The number of fixed-line broadband subscribers around the world grew 6% in 2013 to surpass 665.4 million subscribers, according to the latest figures from market research firm ABI Research.
The fiber-optic broadband segment grew at a robust rate of 29% versus 2012 to reach 126.6 million subscribers in 2013. By 2019, fiber-optic broadband is expected to reach 265 million subscribers, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.7%.
Globally, the cable broadband market grew nearly 7% to reach 161 million subscribers while the DSL broadband market contracted around 1% to 378 million subscribers in 2013. The increasing number of customers opting for high-speed fiber-optic broadband service contributed to a decline in DSL broadband subscriptions in Asia-Pacific and North America.
“Global DSL broadband service revenue dropped nearly 2% in 2013, mainly due to a declining subscriber base and average revenue per user in the Asia-Pacific,” said Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director of core forecasting at ABI Research.
Worldwide fiber-optic broadband service revenues grew over 15% to $46 billion in 2013. Operators such as BT Group in the UK and VimpelCom in Russia reported that growth in their fiber-optic broadband customers contributed to overall service revenue growth in 2013.
“Since revenue from traditional services such as voice and messaging is declining, innovative services and content over high-speed broadband networks are proving essential for operators to maintain overall service revenue growth,” said Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst with ABI Research. The market research firm forecasts that the worldwide fiber-optic broadband market will generate $100 billion in service revenues in 2019.
Chinese operators dominate the fixed broadband subscriber rankings. China Telecom and China Unicom lead with over 100 million and 64 million broadband subscribers, respectively, at the end of 2013. Currently the two companies own 53% and 34% market share, respectively, in their home market. China Mobile received a license to invest in fixed broadband services at the end of 2013, likely spurring the Chinese fixed broadband market to have greater competition and faster infrastructure development, ABI Research says.
The data is from ABI Research’s quarterly “Broadband Carriers and Revenue” market data report, which profiles broadband subscription by operator, country, and technology. The database forms part of the company’s Broadband Subscribers Market Research product.
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