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Broadband users to top 949m by 2015

IHS expects the number of broadband users worldwide to reach 949 million by 2015, with rapid growth in the MEA region.

In its new iSuppli report, IHS says the growth will be driven by rising demand for fast Internet access, particularly from China and other developing regions. It sees the global broadband subscriber base growing by nearly 60% in the coming years, with about 350 million new consumers projected to come online from 2011 to 2015.

The number of broadband subscribers worldwide will amount to 949 million by 2015, up 58% from 600 million in 2011, says the report.

This year, broadband subscribers will reach 676 million, up 13% from 2011.

 “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,” said Lee Ratliff, senior analyst for broadband and digital home at IHS. “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 AsiaPacific region accounted for a disproportionately large share of new subscribers in 2011.

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% from 2010 to 2015.

Meanwhile, North America and Europe—where broadband penetration is among the highest in the world—will see slower expansions in broadband subscriber numbers.

For the broadband equipment market, the transition from broadband to much-faster wideband technologies has kept revenue growth healthy. Equipment revenue in the second quarter of 2011 climbed to USD3.3 billion, up a solid 14% from USD2.9 billion in the previous quarter.

Among broadband technologies, asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) continues to account for more than half of all net additions in the world with 51% 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% of the market, followed by cable modems at 9% and the technology known as very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL)—a speedier variant of ADSL—with 6%.

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