Global IPTV subscribers up 6% in Q3 to 54.4 mn: Study

MUMBAI: The latest broadband and IPTV figures published by the Broadband Forum show a surge in growth in the third quarter of 2011, with more new subscribers added in the quarter than at any time since early 2009. The figures also point to the growing importance of fiber as FTTH and hybrid FTTx deployments increase. IPTV approaches 55 million subscribers as Europe holds on to top regional position against strong growth out of Asia

Overall broadband growth during the quarter, according to figures prepared for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic, is estimated at 17.4 million lines, bringing the global total to 581.3 million, a quarterly increase of 3.08 per cent – and an annual growth rate of 12.89 per cent.

Telecom operators increased market share as fiber showed strongest access growth rate. Asia remained the dominant region, with China nearly doubling its broadband subscriber numbers

Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh said,"These are very healthy figures for Q3 and they demonstrate the ongoing strength of the broadband market. We are especially pleased to see the trend in fiber technologies beginning to take off. Our G-PON certification program, launched in Q3 and with first certifications already in place, has been very widely welcomed and this is an indication that the market is ready for much further growth in this area."

Technology - fiber shows strongest growth

The figures show that FTTx is now gaining ground on more traditional technologies. DSL continues to be the most dominant technology, adding more lines than any other in Q3.

However, in percentage terms both FTTH and FTTx/hybrid technologies, showed the largest growth with over 8 per cent overall, compared to 2.2 per cent for cable modems and 2 per cent for DSL. FTTx added just under 19 million lines in Q3 2011 - this is more than double the number in the same period last year and it continues to accelerate. This means that market share for fiber technologies - now at 16 per cent - is fast catching up with cable‘s 19.5 per cent.

Broadband Line Market Shares:

Cable Modem19.5%
FTTx (inc. DVSL, FTTx+Lan, etc.)13.5%

Regional Growth and Top 10 Countries for Broadband : With a rise of almost 1.5 per cent in the year, the proportion of broadband subscribers in Asia continued to increase. Results from other regions were more muted, although both Europe and the Middle East & Africa returned better numbers compared to the same period in 2011. The Americas also performed better in Q3 than Q2, with overall net additions in subscriber lines rising by 309,518.

Asia continued to dominate with over 10.3 million more subscriber lines added in the quarter, higher than in Q2 and the same quarter in 2010. With over 246 million lines in total, Asia now has 42.34 per cent of the total market share in broadband.

Of the top ten countries, strongest growth continued to be in China, although strong growth in Russia has seen it improve its ranking to seventh place, fuelled partly by increases in IPTV adoption which has brought Russia into the IPTV top ten rankings for the first time.

The top countries are China, US, Japan, Germany, France, UK, Russia, South Korea, Brazil and Italy.

Asia, once again, is the fastest growing region for IPTV but European markets are strengthening on an individual basis. While some saturation is taking place, there is fundamental strength in the market which has driven the region to a three year high in quarterly net additions.

IPTV Regional Market Share - Q3 2011:

Middle East and Africa0.51%

The Top 10 countries for IPTV all reported strong growth. Russia is the major success story, entering the Top Ten for the first time and immediately occupying eighth place. Growth in France, the current world leader, is still very strong, in spite of the already high penetration rate, but China will soon take over the top spot, by sheer force of market size.

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