Latest broadband and IPTV figures published by the Broadband Forum show a significant surge in superfast broadband, with fibre, particularly FTTx/VDSL2 hybrid deployments, playing a key role in driving this 8.6 per cent percentage annual growth. The figures, prepared by Point Topic, also reveal that a staggering 50 million new users around the globe have subscribed to broadband in the past year alone, bringing the global total to 643,770,042.
“These are promising figures as they highlight the ongoing strength of the broadband market,” commented Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum. “We are increasingly witnessing a shift in technology, particularly to fibre, as consumer habits evolve and the demand for higher bandwidths increases.”
The figures show that FTTx is gaining ground on other technologies, including traditional DSL, which continues to be the most dominant technology in the market. FTTx (including VDSL and VDSL2) showed the largest annual growth with over 27 per cent overall, compared to 7.2 per cent for cable modems and 3.6 per cent for DSL. Looking at the current market share, fibre technologies, which sit at 21 per cent, are beginning to overtake cable modem’s 19 per cent.
Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic, said: “Demand for bandwidth can be satisfied by FTTx solutions, particularly in combination with vectoring, bonding and other incremental VDSL2 improvements so operators will continue to maximise the lifetime of their existing assets.”
Regional Growth and Top 10 Countries
China continues to dominate the broadband market with 15 per cent growth over the year; however Brazil, India and Russia have all experienced a real rise and are the standout percentage growth countries in the top 10. This reinforces the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) emerging market effect, and one that has the potential to drive the broadband surge throughout the coming years. Even in mature markets such as the US and France, we are seeing sustained growth which is a sign of broadband strength even during economic challenges. Elsewhere of note, the emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa continue to make progress – accounting for more than 4 per cent of new subscribers globally.
Over 75 million users are now subscribing to IPTV. It grew in the final 2012 quarter, adding 3.6 million customers at a percentage growth of 4.97 per cent, down slightly from the 5.04 per cent in the previous quarter. Overall, 11.8 per cent of all broadband subscribers now take an IPTV service, up from 10.4 per cent year-end 2011. IPTV continues to be a critical driver for superfast broadband deployments. While China, France and the US continue to hold the top three spots in IPTV, we are seeing strong percentage growth in the emerging markets of Korea (32 per cent), Russia (86 per cent) and the Netherlands (45 per cent).
“Our task at the Broadband Forum is to provide globally applicable specifications and tools to ensure that service providers and vendors achieve standards based deployments. The Broadband Forum Certification Program continues to bolster the growth of superfast broadband, encouraging interoperability, innovation and faster rollouts,” concluded Mersh.