|New Broadband Milestone: 600 Million Subscribers to Date|
Broadband has passed another major milestone, according to the latest figures published by the Broadband Forum and prepared by broadband industry analysts Point Topic. The global total of broadband subscribers soared to over 600 million in the first quarter of 2012, indicating a further acceleration in growth as over 100 million new lines were added (20% of the total) in less than 18 months.
Globally, the growth in broadband during Q1 of 2012 was estimated at 16,118,210 lines, up from just over 14 million in the last quarter of 2011. This represents a quarterly rise of 2.7% and an annual increase of 11.48%. Announced during CommunicAsia in Singapore, the figures also highlight again the dominant position of Asia, led in both broadband and in IPTV by China.
“This is another significant milestone in an exciting arena that shows no sign of slowing down,” commented Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum. “It is just 18 months since we celebrated the 500 million subscriber watershed and even less time since IPTV subscribers reached 50 million - yet in both cases growth is still accelerating. It is especially rewarding to be making this announcement in Asia, which has contributed so much to fuelling this phenomenal success. I am also particularly pleased to see how exceptionally well fiber is doing, a clear indication of the importance of our continued efforts in testing and certification of G-PON.”
Regional Rankings for Broadband
Asia continues to be the biggest overall region with 262,080,147 subscribers in total, having added 8,575,397 new lines at a growth rate of 3.38% in the quarter and 15.19% in the year.
Few changes have emerged in the Top 20 Broadband Country Rankings; however Russia, Brazil and India all continue to show above average growth rates both in the quarter and annually, with Ukraine and Turkey also showing high growth. China can celebrate the highest number of new subscribers with annual growth of 26.4 million (19.17% annual growth rate). The highest annual growth rates are Russia’s 27.43% and Ukraine’s 26.82%, with China, India and Brazil also posting double-digit annual increases. The five Asian countries in the Top 20, together serve 239 million broadband subscribers – more than one-third of the global total.
Fiber Showing Strong Growth
“DSL is the most popular access technology on a global basis. Although its market share has dropped by 0.5% in the quarter, there is a long way to go before the copper-based access technology is overtaken,” said Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic. “For fiber, the cost-effectiveness, from the operators point of view, and the significant increase in bandwidth over DSL in particular is hitting the sweet spot at the moment in terms of technology market share.”