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Global Broadband Subscribers Top 367.7m - Shows Fibre Growth
By: MarkJ - 04 July, 2008 (9:11 AM)

Point Topic has just published its latest 'World Broadband Statistics' report, which revealed that there were 367.7 million broadband subscribers globally by the end of Q1 2008. That's a 4.7% increase on the end of 2007 when there were 351.12 million subscribers.

The data also shows that newer fibre optic (FTTx) broadband connections grew faster than older cable services. While there were 2.5 million cable broadband subscribers added worldwide in Q1, fibre grew by over 4.2 million users. China, Japan and South Korea dominate the growth, with FTTx slowly taking over from DSL (ADSL etc.) and cable:

“It’s a significant milestone for fibre optic broadband, where it is available consumers will take fibre over other broadband technologies,” said Oliver Johnson, Point Topic CEO. “If you look at the cost per megabit then DSL comes in at around $20 (£10) per megabit per month taking global averages. Cable does better at roughly $12 (£6) but they are both completely eclipsed by fibre where costs can get as low as 50 cents (£0.25) per megabit per month,” continues Johnson.

“There are problems in the de-regulated markets when it comes to major infrastructure investment. Fibre deployment is expensive and in the US and Europe there are significant regulatory hurdles to overcome,” says Johnson.

Naturally DSL continues to be the most common technology and is in use by almost 65% of the broadband community (238m), up 4.06% on the previous quarter. Cable modems were used by 21.66% of the total (79.6m) up 3.3%, FTTx showed the greatest improvement to hit 11.45%. Other technologies (wireless etc.) accounted for just 2.16%.

Interestingly the growth rates for all technologies, except fibre optic (FTTx) lines, showed a quarterly decrease. FTTx subscribers showed the largest increase in quarterly growth, up 70%. DSL subscribers grew by just 4.06%, which is down from 4.89% in the previous quarter. Finally, cable grew by 3.3%, which was down from 4.53%.

Western Europe continues to have the largest share of broadband subscribers at 26.55% while North America is in second place 23.01% of the total. South and East Asia is in third place (21.32%) followed by Asia Pacific (16.05%). The three regions with the smallest market shares are Latin America (5.5%), Eastern Europe with 4.8% and Middle East and Africa (2.8%).

However, Western Europe had the third lowest quarterly growth at 4%, which compares with North America on 3.34% and Asia Pacific on 2.27%. Net additions at 3.76 million were the second highest overall, representing 23% of the total. The countries that added the most new subscribers during the quarter were Germany (1,182,834), France (616,928) and the UK (589,400). Net additions in all three countries were down on the previous quarter by 3.7%, 13% and 4% respectively:

Top Ten Broadband Countries (Subscribers)

1. USA - 75,742,120 (Q108)
2. China - 71,034,820 (Q108)
3. Japan - 28,826,100 (Q108)
4. Germany - 21,184,450 (Q108)
5. UK - 16,318,300 (Q108)
6. France - 16,207,996 (Q108)
7. South Korea - 14,869,370 (Q108)
8. Italy - 11,232,077 (Q108)
9. Canada - 8,859,868 (Q108)
10 .Spain - 8,290,507 (Q108)

In terms of broadband penetration by population, Monaco had the highest at 39.1% for the third quarter running after displacing Denmark in Q2 2007. Denmark had the second highest population penetration rate for three quarters running including Q1 2008 when its penetration was 37%. Netherlands was in third place with 34.3% followed by Norway with 32.6%.

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