3.6 billion will have broadband by 2015

By 2015, half the world's population will have broadband access and 1.4 billion people globally will access both fixed-line and mobile broadband as usage grows rapidly and services converge, says analyst firm Ovum.

In two new reports the independent telecoms analyst firm unveils research conducted on the future of the broadband market, which shows that in 2015 approximately 3.6 billion people will be able to access broadband services, 50% of the world’ s population.

Michael Philpot, Ovum analyst and co-author of the reports, commented: “ Broadband access is now as important as other essential utilities such as gas, water and electricity. In the developed world it has become a basic requirement and penetration is above 60% of households in many markets.”

In 2015, the majority of users (1.4 billion) will access both fixed-line and mobile services, showing a trend towards convergence of services. These ‘ dual access subscribers’ will mainly be in the developed markets of North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific, where 84% will have dual access.

Charlie Davies, Ovum analyst and report co-author, said: “ This convergence of services will see operators growing the revenues they generate from users by offering service bundles.

“ However dual access use will not only happen in the developed word. Rapidly growing urban areas in the emerging markets where there is a larger proportion of high-value customers will also see growth in this area. “

Mobile broadband will continue to grow rapidly and by 2015 one billion people will use it as their only form of internet access, which is 28% of all users globally or 13% of the world’ s population. This will mainly be driven by emerging markets in Eastern Europe (where 38% of broadband users will be mobile only in 2015), South and Central America (35%) and Asia Pacific (34%).

Steven Hartley, Ovum principal analyst and report co-author, commented: “ The primary reason for the strength of the mobile broadband market in the emerging markets is a lack of fixed-line infrastructure. However the areas that see the greatest penetration are those where there are affordable devices and sufficiently capable mobile networks.

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