According to the latest figures published by the Broadband Forum and prepared by broadband industry analysts Point Topic, the global total of broadband subscribers soared to over 600 million in the first quarter of 2012, indicating a further acceleration in growth as over 100 million new lines were added (20% of the total) in less than 18 months.
Globally, the growth in broadband during Q1 of 2012 was estimated at 16,118,210 lines, up from just over 14 million in the last quarter of 2011, say the Broadband Forum (Fremont, Calif., USA). This represents a quarterly rise of 2.7% and an annual increase of 11.48%. The figures also highlight the dominant position of Asia, who led in both broadband and in IPTV by China.
"This is another significant milestone in an exciting arena that shows no sign of slowing down," says Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum. "It is just 18 months since we celebrated the 500 million subscriber watershed and even less time since IPTV subscribers reached 50 million - yet in both cases growth is still accelerating."
Few changes have emerged in the Top 20 Broadband Country Rankings; however Russia, Brazil and India all continue to show above average growth rates both in the quarter and annually, with Ukraine and Turkey also showing high growth. China had the highest number of new subscribers with an annual growth of 26.4 million (19.17% annual growth rate). The highest annual growth rates are Russia's 27.43% and Ukraine's 26.82%, with China, India and Brazil also posting double-digit annual increases, says the Broadband Forum. The five Asian countries in the top 20, together serve 239 million broadband subscribers -more than one-third of the global total.
"DSL is the most popular access technology on a global basis: although its market share has dropped by 0.5% in the quarter, there is a long way to go before the copper-based access technology is overtaken," said Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic (London). "For fiber, the cost-effectiveness, from the operators point of view, and the significant increase in bandwidth over DSL in particular is hitting the sweet spot at the moment in terms of technology market share."
IPTV , the most demanding application for high speed broadband, now has 65.6 million subscribers, up 3.8 million in the quarter. The Asian market is advancing the fastest with the strong leader- China added over three times as many IPTV subscribers in the quarter as any other country. According to the Broadband Forum, this gap is likely to increase even further though both France and the U.S. are reporting strong numbers and accelerated growth in the report period.