Year on year growth rates of 6.7 per cent have taken broadband subscription to 508,761,837 in the third quarter of 2010, according to figures prepared by Point Topic and revealed by the Broadband Forum in its Global Broadband and IPTV Industry Update. Over 14.3 million lines were added in the third quarter alone, representing 2.88 per cent growth over the previous quarter.
Whilst the first three quarters of 2010 have generally been characterised by uneven growth patterns, some countries stand out with exceptional growth – with China and India both reporting their second best ever quarters in Q3. Vigorous growth was generally concentrated in developing broadband markets, with India, Russia, Vietnam, Ukraine and the Philippines all growing by more than 20 per cent in the last 12 months.
Robin Mersh, Chief Executive Officer of the Broadband Forum, said, “The patterns of growth are shifting as some markets reach saturation and emerging markets show remarkable growth rates over this year. In more and more countries we are seeing more than 80 per cent availability and huge take up of broadband. The Broadband Forum celebrates this major achievement and continues to work towards empowering new applications and developing enhanced deployment and management solutions to support the broadband and IPTV industries.”
The new figures show that China and the US continue to add more lines than any other single market. Russia and Brazil, however, are the most rapidly growing in percentage terms with 22 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. Asia continues to increase its share of the total broadband lines in the world, adding more than double the number of broadband lines per quarter than any other region.
DSL remains the dominant broadband technology worldwide. DSL is growing most rapidly in Asia, driven by the relatively low up front costs and availability over other technologies.
Fibre continues to grow its strong market share and for the first time we are seeing notable growth in fixed wireless technologies.
“As demand for broadband increases worldwide there is now a significant amount of ‘infill’ taking place. Many areas don’t have access to the infrastructure required for fixed line broadband provision. There has been an increase in access via technologies that don’t require wire of some description all the way to the consumer,” says Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic.
The total number of IPTV subscribers worldwide now stands at 41.9 million (41,892,171), representing a growth of 7.3 per cent (2.846 million net adds in the quarter) in the three months to end September and 36.7 per cent growth in the last 12 months (11.256 million net adds).
“IPTV has grown solidly in the last 12 months. Perhaps more importantly the number of markets and operators offering IPTV is increasing as high speed broadband spreads around the world,” says John Bosnell, Senior Analyst at Point Topic. “With TV being increasingly routed over IP networks, the broadband connection is becoming an increasingly significant channel for video delivery. As a tool for customer retention, as a prime mechanism for increasing ARPU, and as a means of providing a distinctive offering to the competition, the bundling of IPTV with a broadband subscription and voice is very attractive to ISPs.”
With 46 per cent 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.