Asia is now the world's largest telecommunications market and leads the world in the deployment of advanced telecommunications technology, according to the most recent International Telecommunication Union's Asia-Pacific Telecommunication Indicators 2002 report. Asia is now the world's largest telecommunications market and leads the world in the deployment of advanced telecommunications technology, according to the most recent International Telecommunication Union's Asia-Pacific Telecommunication Indicators 2002 report.Asia in 2001 surpassed the Americas and Europe in terms of the total number of telecommunications subscribers and was the only region to show\u00a0significant subscriber growth\u00a0in recent years, reports Sumner Lemon, Taipei correspondent for IDG News Service, in The Edge. Riding rapid subscriber growth in China, Asia is now home to 36% of the world's telecommunications subscribers, ahead of Europe at 35% and the Americas at 27%, according to the ITU report.By comparison, Asia represented 29% of the world's telecommunications subscribers in 1996, behind Europe (36%) and the Americas (33%).Asia\u2019s lead is forecast to keep on growing, the report's authors said at last week\u2019s Telecom Asia 2002 conference in Hong Kong.Asia's rise as the world's largest telecommunications market may seem inevitable given its large population \u2013 it\u2019s the world\u2019s most populous continent - but the ITU report noted that the rapid rise of subscribers in the region was remarkable. While increases in teledensity in many Asian countries, such as China, Thailand and the Philippines, among others, represented the bulk of subscriber growth in recent years, more developed nations also played an important role, the report said.Over the past 10 years, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have added a total of 68 million new telephone subscribers, accounting for 10% of the regional total, the report said. Taiwan also leads Asia in the penetration of mobile phones, with a penetration rate of 96.6%. The country now has more than 100 cellular subscriptions per 100 people, indicating that many Taiwanese have more than one mobile phone subscription, it said.Despite having crossed what many observers consider the saturation rate, Taiwan's growing mobile services market shows no signs of slowing down, the report said.Alongside rapid subscriber growth, Asian countries are also leading the world when it comes to deploying new technologies. Asia is now home to 33% of the world's Internet users, 47% of its ADSL users and 95% of the world's 3G mobile subscribers, Lemon reports.South Korea leads Asia and the world when it comes to the rollout of broadband Internet services; 58% of households have a broadband Internet connection, and five of the world's top 12 broadband economies are in the region, the ITU report said.A ITU official who helped author the study attributed the high level of use within Asia to low prices. The price per megabit in Korea, Japan and Hong Kong is much less expensive than the U.K., Germany and France, this official said.