Tortoise has the makings of a hare, as nations like India are seen to have huge potential for growth, albeit small numbers now in areas like IPTV.
A significant global milestone has been announced by the Broadband Forum at its ongoing quarterly meeting in Hong Kong this week: the number of subscriber lines world-wide passed the 500 million mark in the third week of July 2010. “Today is a day to celebrate… this is an extremely significant milestone and it reflects the critical importance of broadband in our daily lives, both for business and leisure. The Forum is already looking ahead to the next half billion lines and the challenges and opportunities that such rapid global growth can present”, says Robin Mersh, Broadband Forum CEO.
The new figures show that global broadband subscribers reached 498 million lines (497,768,162) by the end of June 2010, representing a 2.63% growth in the quarter and 11.99% in the last 12 months to end of Q2 2010.
Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic the industry analysts who compiled the numbers, adds: "It has only taken 11 years to get to half a billion fixed broadband lines. The internet and all that it brings has taken hold like no technology since the invention of fire. It has brought the world closer together, improved health and education standards and introduced an era of cooperation and information sharing that will hasten economic growth and improve standards of living for potentially billions around the world."
“The US was overtaken by China as the leading broadband market, in terms of subscriber numbers, at the end of 2007 and this marks the shift from the first phase of broadband deployment dominated by Europe and North America to the developing world and the next stage in the story of broadband,” says Johnson, “A quarter of the world’s fixed broadband lines are already there and despite the income disparities we expect penetration to keep growing. Major growth will also be seen in India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Vietnam and the Philippines to name only the leading nations”. The report suggests that the key markets in growth terms in the next decade will be countries with relatively low broadband penetration and large populations… which would include India whose current broadband penetration is just shy of 10 million connections.
North America, the USA and in particular Canada have significantly slowed and - in Canada's case - to levels not seen for a decade.The end of housing stimulus packages in North America has badly affected growth in broadband.
IPTV When it comes to Internet TV, over 38.5 million people were using IPTV world-wide by the end of June 2010. The growth is in line with broadband growth so the proportion of the world's broadband lines carrying IPTV remains the same as Q1 at 7.7%.Europe still remains the most established region for IPTV with almost 19 million subscribers, of which almost half are in France. China dominates the Asian IPTV market with over 6.7 million IPTV subscribers, ranking it second, with USA in third place with almost 6.5 million subscribers.
The report says, there is enormous potential in countries such as India which are just at the start of IPTV deployment To reach the next half billion, The Broadband Forum thinks IPv6 the new Internet protocol, is key. With less than 8% of the world's IPv4 addresses still available, it is critical that the industry has a a path to incorporating the new IP protocol version into their network and device management systems, it feels. www.broadband-forum.org
Sep 22 2010