Published on November 9, 2023, 5:27 am

In recent years, the growth of internet bandwidth in Asia has been significant. According to the latest Global Internet Geography research conducted by TeleGeography, intra-Asian internet bandwidth has steadily increased from 36% in 2012 to 60% in 2022. This surge in bandwidth is a result of the region’s robust and competitive IP transit market.

The study also found that during the same time period, the share of bandwidth connecting Asia to the U.S. and Canada decreased significantly, going from 49% to just 20%. This shift highlights Asia’s growing independence and self-reliance when it comes to internet connectivity.

One interesting finding from the research is that the prices for 100 GigE IP transit ports in major Asian cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo have actually decreased over the past three years. In Q2 2022, the weighted median prices for these ports were $0.55 per Mbps in Hong Kong, $0.58 per Mbps in Tokyo, and just $0.45 per Mbps in Singapore. Despite these declines in prices, Asia still maintains higher prices compared to hubs in the U.S. and Europe.

Brianna Boudreau, senior research manager at TeleGeography, explains that the price difference doesn’t undermine Asia’s competitiveness as an internet hub. Boudreau stated that becoming an internet hub involves more than just narrowing price disparities.

Singapore emerges as a dominant player among established hubs like Hong Kong and Tokyo. With over 100 Tbps of international internet bandwidth and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42% over the past five years, Singapore surpasses Japan and China (including Hong Kong) both in terms of absolute bandwidth and growth rates.

The research also sheds light on cloud service providers (CSPs) expanding rapidly throughout Asia due to increased demand for internet and cloud services. There are currently more than 70 existing cloud regions in Asia, with many more in development. Asia boasts the highest number of in-service cloud zones, totaling over 200 zones. In comparison, the United States and Canada have an estimated 120 zones.

Marvin Tan, a research analyst at TeleGeography, explains that content providers like Google and Meta are working to enhance user experience in Asia by reducing latency. To achieve this, they are pushing their content across the Pacific on private networks and hosting it in established Asian hubs. This strategy brings the content closer to end users, resulting in reduced latency. As a result, the demand for high-capacity links from Asia to North America has started to slow compared to demand growth for intra-Asia capacity.

The increasing intra-Asian internet bandwidth signifies a significant shift in the global internet landscape. Asia’s growing independence and competitiveness as an internet hub will continue to shape the future of connectivity and drive innovation across industries.

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