Global broadband subscribers to reach 676 million in 2012

As per the report, the number of broadband subscribers worldwide will amount to 949 million by 2015, up 58 percent from 2011. The global broadband subscriber base is set to grow by nearly 60 percent in the coming years.

Lee Ratliff, senior analyst for broadband and digital home at IHS, said: “Global broadband subscriber activity serves as a long-term barometer of the overall health of the broadband industry, as well as an accurate prognosticator of prospects for the space’s associated markets in broadband equipment and broadband-related semiconductors.

“With demand for internet access rising quickly in China as well as in other fast-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, the broadband supply chain is set for strong growth in the coming years.”

Together, China and the Asia-Pacific region accounted for a disproportionately large share of new subscribers in 2011 - China alone accounted for 38 percent of all new subscribers worldwide, followed by Asia-Pacific with 14 percent.

However, the growth of the Asian territory is bifurcated: Much-slower expansion in the future will occur in developed countries like Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, compared to the rapid increase set to take place in developing areas such as China, India and Indonesia.

Still, Asia-Pacific is expected to expand at a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 percent overall from 2010 to 2015.

Growth also will be very fast in Eastern Europe, Latin America and the collective region of the Middle East and Africa known as MEA, with CAGRs ranging from 16 to 33 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Meanwhile, North America and Europe will see slower expansions in broadband subscriber numbers, with CAGRs of five and seven percent respectively during the same period.

In the US, broadband subscriber activity has been particularly dynamic, with telephone companies and traditional cable providers competing fiercely to win new customers.

As a result, traditional cable providers like Comcast and Time Warner have taken back the lead, accounting for as much as 58 percent of net additions in the region during the second quarter of 2011, the latest time that full figures are available.

For the broadband equipment market, the transition from broadband to much-faster wideband technologies has kept revenue growth healthy.

Among broadband technologies, asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) continues to account for more than half of all net additions in the world with 51 percent share in the second quarter of 2011, driven by demand in developing regions, particularly China and Latin America.

The combined market share of fiber technologies came in second with about 34 percent of the market, followed by cable modems at nine percent and the technology known as very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL) with six percent.

In the broadband semiconductor market, Ikanos Communications from California continued to lose share as it shifted away from ADSL to focus on VDSL. The beneficiaries of such a development have been Broadcom Corporation and Germany-based Lantiq.

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