Embracing Change: the 2024 Connectivity Trends in Asia-Pacific

Embracing Change: the 2024 Connectivity Trends in Asia-Pacific
  • 2024 will see APAC experiencing massive surges in connectivity demand driven by the rise of artificial intelligence.
  • The new wave of digital natives in the region will be behind a growing appetite for connectivity anywhere, anytime.
  • SES’s satellite connectivity will satisfy these high expectations with seamless and performant internet broadband and mobile backhaul services.

In many cultures across Asia, 2024 is, in the lunar calendar, the Year of the Dragon, which is believed to bring transformative growth, progress and abundance. In the satellite communications industry, what are some of these positive changes we will see specifically in the ever-dynamic Asia Pacific (APAC) region?

The APAC satellite communications industry is at a pivotal moment in 2024; connectivity-hungry demographics and new technologies are driving demand for connectivity at blazing speeds, which in turn drives governments in the region to accelerate on digital inclusion projects.

The Emergence of Digital Natives

While many Millennials today are digitally savvy, Gen Z and Gen Alpha – people born from 1997 onwards – are the first group that have grown up in a fully digital world of smartphones, tablets and other smart devices where information and content is always at their fingertips. In APAC, it is estimated that Gen Z – born between 1997 and 2012 – will account for a quarter of the total population by 2025. Together with Gen Alpha, they represent a new wave of digital natives, a demographic of young, hyperconnected individuals with a digital-first preference in all aspects of their life – from learning, working, shopping to entertainment. As APAC becomes more connected – with the average number of devices per user growing from 2.1 to 3.1 over the last five years – Gen Z and Gen Alpha will be behind the region’s growing appetite for connectivity anywhere, anytime.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As more organisations in APAC integrate AI into their business, AI will play a key role in boosting the region’s economic growth in 2024 and beyond. We will continue to witness AI’s revolutionary impact across industries and sectors, including traditionally labour-intensive industries such as agriculture, fishing and mining, an industry particularly key in Australia for example, thanks to its ability to analyse data at unprecedented speed and accuracy, and accelerate automation. At the same time, the growing popularity of data-hungry AI applications means the region needs to prioritise strengthening digital infrastructure and network connectivity to support the massive and fast-growing data demands. Additionally, AI can optimize network performance by analyzing vast amounts of data to predict network congestion and proactively adjust resources, leading to reduced downtime and improved reliability.

The intensification of government digital inclusion initiatives

Over the past decade, there have been significant efforts from governments across APAC to close the digital divide for their citizens. For example, in the Philippines, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has implemented numerous initiatives to enhance digital inclusion in the country, including efforts to improve telecommunications infrastructure and deliver reliable connectivity to Filipinos in remote and underserved communities.

And SES is proud to play a role in supporting many of these initiatives. A recent highlight is our successful demo of our O3b and O3b mPOWER systems for the DICT in Manila in December 2023, showcasing high-speed connectivity with the power to take connectivity in remote Philippines to unprecedented reach.
In Indonesia, SES also supported the Indonesian government’s efforts to make broadband services more accessible and affordable for all Indonesian citizens with SES-12 satellite.

The Year of the Dragon is touted to be the year where demand for connectivity is on the rise, and a potential boom for the satellite communications industry. Being the driving force behind Big Data to Cloud Computing, AI when adopted by both enterprises and end-users is set to increase connectivity usage massively in 2024.
SES’s satellites -- with its global reach, high-throughput beams and low-latency networks -- can support Internet and mobile backhaul providers in APAC with reliable connectivity services performant enough to support AI and further intensive-data applications and catering to younger generations looking for an always-on connectivity.