310 Million Broadband Subscribers Worldwide as of mid-2007

IDATE has released the 10th edition of its reference report on the world broadband market which provides an opportunity to take stock of subscriber growth by country and by geographical zone, the technological choices being made, how player strategies are evolving, and to obtain market forecasts up to 2011.

Asia-Pacific dominates but Western Europe driving the market.

The Asia-Pacific region is still the world leader in terms of broadband access, accounting for 38% of the global base.

Western Europe enjoyed the strongest growth momentum in 2007, accounting for 31% of the world’s new broadband connections in 2007 (up from 28% in 2006).

In the long run, the gap is expected to widen as Asia-Pacific pulls out in front thanks to the emergence of China and India, and due to the gradual saturation of the North American and the most mature European markets.

China is expected to take the lead over the US in 2008. Among developing countries, Brazil and, to a lesser extent, Russia and India are at last emerging from the wings and reporting steady growth. Meanwhile, in Europe, Germany has had a good year and pulled ahead of the UK and France but still lags behind in terms of penetration.

South Korea no longer the sole benchmark in terms of broadband penetration
The most mature European markets (the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland) are now reporting higher penetration rates than long-time leader South Korea. Among Europe’s largest countries, France and the UK are now home to higher penetration rates than the United States and Japan.

Speed race likely to continue

Ultra-broadband is now a reality in South Korea and Japan while, over in the United States, the RBOCs have begun rolling out FTTx infrastructure. In Asia, notably in Japan and South Korea, the migration to ultra-broadband is picking up steam, the ultimate goal being to deliver a service running at 1 Gbps per subscriber.

The trend of offering ever-increasing bitrates, spurred by growing competition and the technologies’ performance (ADSL2+, VDSL, and DOCSIS 2 and 3 for cable), fuelled the emergence of the triple play model, which combines internet access and telephony with a TV and video offering.

To remain competitive, telcos in the US – notably AT&T and Verizon – have been investing in FTTx networks which will prove decisive in their bid to market TV services (e.g.: Verizon’s FiOS TV).

In Europe, future deployments are expected to be built on an FTTH/FTTN + VDSL2 architecture in major cities, and on ADSL2+ in the rest of the country, to be able to market triple play bundles nationwide.

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