Broadband growth steady in 2009 with a real pick up in every region in fourth quarter
Date: Mon, 04/26/2010 - 18:28 Source: Broadband Forum press department
Defying the global economic downturn by adding another 58 million lines of broadband technology in 2009, there are now more than 466.95 million broadband customers in the world according to statistics released by the Broadband Forum
The report was announced at the IPTV World Forum in London, prepared for the Forum by industry analysts Point Topic and it shows a healthy annual growth percentage of 14.21% with strongest growth showing in fourth quarter.
IPTV had a banner year, adding more than 10.8 million subscribers (compared to 9.4 million in 2008). By year-end 2009, there were more than 33 million IPTV customers- an annual increase of 47%. Each quarter was stronger in 2009 than
its corresponding 2008 quarter, and fourth quarter posted the strongest growth at 11%.
This steady IPTV growth provided a significant addition to operators’ ARPU as many regions focused on enhanced service bundles. The growth was rapid in almost all markets with some countries more than doubling their IPTV subscribers during 2009.
The Asian market showed the strongest growth with China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam being the most significant contributors to Asia’s broadband dominance in 2009. Asia now accounts for 39% of the broadband market and 32% of the IPTV market.
China passed a major milestone in fourth quarter, now serving more than 100 million broadband subscribers, and holding the number one broadband country spot worldwide. This region also included the fastest growing major broadband countries in world; Philippines (over 60%), India (40+% growth) as well as Indonesia and Vietnam. Regarding IPTV- China, S. Korea, Japan and Hong Kong were all in the top ten list of territories.
According to Oliver Johnson, Chief Analyst at Point Topic, "As regulatory hurdles are cleared, many countries in the Asian region should be freed to market to and add more subscribers. With South Korea looking strong and China building on its acceleration in the latter stages of 2009 the region could easily dominate IPTV growth in 2010."
In the Americas, the top story was the strong IPTV growth. This region experienced the fastest IPTV growth in the world with 58% more subscribers in 2009 as compared to 2008. Both North and South American countries have started showing significant signs of IPTV adoption and the prospects for 2010 look good. The USA ended the year with more than 5.6 million IPTV customers, growing by more than 60%.
Regarding broadband growth, the USA and Canada reported a steady growth throughout the year, while a slow down in Central and South America contributed to a lower growth rate for the region. The region as a whole added 13.7 million customers in 2009 (as compared to 15.9 M in 2008). The USA, with 85,287,100 subscribers, and Brazil, with 11,006,400, were in the top ten countries in the world.
In the European region, the success of premium bundles and keen competition in Europe drove the take-up of IPTV, particularly in France. Point Topic estimates that there are over 8 million IPTV subscribers in France (up from 6.1 million in Q4 2009). That is equivalent to 42% of France’s 19 million broadband lines. France, Germany, Russia, Italy and Spain all were in the top ten IPTV countries.
Regarding broadband, Europe now accounts for 30.6% of the market, serving more than 142.9 million customers by year end. There was a clear acceleration of subscriber growth with strong numbers from all major European markets in the last quarter.
The Middle East & Africa (MEA) region experienced double digit broadband growth of 11.8 %, serving 13.7 million customers. Though significantly lower growth was reported in 2009 than 2008, the region reported the strongest quarterly growth of all regions in fourth quarter with a 3.3% uptake.
Recently initiating IPTV rollouts, MEA is just beginning to show growth. Although still early in its adoption cycle, the market looks set to accelerate in 2010 according to Point Topic.
Ending the 2009 year strong in every region, broadband and IPTV are on a clear uptake. Specifications such as the recently released VDSL2 test suite (Broadband Forum technical reports TR-114 and TR-115) and the strong remote management protocol (TR-069) and its associated data models for new devices/services coming online, provide the tools necessary for today's service provider to rollout faster broadband offerings and quality bundles of services.
To empower the next phase of broadband and IPTV growth, the Broadband Forum has launched key industry initiatives including work addressing IPv6 transition, DSL & fiber access, mobile backhaul, energy efficiency, end-to-end architecture, TR-069 remote management and the launch of the new Broadband Forum Certification Program.
"The continued increase of broadband coverage, speed and service offerings at affordable cost results in part from the Broadband Forum's work to improve broadband network operating efficiency, define versatile multi-service network architectures, and assure interoperability and performance of equipment from many vendors, said Tom Starr, President and Chairman of the Broadband Forum. "The Broadband Forum, in collaboration with our industry standards partners, is providing the tools needed to address the call by government policy makers and consumers for increased broadband service availability and speed."