More than 50 million new broadband subscribers added in 2012
FREMONT, Calif., April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
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- 643,770,042 broadband subscribers around the world by year-end 2012
- Fiber deployments grew faster than all other access technologies
- IPTV continues to gain market share, passing 75 million subscriber mark – with China, France and US accounting for 58% of the global user base
Latest broadband and IPTV figures published by the Broadband Forum show a significant surge in superfast broadband, with fiber, particularly FTTx/VDSL2 hybrid deployments, playing a key role in driving this 8.6% 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 fiber, 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% overall, compared to 7.2% for cable modems and 3.6% for DSL. Looking at the current market share, fiber technologies, which sit at 21%, are beginning to overtake cable modem's 19%.
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 maximize the lifetime of their existing assets."
Regional Growth and Top 10 Countries
China continues to dominate the broadband market with 15% 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% 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%, down slightly from the 5.04% in the previous quarter. Overall, 11.8% of all broadband subscribers now take an IPTV service, up from 10.4% 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%), Russia (86%) and the Netherlands (45%).
"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.
For more information about the Broadband Forum and its work in these areas, please go to www.broadband-forum.org.
About the Broadband Forum
Broadband Forum, a non-profit industry organization, is focused on engineering smarter and faster broadband networks. Our work defines best practices for global networks, enables service and content delivery, establishes technology migration strategies, engineers critical device & service management tools, and is key to redefining broadband. Our free technical reports and white papers can be found at www.broadband-forum.org.
 Fiber to the X (FTTx) and Very fast Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL)2 refer to a access method of serving a customer with a mixture of fiber and DSL to achieve higher speed and stability.
SOURCE Broadband Forum