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Growth Slows as Global Broadband Subscribers Total 624.1M in Q2 2012

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 (7:59 am) - Score 1,618

Analyst firm Point Topic UK has reported that the total number of broadband lines globally reached 624.1 Million in Q2 2012 (quarterly growth of 2.1%), which represents a “significant decline” in growth versus the 2.7% increase seen during Q1. Thankfully superfast fibre optic (FTTx) based connections showed more promise.

Asia remains the biggest overall region with 273 Million broadband subscribers (added 7.2m new lines in the last quarter). China is the dominant force here with a total of 167 Million to its name, although their quarterly growth has fallen to 3.6% in Q2. This is crucial because the USA (94 million) and China are responsible for 50% of total broadband additions and when they slow down the global growth is affected (the USA saw its growth halved to 0.8% in Q2).

The United Kingdom, which is ranked as the 7th largest country for broadband subscribers (i.e. just behind France on 22,632,200), managed to grow by the same level as the USA in Q2 (0.8%) to reach a total of 21,269,300.

Top 10 Countries by Broadband Subscriber Size (Q2 Growth %)

1. China (All Territories) – 167,014,744 (3.6%)
2. USA – 94,000,180 (0.8%)
3. Japan – 37,292,400 (0.8%)
4. Germany – 29,555,500 (2.1%)
5. Russia – 22,830,900 (3.0%)
6. France – 22,632,200 (1.2%)
7. United Kingdom – 21,269,300 (0.8%)
8. South Korea – 18,103,946 (0.0%)
9. Brazil – 17,867,925 (4.6%)
10. India – 13,991,600 (2.1%)

In terms of broadband access technology, DSL (e.g. up to 24Mbps capable ADSL2+) connectivity remains the most popular with 59.6% of the overall market share, yet this is down from 60.4% in Q1. Meanwhile cable (e.g. Virgin Media) providers hold 19.3% of the market and this hasn’t changed since the previous quarter.

The big growth area continues to be the new generation of truly fibre optic (FTTH/P/B etc.) and slower hybrid fibre (FTTC/VDSL) broadband services, which have been very slowly cannibalising customers from DSL. Combined these FTTx solutions now account for 17.6% of the market (up from 17% in Q1), although just 2.8% are true fibre optic (FTTH/P/B) services.

broadband technology q2 2012

Finally the world is now home to a total of 69.1 million IPTV (broadband internet TV) subscribers, which is up from 65.6 million in Q1 (i.e. growth of 5.5%). Sadly that represents a slowing of growth from 7.3% in Q1. So far IPTV services haven’t been the killer app that many had hoped, which could represent bad news for TalkTalk’s new TV service in the UK.

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