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Broadband reaches 313 million worldwide

11 October 2007

The DSL Forum has announced new broadband and IPTV statistics at the Broadband World Forum Europe in Berlin. The statistics, prepared for the DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic, show that the number of people using IPTV services increased by 179% in the 12 months to 30 June 2007, writes Andy Stout.

On the broadband access side, DSL continues to dominate with almost 66% of subscribers using this technology. Over eight million people are now connected to IPTV services. Europe added over three million subscribers in the 12 months to 30 June 2007, making it the strongest market both in terms of growth (23% in 12 months) and total subscriber numbers (almost five million by 30 June 2007).

“Top markets like France (2,550,000 customers) and Hong Kong (938,000 customers) show that IPTV can be deployed rapidly to large numbers of subscribers, if the market conditions are right,” said Point Topic Senior Analyst, John Bosnell. “On the demand side, competitive and clear bundle pricing and content deals will help to attract customers to IPTV services, while on the supply side, making IPTV easier to install and develop will help to deliver IPTV services to a wider subscriber base.” “Developing and agreeing standards will help to simplify the delivery process and drive higher take-up in other markets too,” Bosnell continued.

IPTV is an important focus for the DSL Forum: the Forum’s BroadbandSuite focuses on areas critical to the successful deployment of IPTV services and current work addresses transport improvements around VDSL2, policy control framework and network performance improvements, as well as home networking optimisation, including IPTV remote management and set-top box initiation advancements.

DSL remains the most popular access technology, with over 200 million of the world’s 313 million broadband subscribers connecting via DSL. The global market share of broadband technologies remains largely unchanged from December 2006, with almost 22% of subscribers using cable, and just over 10% using FTTx.

Western Europe continues to have the most broadband users, with 72 million of the 86 million broadband subscribers using DSL. The Eastern Europe DSL market, while small (less than 14 million), is the region with the strongest growth (over 60% in the 12 months to 30 June 2007). The USA has the most broadband subscribers (over 63 million), but China tops the DSL subscriber list with over 44 million of its 59 million broadband users connected via DSL. 15 countries now have over three million DSL subscribers, and 29 have over one million subscribers, with Portugal passing the one million mark in the second quarter of 2007.

“Today’s figures highlight that services such as IPTV, which have held the promise of increased revenues and reduced subscriber churn for a number of years, are finally becoming a reality for millions of people,” said Robin Mersh, chief operating officer at the DSL Forum. “The figures also illustrate that DSL remains a vital tool in the successful delivery of bandwidth-hungry bundled services. The DSL Forum continues to play a critical role in aiding the mass global deployment of IPTV through our development of specifications that not only facilitate increased speed and bandwidth offered by DSL technologies, but also ensure a standardised approach to network management and the interoperability of customer premise equipment, regardless of access technology.”

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