ABI: Fiber Is Fastest-Growing Broadband Technology

  • Broadband Competition
  • Broadband Penetration
  • FTTH
SINGAPORE - Fiber is the fastest-growing broadband technology platform, according to research by ABI Research, because it is the technology of choice for advanced applications such as IPTV, videoconferencing, education and health care. ABI estimates there will be 71 million fiber broadband subscribers at the end of 2011.

Worldwide fixed broadband subscribers totaled 503 million at the end of 2010, says ABI (a slightly lower estimate than the one we reported yesterday from Point Topic. Nearly 48 million subscribers were added in the fourth quarter alone. “The increasing penetration of IPTV and online video services is among the factors that boost the growth in subscriptions,” says practice director Jason Blackwell.

In countries with high broadband penetration, such as South Korea, Hong Kong and France, broadband operators are trying to gain market share by means of competitive speed and price offers. The result is a drop in broadband subscription fees and also a push toward more advanced services. To meet the demand for higher speeds, operators are upgrading their broadband networks. For example, the UK’s national broadband operator, British Telecom, has plans to roll out fiber-to-the cabinet (FTTC) technology in 41 towns by spring next year. This plan will enable households in these areas to get broadband access at up to 40 Mbps.

“Network upgrades and offers by the operators of multimedia services over broadband network will accelerate the growing number of subscribers adopting higher broadband speeds,” says research associate Khin Sandi Lynn. At the end of the third quarter of 2010, 7.6 percent of global broadband subscribers could access download speeds above 20 Mbps, up from 6.4 percent in 2Q10.

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