SINGAPORE: Worldwide fixed broadband subscriber totaled 503 million at the end of 2010. Nearly 48 million subscribers were added in the fourth quarter alone according to ABI Research’s most recent Broadband Subscribers Market Data. “The increasing penetration of IPTV and online video services is among the factors which boost the growth in subscriptions,” says practice director Jason Blackwell.
South Korea, Hong Kong and France are among the countries and regions with the highest fixed broadband penetration. In countries with high broadband penetration, broadband operators are trying to gain market share by competitive speed and price offers. The result, however, is a drop in broadband subscription fees.
Broadband subscribers today are increasingly using higher speeds to offer more advanced services. In order to meet the demand for higher speeds operators are upgrading their broadband networks. For example, the UK’s national broadband operator, British Telecom, has plans to roll out fiber-to-the cabinet (FTTC) technology in 41 towns by spring next year. This plan will enable households in these areas to get broadband access at up to 40Mbps.
“Network upgrades and offers by the operators of multimedia services over broadband network will accelerate the growing number of subscribers adopting higher broadband speeds,” says research associate Khin Sandi Lynn. At the end of the third quarter of 2010, 7.6 percent of global broadband subscribers could access download speeds above 20Mbps, up from 6.4 percent in 2Q-2010.
Fiber broadband is the technology of choice for many of today’s advanced applications such as IPTV, video conferencing, education and health care. As a result, it is the fastest growing broadband platform. ABI Research estimates that there will be 71 million fiber broadband subscribers at the end of 2011.