Number of broadband households grew more than 18% in 2008

JULY 7, 2009 -- Going forward, value-added services and stimulus funds will help increase subscriber numbers, according to new research from Parks Associates.

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JULY 7, 2009 -- The demand for high-bandwidth applications will jump in the next few years as the number of households worldwide with broadband will reach close to 650 million by 2013, according to international research firm Parks Associates (search Lightwave for Parks Associates). The firm's new report, "Broadband Services: Global Outlook," warns that service providers will have to continue investing in network technologies to accommodate multiple services such as video-on-demand and converging social networking applications.

Parks Associates reports the number of broadband households worldwide grew by more than 18% in 2008 to exceed 400 million. Asia-Pacific is the largest market, accounting for over 160 million subscribers, and it is expected to garner more than 49% of the global market share by 2013.

In the United States, the federal government, at the request of the Obama Administration, will soon release billions of dollars from the stimulus package to promote expansion of affordable high-speed Internet services in rural areas, which will open new areas in the country to advanced online services.

"Bandwidth will continue to be a focus as the operators re-architect their networks to deliver multiple services over the same infrastructure; however, in such a competitive field, bandwidth alone is not enough to win subscribers," cautions Kurt Scherf, vice president, principal analyst, Parks Associates. "Blended applications, combining services such as online video and customer support, offer operators an opportunity to increase ARPU. In addition, innovative new services will help differentiate service providers, which can then compete on factors beyond pricing or raw bandwidth."

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