Sunday, September 19, 2010

Broadband Passes 500 Million Subscriber Mark

The number of broadband subscriber lines installed worldwide passed the 500 million mark in July 2010, according to the Broadband Forum and research from Point Topic.

As of the end of Q2 2010, global broadband subscribers reached 498 million lines (497,768,162), representing a 2.63% growth in the quarter and 11.99% in the last 12 months to end of Q2 2010. The number of IPTV subscribers has risen to 38.5 million, up by 2.3 million new IPTV subscribers in Q2 2010.

In some market, the number of DSL subscribers is decreasing, although these are being replaced largely by fiber deployment, either directly to the subscriber or fiber-to-the-building, with the final link often being VDSL2.

To help reach the next 500 million broadband subscribers, the Broadband Forum said it is now focused on defining the evolving end-to-end architecture, ensuring it can support multiple services with quality of service including multi cast. Work includes defining MPLS core specifications as well as access aggregation and local loop solutions (DSL, fiber, etc.). The Forum is also pursuing a Connected Home initiatives, built around TR-069, to provide the de facto remote management standard for remote and automated provisioning, management and troubleshooting of devices in the home.

"It has only taken 11 years to get to half a billion fixed broadband lines. The internet and all that it brings has taken hold like no technology since the invention of fire. It has brought the world closer together, improved health and education standards and introduced an era of cooperation and information sharing that will hasten economic growth and improve standards of living for potentially billions around the world," stated Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic.

The data is being presented at this week's Broadband Forum quarterly meeting in Hong Kong. Some highlights of the report:

  • China represented 43% of all net broadband lines added in Q2 2010 and performed far better than the same quarter in 2009. China added 5,470,888 lines bringing its total to 120,591,488, over 24% of the 500,000,000 lines achieved in the early part of Q3.

  • In Western Europe, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey amongst others all reported strong numbers.

  • Central and South American markets have cooled to an extent but many are still reporting good quarterly growth (in the 5%-7% range) . However North America, the USA and in particular Canada have significantly slowed and - in Canada's case - to levels not seen for a decade.

  • IPTV growth is in line with broadband growth so the proportion of the world's broadband lines carrying IPTV remains the same as Q1 at 7.7%.

  • Europe still remains the most established region for IPTV with almost 19 million subscribers, of which almost half are in France. China (with Hong Kong and Macau) had the most net additions this quarter - 421,000 - ranking it second, with USA in third place with almost 6.5 million subscribers.

  • China dominates the Asian IPTV market with over 6.7 million IPTV subscribers, although there is enormous potential in countries such as India which are just at the start of IPTV deployment. Services are also developing in other areas as well. For example, Colombia reported over 100,000 subscribers for the first time in Q2 2010.

See also