106m fibre broadband subs forecast

The number of fixed broadband subscribers will rise to 501 million at the end of 2014, according to new market data released by ABI Research. Of those, about 106 million will subscribe to services delivered via fibre. Fiber broadband subscribers totalled 44 million at the end of 2009.

The number of fixed broadband subscribers totalled more than 422 million at the end of 2009, a nine per cent increase from 2008. According to ABI Research industry analyst Serene Fong, broadband penetration continues to increase because more service providers are offering triple-play services and driving down access prices.

Among the three broadband technologies, 65 per cent of worldwide fixed broadband consumers subscribe to DSL, 25 per cent to cable and 11 per cent to fibre broadband services. The number of fibre broadband subscribers is increasing fastest, showing a compound annual growth rate of 20 per cent from 2008 to 2014.

“File sharing, music downloads, IPTV, online gaming and video conferencing are all acting to increase the user demand for high speed Internet. The number of fibre broadband subscribers is increasing with growing popularity of these services,” noted research associate Khin Sandi Lynn.

The Asia-Pacific region has the highest fibre broadband penetration, followed by North America. Asia-Pacific represents nearly 84 per cent of worldwide fibre broadband subscribers. South Korea and Japan have the highest fibre broadband penetration. NTT is the largest fibre broadband operator with approximately 12 million subscribers.

In 2009, Western Europe had only about two million fibre broadband subscribers — a very low penetration compared to North America and Asia Pacific, although Western European countries are planning to accelerate fibre broadband penetration.

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