SINGAPORE, June 20 (Bernama) -- Broadband has passed another major milestone, according to the latest figures published by the Broadband Forum and prepared by broadband industry analysts Point Topic.
The global total of broadband subscribers soared to over 600 million in the first quarter of 2012, indicating a further acceleration in growth as over 100 million new lines were added (20 per cent of the total) in less than 18 months.
Globally, the growth in broadband during the first quarter of 2012 was estimated at 16,118,210 lines, up from just over 14 million in the last quarter of 2011
This represents a quarterly rise of 2.7 per cent and an annual increase of 11.48 per cent.
Announced during CommunicAsia in Singapore, the figures also highlight Asia's dominant position, led in both broadband and in IPTV by China.
Broadband Forum Chief Executive Officer Robin Mersh said, "It is just 18 months since we celebrated the 500 million subscriber watershed and even less time since IPTV subscribers reached 50 million, yet in both cases growth is still accelerating."
Asia continues to be the biggest overall region with 262,080,147 subscribers in total, having added 8,575,397 new lines at a growth rate of 3.38 per cent in the quarter and 15.19 per cent in the year.
Few changes have emerged in the Top 20 Broadband Country Rankings; however Russia, Brazil and India continue to show above-average growth rates both in the quarter and annually, with Ukraine and Turkey also showing high growth.
China can celebrate the highest number of new subscribers with annual growth of 26.4 million (19.17 per cent annual growth rate).
The highest annual growth rates are in Russia (27.43 per cent) and Ukraine (26.82 per cent) with China, India and Brazil also posting double-digit annual increases.
The five Asian countries in the top 20 together serve 239 million broadband subscribers, more than one-third of the global total.
Point Topic CEO Oliver Johnson said DSL is the most popular access technology on a global basis; although its market share has dropped by 0.5 per cent in the quarter, there is a long way to go before the copper-based access technology is overtaken.
For fibre, the cost-effectiveness, from the operators' point of view, and the significant increase in bandwidth over DSL in particular, is hitting the sweet spot at the moment in terms of technology market share.
Meanwhile, IPTV grows to 65.6 million, China outshines in numbers and growth rates: IPTV, the most demanding application for high-speed broadband, now has 65.6 million subscribers, up 3.8 million in the quarter.
The Asian market is advancing the fastest with China adding over three times as many IPTV subscribers in the quarter as any other country.
This gap is likely to increase even further though both France and the US are reporting strong numbers and accelerated growth in the report period.