Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Broadband Line Growth Strongest in Developing Economies

The number of fixed, broadband line subscriptions topped 508 million as of the end of Q3 2010, representing a growth of 6.7% over a year earlier, according to new figures prepared by Point Topic and announced today by the Broadband Forum. Over 14.3 million lines were added in the third quarter alone, representing 2.88% growth over the previous quarter. China and India both reported their second best ever quarters in Q3 for broadband line additions. Vigorous growth was generally concentrated in developing broadband markets, with India, Russia, Vietnam, Ukraine and the Philippines all growing by more than 20% in the last 12 months.

In Asia, more and more of the developing markets are starting to report significant growth in broadband, with China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and even continued growth in South Korea all pointing to increased dominance in the global market.

In Europe the biggest gains are in Eastern Europe, although the region as a whole has performed better in 2010 than in 2009 on a quarter by quarter basis with most of the big markets showing improvement. With these strong numbers coming from Eastern Europe, there is optimism that 2011 will continue a strong growth trend for the region as a whole.

In the Americas, we see renewed pickup, although it's too early to say if this is the start of a full blown recovery. In Canada especially there is little head room for further growth as household penetration nears 90%. In South America, Brazil and Mexico continuing to offer robust numbers while growth is slow in some of their South and Central American neighbors.

The Middle East and Africa region also shows steady growth rather than spectacular numbers. While growth is strong in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa, there are still impediments to adoption (mostly availability and cost) in much of Africa. Once these are overcome we should see mass adoption become a reality.

The total number of IPTV subscribers worldwide now stands at 41.9 million (41,892,171), representing a growth of 7.3% (2.846 million net adds in the quarter) in the three months to end September and 36.7% growth in the last 12 months (11.256 million net adds). With 46% market share, Europe continues as the leading IPTV region. But China is fast catching up to France, the current world leader in terms of IPTV subscribers, and at current growth rates China will overtake France sometime during 2011. With this growth, Asia is rapidly closing the gap.