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UK Takes 8th Position - Global DSL

Posted: 09th Dec, 2004 By: MarkJ
The DSL Forum has released its latest global broadband xDSL statistics, showing that the world has a total of 85.3m DSL subscribers, roughly 3.3m of which are in the UK and 26.5m from the EU as a whole:

More than half a million people each week are choosing DSL around the world. DSL - the world's most popular broadband technology - added another 24 million subscribers in the first nine months of 2004, according to the latest data produced for the DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic. There are now 85.3 million subscribers - a growth of more than 39% so far in 2004.

Announcing the figures at the DSL Forum's year-end meeting, its president Tom Starr said, "By the time we next meet in February 2005, DSL subscribers will have passed the 100 million subscriber milestone - a major landmark on the way to a global mass market for this world-leading broadband technology. That will mean 10% of the world's phone lines are delivering the very real benefits of the digital society to people in every region."

European Union countries currently make up the largest regional DSL population worldwide, adding more than 9.25 million subscribers in the first three quarters of this year, to reach 26.5 million.

Latin America is now emerging as a DSL market, adding 1.2 million subscribers from January to September 2004, a growth in subscribers of more than 72%. Brazil is leading the way, gaining over 620,000 DSL subscribers, and three countries, Mexico, Argentina and Peru, have experienced more than 50% growth since the beginning of the year.

In North America, the only region where DSL does not yet dominate the broadband market, it gained almost 3.5 million new subscribers to achieve 15.1 million by the end of September 2004. The USA added 3.2 million to reach a total of 12.6 million DSL-enabled phone lines. Middle East and Africa recorded DSL subscriber growth of 59.5% in the first three quarters of 2004, led by Israel, now with 600,000 and Turkey, with almost 200,000.

Asia Pacific added almost four million subscribers, with two countries reaching the DSL Forum's first stage target for a global mass-market for broadband DSL (20% of all phone lines): South Korea (28.88%) and Taiwan (22.14%). Even with its high penetration rate, South Korea is still growing and added 280,000 to its DSL market by September 2004. Hong Kong (20.14%) also achieved mass-market status, and an additional 15 countries have a penetration of more than 10% of telephone lines. The European Union's position as the number one DSL region is reflected in substantial increases in both subscriber numbers and market penetration, with 11 countries in the top 20. The Netherlands achieved 15.52% penetration of phone lines, France 15.45% and Italy 13.41%, with the UK, at 9.49%, moving into the top 20 (place 20) for the first time.

China, adding 5.14 million new DSL subscribers by the end of September 2004, is the world's largest DSL population with a total of 13.7 million subscribers, accounting for more than 90% of the South and South East Asia total. Six countries now have greater than five million subscribers, and another seven countries have over a million.

Top countries: total DSL subscribers Q3 04
1 China 13,700,000
2 Japan 12,739,564
3 USA 12,594,346
4 South Korea 6,717,251
5 Germany 5,950,000
6 France 5,253,000
7 Italy 3,680,000
8 UK 3,335,000
9 Taiwan 2,900,000
10 Canada 2,568,351

The ten largest DSL population countries now account for more than 80% of DSL subscribers worldwide. Tim Johnson of Point Topic commented: "This is a classic pattern for the early stages of a dynamic market. We can now see growth rates leveling off as leading countries like South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong approach 30% market penetration. But there's another cycle of growth still to come. We'll see new broadband applications beginning to take hold, like voice and video that will drive the next cycle and then, in a year or two, broadband will be going into homes that have no interest in owning PCs or surfing the Internet."
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