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Global broadband universe crosses 100 million mark

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MUMBAI: Broadband subscribers exceeded 100 million globally at the end of 2003 according to RHK's latest report from its broadband access networks programme.

The report noted that the strong broadband subscriber growth in all regions during 2003 provides further evidence that consumers desire high-speed access to the Internet. Additionally, a highly competitive environment among broadband service providers is benefiting consumers with attractive pricing and features. This is particularly true in the Asia-Pacific market, which has some of the highest broadband penetration in the world.

DSL continues to be the dominant technology in nearly two-thirds of the global market. The Cable modem service continues to dominate only North American. In fact it lost market share to DSL and other broadband access technologies in the fourth quarter of last year.

For over 12 years, RHK has been providing advice, analysis, and research to telecommunications companies. RHK offers continuous research and strategic consulting in several areas.

Meanwhile another report from the Yankee Group has stated that the pace of broadband growth in the US is being hampered by the cost. Consumers are struggling to distinguish between high-speed Internet options. While interest in high-speed services is still growing, dial-up consumers remain highly price-sensitive. Only 17 per cent of consumers said that they were likely to subscribe to broadband at $45 per month.

71 per cent of US internet customers claimed that they would switch to broadband if it were available at a lower price. Based on the responses Yankee added that DSL providers were hitting the vital price point. In addition tiered services continue to be attractive to consumers, with 43 per cent of dial-up households more likely to subscribe to broadband if they could choose a lower speed / lower priced package. This next generation of adopters is less concerned with connection speed than their predecessors and more interested in cost.

The report was titled Technologically Advanced Family (TAF) Survey. The report further suggests that bundling will prove an effective strategy for targeting the secondary consumer market for broadband services.

31 per cent of broadband households chose their high-speed providers because of bundled discounts for multiple services. Bundling allows providers to lower the monthly price of broadband without sacrificing subscriber profitability because of higher revenue per customer and lower churn

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