continued to decline across Asia Pacific, although at a slower rate last year than the previous year, consulting company Ovum, quoted by a BusinessWorld report, said.

Philippine-based BusinessWorld also quoted Ovum as saying that the decline in public switched telephone network access lines had slowed last year to 1.6% compared with 1.8% in 2005.

The decline in Asia Pacific, it said, is being driven by the same factors as elsewhere, namely: fixed-to-mobile substitution, increased competition and the removal of second lines due to broadband growth.

But, the decline in the region is far less than in Western Europe, which averaged 5% in the same period, Ovum said.

Ovum said cheaper line rental in Asia Pacific resulted in fewer cord cuts and limited churn away from the incumbent to alternative providers. In addition, organic growth in some markets is offsetting decline, the report said.

'NTT had the greatest decline at 8.7%. However, SingTel had the next largest decline at only 2%, while PCCW and Telekom Malaysia increased their number of access lines,' Ovum analyst Nathan Burley was quoted by BusinessWorld as saying.

Still, average PSTN revenues fell more sharply by 5% last year due to price drops, competition and falling volumes as a result of migration to mobile phone service and VoIP, the report said.

Single-digit PSTN revenue decline is expected going forward, the report further said.