IPTV tops 50m

The Broadband and IPTV Growth Report presented at the Broadband World Forum in Paris has revealed that broadband continued to show healthy growth in the first half of 2011. Prepared for the Broadband Forum by industry analysts Point Topic, the figures reveal the broadband subscriber total at the end of June 2011 is now standing at 557.8 million subscriber lines, up by over 29 million lines since the start of this year.

The second quarter outperformed the same period last year, continuing the trend of stronger growth set in the first quarter’s results announced in June. The good news in broadband was compounded with the news that IPTV has passed a milestone: 51 million customers now subscribe to IPTV services worldwide, with France in the lead as top IPTV country.

“Globally broadband continues to grow strongly and all indications are that as an industry it has weathered the financial uncertainties of the last two years very well. Increased competition, new markets and market sectors being developed and the recognition of broadband as a vital part of any household or business have all contributed to the continued expansion of the industry,” said Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

According to the report, nine percent of the world’s broadband homes now subscribe to an IPTV service, an increase from 7.8 per cent in June last year. Europe is still the leading IPTV region, with strong growth in France, Romania, Russia and Belarus. The competitive and regulatory environment coupled with a relatively high broadband penetration mean that all these markets show good prospects for future growth. Asia has increased its market share by almost five per cent in the last 12 months and shows signs of accelerating in a number of markets. Asia is likely to overtake Europe in 2012 in terms of IPTV subscribers.

France still leads the IPTV market with 11.05 million subscribers, representing over 50 per cent of French broadband lines. In contrast, China’s 10.5 million subscribers are equivalent to around 7.6 per cent of lines in the market. The Broadband Forum notes that many IPTV subscribers are in Hong Kong and Shanghai, presenting “considerable room for expansion”, as Hong Kong on its own has one of the highest IPTV penetrations anywhere in the world.  Growth in the remainder of the Top 10 IPTV nations is healthy, with all markets apart from Spain reporting significant double-digit growth in the year to end June 2011.

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