Fastest global broadband growth since 2009

With an increase of over 15.2 million subscribers in the first three months of this year, fixed broadband grew by 2.9 per cent.  This was the biggest quarterly increase in the last two years and representing an annual growth rate of 11.93 per cent, according to figures released by the Broadband Forum at CommunicAsia 2011.  IPTV also shows exceptional growth rates with an increase of over 34 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March 2011, based on the data prepared for the Broadband Forum by analyst firm Point Topic.

Asia remains the fastest growing region for broadband with 16.21 per cent – almost double that of the Americas. Asia’s fixed broadband subscribers now make up 42 per cent of the global total, up from 40 per cent last year, with Europe and the Americas behind with 30 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. Emerging markets are making strides, with the Middle East and Latin America advancing quickly.

“Broadband is showing healthy double digit growth and has in fact increased its growth rate this year. This indicates how vital it has become to businesses, residential consumers and countries,” noted Robin Mersh, Chief Executive Officer for the Broadband Forum. “With such amazing growth throughout the Asian markets, the Broadband Forum is happy to be here at CommunicAsia, sharing the latest standards and best practices to help service providers propel the market forward even faster.”

The strong Asian growth is due in large part to the continuing success in broadband in China with 42 per cent of the net additions to the total global broadband subscriber numbers coming from China and its territories (the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau) in the first three months of 2011.

Commenting on the global broadband growth and the changing country performances, CEO of Point Topic Oliver Johnson said: “There is increasingly keen competition to be in the global Top Ten of broadband countries. As India and Mexico jostle to break into the charts it is likely that Italy will drop out, probably before the end of the year.”

IPTV has continued to grow well, with 34 per cent in the 12 months to 31st March 2011, a 6.4 per cent increase in the quarter. Total IPTV subscriber numbers have now reached 48.2 million at the end of the first quarter 2011. France still heads the table of Top Ten Countries with China a close second and Taiwan also on the leader board in ninth place.

Europe continues to be the largest region with over 21 million subscribers, but Asia is catching up fast with 18 million and both China and Taiwan showing growth of over 50 per cent. Of the 2.9 million new subscribers added this year (Q1 2011), 1.4 million came from Asia.

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