Australia is surrounded by hypercompetitive emerging economies that host extraordinary numbers of innovators and early adopters of technology. One undeniable opportunity for Australian media and technology companies lies with the digital revolution occurring in the emerging Asian markets. Taking advantage of the opportunities on our doorstep will be one of the keys to Australia’s future competitiveness following the mining boom.

There is an insatiable consumer appetite for content, data, and network services in Asian countries, which is fuelled by more sophisticated and cheaper smartphones, tablets, and televisions.

These increasingly affluent countries have a strong desire to connect with the rest of the world using the latest technological devices.

In fact, according to IDC, the relatively new ‘phablet’ market—devices larger than smartphones but not as big as tablets —has gained a lot of popularity in the Asian emerging markets, where Chinese, Korean, and Indian consumers can’t get enough of them.

While Australian politicians have spent years arguing about whether we need the National Broadband Network, emerging markets in Asia have been quietly upgrading their broadband infrastructures, employing a range of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. The governments of these emerging Asian economies realise that broadband infrastructure and fast internet access are critical for economic development.

One exception in the Asian emerging markets that absolutely does not have faster internet than Australia is China, where life for an internet addict can be pretty tough because the fastest available internet connection is 4 megabits per second.

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