The worldwide cable, DSL and fibre-optic fixed-line broadband subscriber base grew 6 per cent in 2013 surpassing 665.4 million subscribers, according to ABI research. The fibre-optic broadband segment grew at a robust rate, 29 per cent from 2012 to 126.6 million subscribers in 2013. By 2019, fibre-optic broadband subscriptions will grow to 265 million subscribers, with a CAGR of 11.7 per cent.
The global cable broadband market grew nearly 7 per cent to 161 million subscribers while the DSL broadband market contracted around 1 per cent to 378 million subscribers in 2013. An increasing number of customers opting for high-speed fibre-optic broadband service contributed to a decline in DSL broadband subscriptions in Asia-Pacific and North America. “Global DSL broadband service revenue dropped nearly 2 per cent in 2013, mainly due to a declining subscriber base and average revenue per user in the Asia-Pacific,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting.
Worldwide fibre-optic broadband service revenue grew over 15 per cent to $46 billion in 2013. Operators such as BT from the UK and VimpelCom from Russia reported that growth in its fibre-optic broadband customers contributed to overall service revenue growth in 2013. “Since revenue from traditional services such as voice and messaging is declining, innovative services and content over high-speed broadband networks are proving essential for operators to maintain overall service revenue growth. ABI Research forecast that the worldwide fibre-optic broadband market will generate $100 billion in 2019,” noted Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.
Chinese operators dominate the fixed broadband subscriber rankings. China Telecom and China Unicom lead the global fixed broadband market shares with over 100 million and 64 million broadband subscribers respectively at the end of 2013. Currently the two companies own 53 per cent and 34 per cent market share respectively. China Mobile received a licence to invest in fixed broadband services at the end of 2013, likely spurring the Chinese fixed broadband market to have greater competition and faster infrastructure development.