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Italy: 14% growth in broadband market

Italy has seen a 14 per cent growth of the broadband market between 2013 and 2014, compared to a European average of 5 per cent.

The figures are from the annual report on networks and next-generation services, prepared by the Rome-based Institute of Competitiveness (I-Com).

As a result, Italy managed to jump one notch on the I-Com Broadband Index (IBI), placing 25th and obtaining 70,4 out of a scale of 100. Contributing to the growth was the increase of 4G penetration, fixed and mobile broadband coverage.

In detail, Italy registered an 18 per cent y/y growth in the IBI Offer Ranking (compared to the 2 per cent European average growth), as a result of investments by operators, placing Italy in 23rd place. In the IBI Demand Ranking, Italy remained stable in 21st place.

Based on data provided by leading national operators Fastweb, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, Italy’s Calabria region leads in term of households covered by ultra-wide broadband (speeds of at least 30 Mbps), with 64 per cent roll-out. This is 26 percentage points higher than the national average (37.8 per cent). Campania is second (61.3 per cent) followed by Lazio (57.9 per cent).

In 17 of the 20 biggest cities, consumers can choose from at least two operators, in 4 from at least 3 three. 4G coverage amounts to around 89.6 per cent.

I-Com estimates that the on-demand market in Italy is worth only €40 million, compared to the €686 million in the UK, €249 million in France and €201 million in Germany (GfK data). However, the sector should grow with the arrival of operators such as Netflix. I-Com estimates Netflix will have 150,000 subscribers in Italy by mid-2016.

Besides Italy, other “fast movers” in 2014 include Spain (15th with an index of 79,2) and Greece (27th with 64,3). Leading the I-Com Broadband Index is Denmark (100), which surpassed Sweden (99,6), with Finland (95,7) in third place. Bottom of the list is Romania, with a score of 63,5.

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