Developed Asia Trumps U.S. and Europe in Fast Broadband Development Index

  • Broadband Development Index
  • Ovum
LONDON — The U.S. is listed eighth of the top 10 global markets in the Broadband Development Index, a new service launched by global technology research and advisory firm Ovum to track the take-up of high-speed fixed and mobile broadband services in 191 countries. In projections for 2019, the U.S. drops completely off the top ten list.

The Asian markets of South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan currently occupy the top four spots for end-2014 in the Broadband Development Index. Ovum expects these to retain their positions over the next five years. The U.S. holds the eight position thanks largely to the success of its early LTE rollouts, but will fall back to 13th by 2019.

European Ranking Expected to Improve
European rankings will, however, improve over the next five years as a result of investment in LTE and fast fixed-broadband networks. The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden will all become top-ten markets by 2019.

Other big movers between 2014 and 2019 include China and India, which will rise from 59th and 157th to 35th and 125th respectively. Germany (29th at the end of 2014), the UK (27th) and Spain (33rd) will also improve their rankings over the period. The biggest faller will be Qatar – from 5th to 16th. Qatar’s migration to fast mobile broadband is forecast to be relatively slow, and its fast fixed-broadband score stops increasing after 2014 when it reaches 100% penetration.

Index Includes Both Fixed and Mobile Broadband
“Previous country-by-country comparisons of broadband connectivity have focused on basic broadband connectivity and on fixed rather than mobile telecommunications,” notes Milena Cooper, senior financial analyst at Ovum. “We wanted to find a way to include both fixed and mobile broadband because in many emerging markets mobile is the de facto broadband technology.”

“In practice, those countries that score highly on fast fixed broadband do likewise for mobile broadband. South Korea and Singapore rank first and second respectively in both fixed and mobile fast broadband throughout the forecast period,” concludes Cooper.

Top Ten Broadband  Countries in 2014 and 2019.  Source: Ovum

Top Ten Broadband Countries in 2014 and 2019.
Source: Ovum

Broadband Development Index
In the Broadband Development Index countries score points for connecting people to basic fixed and mobile networks. They score higher points for basic fixed and mobile broadband connections. But the highest scores are for connecting people to fiber, VDSL and DOCSIS 3.0 on the fixed side and to LTE networks in mobile. As such, the Index should be used as a tool for understanding the speed of broadband, and fast-broadband adoption in different countries and regions across the world.

The numbers in the Index are taken from Ovum’s two online interactive databases, the World Cellular Information Service and the World Broadband Information Service. The 2014 numbers are year-end forecasts based on actual connections for June 30, 2014.


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