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DSL Broadband Still Dominates Cable

Posted: 09th Feb, 2005 By: MarkJ
The latest research from ABI (HERE) shows that broadband DSL subscriptions are continuing to quickly outstrip cable in all regions of the world except North America:

Even there, DSL's share of new subscribers has grown from 29% to 40% in the past year, while elsewhere, consumers are signing on for DSL at up to double the rate of cable.

The new study, "Advanced Broadband Markets: Subscribers & CPE", considers global trends in broadband and video subscribers, and equipment shipments to them. It provides detailed segmentation for DSL, cable, satellite, terrestrial, video-over-DSL, fiber to the home, broadband over power lines (BPL), voice over IP (VoIP) and WiMax. New additions to this study include the CPE figures, and discussions of new technologies such as BPL.

According to analyst Joseph Yau, DSL's traditional drawback — a lower data transmission rate — is vanishing in many parts of the world with the advent of ADSL2, with a rate equal to cable's, and soon the even faster ADSL2+. This will allows telcos to offer the video services that have long been the exclusive preserve of cable. Such higher-speed services are already available in Asia and Europe, and should start to appear in North America this year.

"DSL vendors are trying to make up for their lack of data rate with the addition of more added benefits," notes Yau. "SBC and Verizon have started offering voice and home networking gateways as part of the service. Cable operator Comcast, in contrast, only started offering this late in the last quarter of 2004."

But the cable companies are not giving up without a fight, he adds. They will counter by invading telco turf: offering cellular or other voice services in addition to their usual fare. Comcast has announced that they will try to do so in 2005 or early 2006.
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