Operator competition drives global increase in fixed broadband

Editor | 21-11-2012

The need for speed as people make increased use of over-the-top (OTT) and managed IPTV services will drive the fixed broadband market to reach 745 million homes by 2017, says a new report from Digital TV Research.

According to The Fixed Broadband Household Forecasts report, this will represent a significant rise from the 473 million homes in 2010 and the 578 million expected by the end of 2012. In percentage terms this will mean global fixed broadband household penetration will be 49.2% by 2017, up from 33.5% in 2010 and 40.3% by the end of this year.

China is set to remain the top nation by fixed broadband households in 2017, with 251 million homes, while the US is likely to retain second place with 101 million homes.

The survey also found that three-quarters of fixed broadband households received download speeds of less than 10Mbps in 2010, with only 2.3% above 30Mbps. Yet the analyst expects the under 10Mbps proportion to have fallen to 58% by the end of 2012, and to drop to 31% by 2017. In contrast, the greater than 30Mbps proportion is projected reach 7.2% by end-2012, rapidly advancing to more than a quarter of the total by 2017.

Commenting on the reasons for the growth, report author Simon Murray said: “Perhaps just as interesting as the overall increase in fixed broadband household numbers is the shift of homes subscribing to faster download speeds. Many governments have initiated national broadband network projects, which involve extensive capital expenditure to build out modern (usually fibre) networks. In other countries, greater competition has encouraged operators to construct fibre networks from their own initiatives.”