Gartner's Dataquest Says China Became Largest Cellular Market in Asia/Pacific for the First Time During First Quarter 2000

Singapore, August 9, 2000 - The cellular phone service market in Asia/Pacific swelled to 170.7 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2000, a 47 percent increase over the same period last year, according to Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Group, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). In the first quarter of 1999, Asia/Pacific had 115.9 million cellular phone subscribers.

For the first time, China was the No. 1 country in the region with 51.7 million cellular phone subscribers. Japan had been the top country in the region, but it fell to the No. 2 spot with 51.1 million cellular phone subscribers.

"The Chinese market continues to grow at a very fast pace," said Bertrand Bidaud, director of telecommunications and e-business for Gartner. "Unicom has now positioned itself as a real competitor to China Mobile, and it's winning an impressive number of new subscribers, especially during the last month of the quarter."

"The market dynamics varies from country to country in the Asia/Pacific region," said Ann Liang, industry analyst for Dataquest's Asia/Pacific cellular phone research. "In markets like Indonesia and the Philippines, growth has been driven by prepaid services. In Japan and Korea, new Internet services have been the catalyst, whereas in Singapore and China, increased competition has been the prime mover."

Dataquest analysts said the industry has received a boost by the growth in prepaid cellular phone services. The prepaid segment had 12 million subscribers at the end of March. While the prepaid market only represents 7 percent of the total cellular service subscriber base, it has experienced stronger growth than the overall market.

The Philippines was the largest prepaid country in the region with 2.7 million prepaid users. However Dataquest analysts said the country to watch is China, which registered the largest net increase of prepaid customers with more than 1.3 million new users.

Additional analysis on this marketplace is available in the Dataquest report, "Asia/Pacific and Japan Cellular Market: First Quarter 2000 Review." This report provides cellular service subscriber statistics on a countrywide level.

To purchase the report, please call 800-419-DATA, or 408-468-8009. More information about Dataquest's programs, descriptions of recent research reports, and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

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