Global IPTV subscribers grow 8% in Q1 2010

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
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Global Broadband Hits 484 Million Subscriber Mark As More Than 14 Million Lines Are Added In Q1 2010; IPTV growth nearly 8% in last quarter, making 46% increase in last 12 months – the most rapid expansion yet recorded

SINGAPORE — Broadband subscription growth took an upswing during the first quarter of 2010, supported in part by healthy DSL growth in every region, strong fiber rollouts in Asia and aggressive IPTV service offerings. These statistics were revealed today by the Broadband Forum at a CommunicAsia press conference, in conjunction with research by industry analysts Point Topic.

The figures show that global broadband lines now top 484 million lines (484,788,597), representing a 3.12% growth in the quarter and 12.41% in the last 12 months to end of Q1 2010. The first quarter growth rate increase shows a swelling of positive growth for worldwide broadband. At the same time the number of IPTV subscribers grew to 36.3 million. China and the USA are the top two countries for both broadband and IPTV.

Based on the research by Point Topic GBS database (at Asia was responsible for more than 53% of the broadband lines added, with mainland China alone accounting for 45% of the total lines added worldwide in Q1 2010. China continues to be at the top of the table in terms of broadband with continued healthy growth at 5.67% in the quarter and 20.96% in the twelve month period, taking it to 112,594,000 subscribers. This made China the fastest growing country in both percentage and in absolute terms in the first three months of 2010.

Six of the top ten countries improved their performance in Q1 2010 compared to Q4 2009; China, the USA, Germany, the UK, South Korea and Brazil all grew more quickly in the first quarter of 2010 against Q4 2009.

Top 10 Countries – total broadband subscriber numbers

Country          2009Q1       2010Q1
             ----------  -----------
China        93,084,160  112,594,000
USA          80,117,747   87,070,960
Japan        30,666,900   31,782,400
Germany      23,788,750   25,953,150
France       18,009,500   19,254,000
UK           17,661,100   18,712,000
South Korea  15,706,466   16,552,222
Italy        12,595,533   13,528,650
Brazil       10,014,200   11,293,400
Russia        9,280,000   11,270,049

Source: Data provided for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic

“With all the recent technology advancements and service provider pushes, it is great to see how strong broadband continues to grow on a global basis and now backed by some major national Government initiatives- we expect this to accelerate even more in the coming years,” said Robin Mersh, Chief Operating Officer of the Broadband Forum. “At the Broadband Forum, our members are very much the architects of the connected lifestyle. We are working on a wider range of activities than ever before to support our industry’s ongoing commitment.”

IPTV Top Ten Countries – Subscriber Lines

Country          2009Q1       2010Q1
             ----------  -----------
France        7,066,000    9,018,305 
USA           4,171,850    6,071,898 
China         2,850,000    5,750,000 
South Korea   1,450,407    2,576,663 
Japan         1,340,608    1,861,127 
Germany         740,000    1,522,500 
Hong Kong     1,140,000    1,165,000 
Russia          700,000    1,117,900 
Italy           790,000      825,000 
Spain           711,390      825,000

Source: Data provided for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic

IPTV is certainly a big part of today’s connected lifestyle. The 12 months from Q109 to Q110 saw global growth of 46% in IPTV subscriber terms. This equates to 11.4 million new IPTV subscribers, the most rapid growth in any 12 month period yet recorded. In the first quarter of 2010 the world-wide IPTV market has grown by just under 8% (7.8%) and there are now 36.3 million IPTV subscribers as at March 31st 2010. IPTV penetration is therefore running at around 7.7% of total broadband lines. This is significant penetration, given the established position of cable, DTT and satellite alternatives in many mature markets.

Europe, Americas, Middle East/Africa, Asia

Europe and especially France continues to lead the IPTV subscriber market in total subscribers and continues to grow quickly. Regionally Asia is beginning to challenge that global dominance by adding approximately 2.9 million customers over the last year, and 1.2 million in the last quarter alone. This has resulted in Asia increasing its regional share of the market to 32.4% – almost one-third of the global market.

China was the top IPTV growth market with over five million lines, with South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong also among the top ten countries. The Americas grew to 18.17% market share, representing the only other region to increase its share in the quarter, while the Middle East and Africa is beginning to show serious growth for the first time as numbers from the UAE and Egypt contributed to a record quarter.

DSL continues to be the most popular access technology for broadband. Fiber continues to grow quickly, and the figures for Q1 2010 show that Asia now has over 50 million fibre subscribers. The growth in fibre is expected to be the dominant theme over the next few years although DSL still has its place particularly in the second wave broadband countries like Indonesia and the Philippines, as does wireless particularly where the geography of a country makes fixed connections more difficult.

DSL, Cable, Fibre, Wireless, Satellite/Other

New initiatives were launched this week, as the Broadband Forum collaborated with two organizations to expedite this fiber growth as well as establish new efforts to empower the Connected Home.

  • The first co-hosted GPON conformance and interoperability test event with Full Service Access Networks (FSAN) was held this week at the University of New Hampshire.
  • New collaboration agreement was signed with the HomeGrid Forum, following the approval of the ITU-T standards for home networking, focused on developing a joint conformance and interoperability program

These two important new collaborations are a testament to the Broadband Forum’s pioneering approach to driving market adoption of established standards. Other major focus areas today for the Broadband Forum include the development of IPv6 migration tools, a next generation end to end multi-service architecture, Connected Home TR-069 enhancements and a host of new Quality Management specifications expected to complete by year end.