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Worldwide Broadband Subscribers Top 382.4m - Growth Slows
By: MarkJ - 16 September, 2008 (9:50 AM)

Point Topic has released its latest 'World Broadband Statistics Report' for the second quarter of 2008, highlighting a worldwide growth in broadband subscribers of 3.92% (14.44m net additions) between Q1 and Q2 2008. This increase represents a continued slowdown of broadband growth and is the lowest reported number of net additions since Q3 2005.

Meanwhile global broadband population penetration stood at 6.6% for Q2 2008, representing a 20% increase from 5.5% at the same time last year and up 3.13% on the previous quarter from 6.4%. The regional Share of World Broadband Subscribers has been rewritten by us below:

Western Europe - 26.19%
North America - 22.46%
South and East Asia - 21.98%
Asia-Pacific - 15.89%
Latin America - 5.69%
Eastern Europe - 4.96%
Middle East and Africa - 2.83%

Asia Pacific was marginally ahead of North America with 1.65 million net additions, representing 12% of the total. Operators in Japan (608,600 subscribers), South Korea (360,774), Australia (301,600) and Indonesia (100,000) acquired most of the new subscribers in this region.

Western Europe had the second largest share of net additions during the quarter at 17%, or over 2.5 million subscribers. Operators in Germany (589,300), France (409,790), UK (400,100), Spain (276,328) and Italy (262,153) added the most subscribers during the period.

Once again the largest number of net additions during Q2 2008 was acquired by operators in South and East Asia totalling over 5.6 million subscribers (39% market share). The country which acquired the largest number of new subscribers in this region was China with just under 5 million, representing almost 35% of the global total.

Naturally the choice of broadband technology has seen little change over the past quarter, with uptake continuing to increase at a broadly even pace. DSL (ADSL, SDSL, VDSL etc.) still dominates the technology choices with a 64.6% (247m) market share. However next-gen Fibre (FTTx) services experienced the highest quarterly growth, up 6.91% from 42.2m in Q1 2008:

Point-Topic's World Broadband Technology Share Q2 2008

While the growth of subscribers is positive in all cases, the rate of growth compared to that in Q1 2008 was down. Interestingly FTTx connections showed the largest fall in quarterly growth, down almost 40% from 11.47% growth in Q1 2008 to 6.91% in Q2. Growth of cable modem subscribers was down in the quarter by 19% and DSL was down by 10%.

Naturally the top 10 broadband countries by subscriber size have continued to stay largely unchanged, with the USA remaining weakened in first place on 76.88m and China waiting close behind at 76m. It is inevitable that China's strong growth will shortly see the country take first place:

Top Ten Broadband Countries

1. USA
2. China
3. Japan
4. Germany
5. UK
6. France
7. South Korea
8. Italy
9. Canada
10. Spain

The overall trend, excluding some big growth in Asian markets, continues to be toward a slowdown. Much of this is to do with the broadband coverage in developed nations having reached a saturation point. The decline in FTTx uptake is also of particular interest, although a number of recent developments in the UK and Europe hint at a future boom for this service.

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