Fast IPTV and broadband growth in 2011

Broadband and IPTV growth spiked to a high in 2011 with rates higher than at any time in the last five years, according to year-end figures published by the Broadband Forum.

Overall, broadband growth is estimated at 65,493,596 lines, bringing the global total to 597,322,636, a quarterly increase of 2.6% and an annual growth rate of 12.3%. The figures, prepared for the Broadband Forum by broadband industry analysts Point Topic, also highlight the strongest ever quarter of growth in IPTV, which is today’s most demanding application for high speed broadband.

“This is an exciting return to higher growth figures and points to a strengthening in the broadband market,” commented Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

“With a number of active new markets coming online and standards based deployments becoming common, we are seeing broadband move into the daily lives of more and more people the world over. A great example of this is the exceptional growth in some key Eastern European markets, such as Russia, Poland and the Ukraine.”

Russia proved to be a peak performer in 2011 in both broadband and IPTV figures, with over 36% growth in broadband and more than doubling its IPTV subscribers from 495,500 to 1,145,000 in just one year.

IPTV’s best quarter ever saw net additions of 3.68 million to finish the year strong with more than 58.2 million IPTV subscribers worldwide. Though Europe still holds the top regional spot, China is the fastest growing country and now has over 12 million subscribers, outstripping France for the top spot in the Top Ten IPTV countries world-wide.

“China will continue to dominate the top of the charts from now on. This is a market with greater headroom, more demand and overall more potential than anywhere else,” commented Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic.

“Outside the top 10, the prime movers are Malaysia, Vietnam and Belarus. There are a number of conditions that have to be in place for IPTV adoption to be significant. The availability of enough consistent bandwidth tops the list but pricing needs to be right for the consumer as well. Once those metrics are at certain levels you start to see real growth.”