Somewhere on this planet, in the past few weeks, the seven billionth living human being was born, according to a recent article in the Financial Times newspaper. There is a better than even probability that this child was born somewhere in Asia, based on the fact that close to 60% of the global population lives in Asia.

So what has this got to do with what we do in the communications network industry? Well, let’s first review another adjacent fact—according to the Miniwatts Marketing Group, even though Asia has well over 900 million internet users (using wired and wireless access), it is a geographic region with one of the lowest internet penetration rates at just over 23% (the penetration rate is number of internet users in a region as a percentage of the total regional population). Compare this with North America (78%), Europe (58%), Caribbean/Latin America (37%) and the world average penetration rate of approximately 30%.

My view is that there is a natural propensity for people to want to connect to the internet, especially amongst the middle-class.  Asia has the fastest growing and largest middle-class in the world, so we can expect that the Asia penetration rates will quickly rise to at least exceed the world average.

 The implication for business in Asia is significant–by simply moving the penetration rate towards the world average, the math shows that an additional 240 million people in Asia will become new internet users. Coincident to this is rapid urbanization, which will result in Asians concentrating in mega-cities (populations of 10 million people or more) or into large cities (at least one million people).  At last count there are about 140 such large cities throughout Asia.

All these new (and existing) internet users living mostly in dense urban settings need robust and reliable high performance, high bandwidth wired and wireless infrastructure to support their needs. Network operating centers, data centers, cable TV head-ends/central offices plus the associated wireless, copper and fiber technologies will proliferate. In addition, more services to support this explosive growth in communication network design and build will be needed.

There is no more exciting place than Asia in our business.

I look forward to helping enable this seven billionth child to connect to the internet, which may be sometime as soon as in the next three to four years!

About the Author

Ispran Kandasamy, Ph.D.

Dr. Ispran Kandasamy (Ish) works out of Singapore and Dallas as the global leader for CommScope’s Enterprise Building Solutions group. He leads a team of segment specialists and technical architects, located around the world, who are focused on helping customers design and implement their intelligent/smart building strategies.

Over the past 30 years, Ish has built up a proven track record in R&D, manufacturing, sales & marketing within IT, telecom/carrier and general communications industries. Previously, he worked as CommScope’s Enterprise sales leader for the entire Asia Pacific geography and also worked for Avaya’s Connectivity Solutions business as Managing Director for Asia Pacific based in HK. Prior to that, he was the Director of Channel Distribution and a sales manager for fiber infrastructure for Lucent Technologies based in London. Whilst at Pirelli Cables & Systems (now Prysmian) he lead a team that designed, developed and sold passive optical infrastructure.

Ish holds a doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D) in materials science and physics relating to optical devices from Brunel University (now University of West London), England. He is also the co-author of a number of patents.

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1 comment for "Welcome to Asia, Human Number 7 Billion!"
Ed Solis

Ish, I agree. Asia is an exciting region with enormous growth opportunities. According to, China and India will account for half of the world’s growth from 2010 to 2020. This changes the scope of tomorrow’s emerging markets (BRIC countries). I found a related article that outlines the Seven big problems for 7 billion people. With no surprise, access to information technology and education is the second problem industry professionals see in Asia markets. According to Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research and Special Initiatives at Google, the solution to this problem is investments in IT. One of the principle attributes mentioned by Spector is the importance of prevalent network connections like fiber-optic links between countries. Seven big problems for 7 billion people What do 7 billion people look like?

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