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40 Million New Broadband Subscribers and 14.1% Growth in IPTV Mark a Year of Steady Growth

BERLIN, April 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Year-end figures for broadband and IPTV, published today by the Broadband Forum, show a slowing but steady growth in broadband subscribers with some significant trends in technology and regional growth in new markets. The figures, prepared by Point Topic, highlight the addition of over 40 million new users world-wide, an annual increase of 6.15%, bringing the global total up to 678,455,893.

News Highlights:

  • 40 million new subscribers in 2013 takes total broadband lines to 678.6 million world-wide
  • Overall figures show steady growth but slowing as older markets reach saturation
  • DSL is still the predominant technology, but fiber continues to outpace all access types in new deployments
  • IPTV is nearing the 100 million subscriber threshold with 21% growth in 2013 and 17 million new subscribers taking the total to 96 million at yearend 2013

Speaking at the Fixed Access Networks Summit in Berlin, Germany (8-10 April 2014), Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh said: "These figures for 2013 give an extremely interesting picture both regionally and in terms of the changes in technology choices as some markets reach saturation and others start their digital journey. They are a great illustration of the 'second age of broadband access,' with existing customers demanding more bandwidth and operators introducing new technologies."

The figures show that copper-based technologies (DSL, ADSL and ADSL2plus) continue to be dominant, although fiber-based technologies (which include VDSL and VDSL2) are taking a firmer grip and – with growth rates of 17.6% overall.

Regional Growth and Top 10 Countries
China (including all territories) remains at the top of the table with over 192 million subscribers at the end of the year, having added over 3 million new subscribers in Q4 alone. There were no changes in the table of Top 10 Countries during the year, and just one change in positions as the Russian Federation passed France to take up fifth place in the table. Both Russia and Brazil are likely to continue to move up the league table and Mexico is likely to displace India during the first half of 2014.

Commenting on likely future trends, Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic, said: "There are signs that fiber infrastructure in Africa will start to make an impact going forward, reflecting their second mover advantage. The relatively low deployment rate of DSL means any further growth can be based on optical technologies. Fixed wireless will also make up an increasing proportion of Africa's subscribers in the coming quarters.  With acceptable bandwidths and much lower deployment costs, the technologies that make up this sector are well placed to gain market share."

Point Topic also reports high percentage rates in a number of emerging markets, significantly in the Middle East and North Africa, with over 10% growth in Oman, 9% in Gabon and over 6% in Morocco, Uruguay and Algeria.

IPTV 
IPTV is nearing the 100 million subscriber threshold with 21% growth in 2013 and 17 million new subscribers taking the total to 96M at yearend 2013. At the end of 2013, 14.1% of fixed broadband subscribers also subscribed to an IPTV service, making this an important driver of continuing growth in the demand for high speed broadband.

Regionally the best performance towards the end of the year was seen in Asian markets and Eastern Europe, driven by a significant surge in demand in Russia.

The data provided in these biannual reports is a critical element in informing the industry on key trends and developments in the market and is an important foundation for the work that the Broadband Forum undertakes in enabling new technologies. The specifications, test plans and certification programs of the Broadband Forum all help to support the growing deployment of fiber technologies and also the advances in hybrid technologies such as Vectoring and G.fast that extend fiber but make use of the existing copper infrastructure.

"Our twice-yearly reports on the development of the fixed broadband market are invaluable to us as we continue to drive towards greater interoperability between products and services and the seamless migration from one technology to the next as we move more and more towards faster and better broadband for all," concluded Mersh.

For more information about the Broadband Forum and its work in these areas, please go to www.broadband-forum.org

For further information please contact Brian Dolby on +44 (0) 7899 914168 or Dana Hare on +44 (0) 1636 812152 or send an email to [email protected]  or [email protected].

About the Broadband Forum
Broadband Forum, a non-profit industry organization, is focused on engineering smarter and faster broadband networks. Our work defines best practices for global networks, enables service and content delivery, establishes technology migration strategies, engineers critical device & service management tools, and is key to redefining broadband. Our free technical reports and white papers can be found at www.broadband-forum.org. Twitter @Broadband_Forum.

To see the complete release and figures, please visit: http://www.broadband-forum.org/news/download/pressreleeases/2014/Figuresrelease_9Apr14.pdf

SOURCE The Broadband Forum

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