Driven by rising demand for fast Internet access, particularly from China and other developing regions, the global broadband subscriber base is set to grow by nearly 60 per cent in the coming years, with about 350 million new consumers projected to come online from 2011 to 2015.
The number of broadband subscribers worldwide will amount to 949 million by 2015, up 58 per cent from 600 million in 2011, according to an IHS iSuppli Broadband & Digitally Connected Home Market Tracker. This year, broadband subscribers will reach 676 million, up 13 per cent from 2011, as shown in the figure attached.
“Global broadband subscriber activity serves as a long-term barometer of the overall health of the broadband industry, as well as an accurate prognosticator of prospects for the space’s associated markets in broadband equipment and broadband-related semiconductors,” said Lee Ratliff, senior analyst for broadband and digital home at IHS. “With demand for Internet access rising quickly in China as well as in other fast-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, the broadband supply chain is set for strong growth in the coming years.”
Together, China and the AsiaPacific region accounted for a disproportionately large share of new subscribers in 2011—China alone accounted for 38 per cent of all new subscribers worldwide, followed by Asia-Pacific with 14 per cent. However, the growth of the Asian territory is bifurcated: Much-slower expansion in the future will occur in developed countries like Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, compared to the rapid increase set to take place in developing areas such as China, India and Indonesia. Still, Asia-Pacific is expected to expand at a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 per cent overall from 2010 to 2015.
Growth also will be very fast in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the collective region of the Middle East and Africa known as MEA, with CAGRs ranging from 16 to 33 per cent from 2010 to 2015.
Meanwhile, North America and Europe—where broadband penetration is among the highest in the world—will see slower expansions in broadband subscriber numbers, with CAGRs of 5 and 7 per cent respectively during the same period.