Fastest Global Broadband Growth Since 2009

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 
Broadband Forum logo

Asia now dominates with 42% of global broadband subscribers and 16.2% annual growth

SINGAPORE — With an increase of over 15.2 million subscribers in the first three months of this year, fixed broadband grew by 2.9%. This was the biggest quarterly increase in the last two years and representing an annual growth rate of 11.93%, according to figures announced today by the Broadband Forum at its press conference at CommunicAsia 2011. IPTV also shows exceptional growth rates with an increase of over 34% in the 12 months to the end of March 2011, based on the data prepared for the Broadband Forum by analyst firm Point Topic.

                                                    % growth  % growth
Global Fixed Broadband       2010Q1       2011Q1  in quarter      year
                        -----------  -----------  ----------  --------
Asia                    194,853,371  226,436,844       3.91%    16.21%
Europe                  146,274,402  159,736,246       2.03%     9.20%
Americas                127,099,672  137,963,717       2.33%     8.55%
Middle East & Africa     14,795,742   16,495,650       2.36%    11.49%
                        -----------  -----------  ----------  --------
  Total                 483,023,187  540,632,457       2.90%    11.93%

Source: Data provided for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic

Asia remains the fastest growing region for broadband with 16.21% – almost double that of the Americas. Asia’s fixed broadband subscribers now make up 42% of the global total, up from 40% last year, with Europe and the Americas behind with 30% and 25%, respectively. We are also seeing emerging markets make strides, with the Middle East and Latin America advancing quickly.

“Broadband is showing healthy double digit growth and has in fact increased its growth rate this year. This indicates how vital it has become to businesses, residential consumers and countries,” noted Robin Mersh, Chief Executive Officer for the Broadband Forum. “With such amazing growth throughout the Asian markets, the Broadband Forum is happy to be here at CommunicAsia, sharing the latest standards and best practices to help service providers propel the market forward even faster.”

Fixed Broadband Subscribers – Fixed market share Q1 2011:

Asia                    42%
Europe                  30%
Americas                25%
Middle East & Africa     3%

Source: Data provided for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic

The strong Asian growth is due in large part to the continuing success in broadband in China with 42% of the net additions to the total global broadband subscriber numbers coming from China and its territories (the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau) in the first three months of 2011.

Commenting on the global broadband growth and the changing country performances, CEO of Point Topic Oliver Johnson said: “There is increasingly keen competition to be in the global Top Ten of broadband countries. As India and Mexico jostle to break into the charts it is likely that Italy will drop out, probably before the end of the year.”

IPTV has continued to grow well, with 34% in the 12 months to 31st March 2011, a 6.4% increase in the quarter. Total IPTV subscriber numbers have now reached 48.2 million at the end of the first quarter 2011. France still heads the table of Top Ten Countries with China a close second and Taiwan also on the leader board in ninth place.

IPTV Top Ten Countries – Subscriber Lines:

Country          2011Q1
-------      ----------
France       10,615,000
China         9,829,000
USA           7,743,080
South Korea   3,983,348
Japan         2,869,816
Germany       1,592,000
Belgium       1,029,000
Spain           855,400
Taiwan          850,000
Netherlands     810,000

Source: Data provided for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic

Europe continues to be the largest region with over 21 million subscribers, but Asia is catching up fast with 18 million and both China and Taiwan showing growth of over 50%. Of the 2.9M new subscribers added this year (Q1 2011), 1.4M came from Asia.

IPTV Subscribers – Regional Market Share Q1 2011

Asia                    37.74%
Europe                  43.97%
Americas                17.78%
Middle East & Africa     0.50%

Source: Data provided for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic

In terms of access technologies, fiber, including various hybrid DSL/fiber rollouts, is by far the fastest growing with over 20% increase in its subscriber base in the last 12 months. DSL and cable are still growing and – for the first time – we are able to include figures for fixed wireless access (FWA) as a technology which is beginning to take off.

More: 1Q2011 Broadband Status Report