Broadband passed the 500 million mark in July 2010, the milestone being revealed as the Broadband Forum provided its global Broadband and IPTV Industry Update at its quarterly meeting in Hong Kong yesterday (Monday, September 20). Research by industry analysts Point Topic pinpointed the actual date as being in the third week in July and the Broadband Forum will mark the occasion with a milestone celebration later this week.
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, said in a statement: “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.”
In a typically slow quarter with many markets, particularly in the Americas, reflecting the end of a number of central subsidies and stimulus packages there were still significant signs of some countries continuing their return to economic health:
China – the powerhouse of global broadband in the 21st century, so far was responsible for 43% of all net broadband lines added in Q2 2010 and performed far better than the same quarter in 2009 (‘China’ includes Mainland China, Hong Kong & Macau)
In Western Europe many markets did better than the equivalent 2009 quarter. Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Poland and Turkey amongst others all reported strong numbers
Central and South American markets have cooled to an extent but many are still reporting good quarterly growth (in the 5%-7% range). However North America, the US 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. However all other regions performed better in the second quarter of 2010 than the same period in 2009,” said Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic.
The second quarter also highlighted a strong growth in IPTV subscribers, with over 2.3 million new IPTV subscribers added to the total, making over 38.5 million people using IPTV worldwide by the end of Q2 2010. The increase 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 (with Hong Kong and Macau) had the most net additions this quarter – 421,000 – ranking it second, with US in third place with almost 6.5 million subscribers.
China dominates the Asian IPTV market with over 6.7 million IPTV subscribers, although there is enormous potential in countries such as India which are just at the start of IPTV deployment. Services are also developing in other areas as well. For example, Colombia reported over 100,000 subscribers for the first time in Q2 2010.
Continuing the trend from previous quarterly figures, Asia increased its share of the overall broadband market by a further 1.2% in the year Q209 to Q210 and by 0.41% in the last quarter alone. The region now accounts for almost 41% of the total, with Europe in second place with 30% and the Americas showing 26%. China is the biggest individual contributor to the Asian growth adding 5,470,888 lines bringing its total to 120,591,488, over 24% of the 500,000,000 lines achieved in the early part of Q3.
Elsewhere in the top 10 the real movement is from Russia and Brazil. Russia has a more consistent growth curve over the past few quarters compared to the stop/start nature of Brazil. As a result Russia is likely to overtake Brazil in the next three to six months to become the 9th largest broadband market.
Point-Topic also listed the IPTV Top Ten countries by the number of subscriber lines: 1) France – 9,400,750; 2) China – 6,758,000; 3) USA – 6,485,374; 4) South Korea – 2,909,136; 5) Japan – 1,960,743; 6) Germany – 1,633,200; 7) Hong Kong – 1,183,000; 8) Belgium – 868,000; 9) Spain – 835,300; and 10) Italy – 824,514.