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Global Broadband Subscriptions Top 281 Million!

Posted: 28th Mar, 2007 By: MarkJ
The latest Point-Topic based research from DSL Forum reports that global xDSL (ADSL etc.) based broadband subscribers topped 185 million at the end of last year. Consequently xDSL technology now accounts for 66% of the world’s 281 million broadband users:

The European Union (EU) added more than 17.6 million DSL subscribers in 2006, reaching a total figure of 66,374,600 – a growth of more than 36% in the year. The EU is the world’s number one DSL region worldwide, accounting for more than 35% of all DSL subscribers.

• The UK added 2,876,285 million new DSL subscribers in 2006, bringing the total figure to 10,059,285 – a growth of 40% in the year
• The UK is the 6th ranked country worldwide by total DSL subscribers


In 2006, the number of DSL subscribers worldwide grew by more than 30% to reach close to 185 million at 31 December 2006. In the year, global broadband subscribers increased to more than 281 million, according to the latest statistics prepared for the international DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic. This meant that an increase of 67 million people subscribed to broadband in 2006 – with almost two-thirds of new subscribers selecting digital subscriber line technology (DSL) to deliver their broadband services.

Worldwide, DSL remains by far the most popular broadband access technology with a 65.7% market share. DSL accounts for almost 88% of all broadband subscribers in the Middle East and Africa – the fastest growing broadband region – and 81% in the European Union (EU). The EU added more than 17.6 million DSL subscribers in the year to maintain its position as the world’s number one broadband and DSL region.

Of the other broadband access technologies, fibre to the home or other close location (FTTx), now delivers more than ten per cent of broadband services across the world. Less than one per cent of broadband is delivered by satellite, accounting for 784,750 subscribers.

Technology - Subscriptions - Percentage Share
DSL - 184,934,032 - %65.70
Cable - 62,810,493 - %22.31
FTTx - 29,749,662 - %10.57
Other Access Technologies - 3,213,646 - %1.14
Satellite - 784,750 - %0.28

In global terms, the USA is the world’s largest broadband market at more than 57 million subscribers. China, the second largest market, is rapidly closing the gap and added 14.4 million broadband subscribers in 2006 – more than three million more than the USA – to reach 51.9 million. Thirteen countries now have over three million DSL subscribers, with a further three – the Netherlands (at 2,957,000 subscribers), Turkey (at 2,935,900) and Mexico (at 2,725,683) – fast approaching. In total, 26 nations have more than one million DSL subscribers, with Denmark, Argentina and Russia passing the figure in 2006.

Top 10 Countries by Number of DSL Subscribers
Rank. Country - Susbcribers
1. China - 37,120,000
2. USA - 25,677,316
3. Germany - 14,320,000
4. Japan - 14,310,559
5. France - 13,276,000
6. UK - 10,059,285
7. Italy - 8,398,575
8. South Korea - 5,488,668
9. Spain - 5,268,100
10. Brazil - 4,390,560

It's interesting to note that FTTx technology has managed to capture 10% of the global market, despite strong concerns over its future in the UK.
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