Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 28-09-2011

The steady rollout of broadband networks past the half billion subscriber mark has driven the global IPTV market past the milestone of 50 million customers.
In what has been a successful first half of 2011, 29 million broadband customers were added to the total of 558 million broadband users according to The Broadband and IPTV Growth Report prepared for the Broadband Forum by industry analysts Point Topic.

The knock on effect of this has been hugely positive in terms of TV. In all 9% of the world's broadband homes now subscribe to an IPTV service, an increase from 7.8% in June last year. Europe is still the leading IPTV region with strong growth in France, Romania, Russia and Belarus. The analyst believes that the respective competitive and regulatory environment coupled with a relatively high broadband penetration mean that all these markets show good prospects for future growth.

France still leads the IPTV market with 11.05 million subscribers, representing over half of French broadband lines. However the threat from the east is emerging as Asia has increased its market share by almost 5% in the last 12 months and shows signs of accelerating in a number of markets. The region will likely overtake Europe in 2012 in terms of IPTV subscribers.
China currently boasts 10.5 million subscribers are equivalent to around 7.6% of lines in the market and there are growing IPTV hotspots in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The former boasts one of the highest IPTV penetrations anywhere in the world.
Growth in the remainder of the Top 10 IPTV nations is healthy with all markets apart from Spain reporting significant double digit growth in the year to end June 2011.

The report shows that fibre deployment will be key to next phase of broadband growth and robust service offerings. Indeed FTTH and FTTx technologies increased to 14.8% of the market share.
"Globally broadband continues to grow strongly and all indications are that as an industry it has weathered the financial uncertainties of the last two years very well. Increased competition, new markets and market sectors being developed and the recognition of broadband as a vital part of any household or business have all contributed to the continued expansion of the industry," said Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.