Global broadband subscribers grow 13% to 581 million in Q3 2011

By Telecom Lead Team: Latest broadband and IPTV figures
published by the Broadband Forum show a significant surge in growth in Q3 2011,
with more new subscribers added in the quarter than at any time since early

The figures also point to the growing importance of fiber
as FTTH and hybrid FTTx deployments increase.

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 percent, and an annual growth rate of 12.89

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,” said Robin Mersh,
CEO of the Broadband Forum.

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 percent
overall, compared to 2.2 percent for cable modems and 2 percent for DSL.

FTTx added 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
percent – is fast catching up with cable’s 19.5 percent.

Hybrid FTTx will be where the action is over the next few
years.  Consumers are showing signs of being ready to pay for faster
connections and the hybrid solution set is a cost effective way of getting
relatively high speeds to them,” said Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic.

With a rise of almost 1.5 percent in the year, the
proportion of broadband subscribers in Asia continues 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 continues 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 percent of
the total market share in broadband.

Of the top ten countries, strongest growth continues 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.

IPTV subscribers grew by 6.06 percent in the third
quarter of 2011 and now total 54.4 million globally. IPTV continues to grow
steadily, generating significant additional revenues as service providers work
hard to make IPTV an integral part of their product package. 

Asia, once again, is the fastest growing region for IPTV
but European markets are strengthening on an individual basis and 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.

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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