Europe edges out Asia in IPTV as networks show strong growth

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 13-01-2012

Broadband and IPTV have shown a significant surge in growth in Q3-2011 to more than 581 million subs with more additions in the quarter than at any time since early 2009. The figures published by the Broadband Forum by Point Topic also point to the growing importance of fibre as FTTH and hybrid FTTx deployments increase. Such a growth in connectivity has boosted the TV industry considerably with IPTV approaching 55 million subscribers as Europe holds on to top regional position against strong growth out of Asia. Overall broadband growth during the quarter was calculated to be 17.4 million lines, bringing the global total to 581.3 million, representing a quarterly increase of 3.08% 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,” commented Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum. “We are especially pleased to see the trend in fibre technologies beginning to take off. " Indeed the data shows that FTTx is now gaining ground on more traditional technologies with in percentage terms both FTTH and FTTx/hybrid showing the largest growth with over 8% overall, compared to 2.2% for cable modems and 2% 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% - is fast catching up with cable’s 19.5%. However DSL continues to be the most dominant technology, adding more lines than any other in Q3. Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic said: “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.” IPTV subscribers grew by 6.06% in the third quarter of 2011 and now total 54.4 million globally. The data showed steady growth in IPTV which generated significant additional revenues as service providers work hard to make IPTV an integral part of their product package. Even though Asia continued its leadership in IPTV, European markets were were said to be strengthening on an individual basis. Notably, all the top ten countries for IPTV reported strong growth.