Hong Kong Has Best Consumer Broadband Value

  • Broadband Competition
Hong Kong now has the best value on Earth for consumer broadband, according to a new analysis by Point Topic, while Singapore joins the top-10 list for the first time. The data, collected quarterly by Point Topic, showcases the best broadband deals around the world. The United States does not appear on the top-10 list.

“Consumers in different countries are faced with very different broadband tariffs, dependent on geography, market and network maturity, local competition and various levels and sources of subsidy,” explains Fiona Vanier, senior analyst at Point Topic.

In the stand-alone tariffs that Point Topic tracks, bandwidth can vary from 150 Kbps – which barely qualifies as broadband - up to 1 Gbps. Many offerings come with data limits, e-mail addresses or static IP addresses, and that is before accounting for special offers. To help compare offerings, Point Topic analyzed the amount a consumer pays for 1 Mbps of bandwidth for the first year of a broadband subscription.*
Figure 1

Figure 1: Top 10 countries for consumer broadband Q310 and prices in Q210-by US$/Mbit (PPP rates year average)

“Nine of the ten best-value tariffs are either pure fiber or hybrid offerings where fiber is a significant part of the local loop. The exception is Germany, where Unity Media offers a cable service that is very competitive,” says Vanier.

Rankings can change very quickly. If a particular operator upgrades its network or decides to introduce a new tariff, it can result in a significant improvement in the cost on offer to the consumer.
Figure 2

Figure 2: Largest quarterly percentage reductions in price per megabit –
Q2 to Q3 2010 (PPP rates)

“Prices are stabilizing in many markets around the world, and overall in the last quarter there was an average increase globally. However, there are plenty of countries that are still rolling out new networks and ISPs that are announcing new tariffs,” adds Vanier. “Even in relatively mature markets, like Singapore or Italy, there is room for improvement, as the new tariffs from StarHub and Fastweb demonstrate.”

Faster downstream speeds do usually mean a lower price per Mbps, but the bandwidth has to be used for those savings to be achieved. “Bandwidth will continue to increase as fiber edges closer to the consumer. Higher speeds generally mean better value for the consumer. All that remains is to work out how best to use it,” says Vanier.

* The first year of a broadband subscription includes a number of costs. In addition to the monthly rental, a consumer can pay for the installation, activation and cost of the equipment. Adding these together and converting to a common base using 2008 purchasing power parity exchange rates from the United Nations and then calculating the amount per megabit of bandwidth produces a listing from which the lowest cost per megabit for a generally available, stand-alone (that is, broadband-only) tariff in each country is selected. Seventy countries provided enough data to qualify for this analysis.

Table 1: Lowest cost/megabit by country, operator and tariff – the top 10 (PPP rates)

Country, ISP and tariff $/Mb
Hong Kong, HKBN, (bb Fibre Home 1000) 0.028
Japan, KDDI, (FTTH AU-Hikari Mansion Giga) 0.048
Romania, Romtelecom, (Clicknet Power) 0.163
Sweden, Riksnet, (Riksnet Broadband 100) 0.182
Latvia, Lattelecom, (Fibre Internet 4) 0.241
China, China Tietong, (J3 Shared 100M VDSL Unlimited)*** 0.247
Singapore, StarHub Cable Vision, (MaxInfinity Supreme) 0.271
Russia, Beeline (VimpelCom), (High Speed 22G)** 0.353
Germany, UnityMedia, (1play Internet) 0.415
Finland, Elisa, (Laajakaista Super 100M/10M) 0.443

Table 2: Lowest cost/megabit by country, operator and tariff – the bottom 10 (PPP rates)

Peru, Telefonica del Peru, Speedy 500 209.29
South Africa, Sainet, Consumer Uncapped 176.92
Kenya, Telkom Kenya, Broadband Nyumbani 1 Mbps 145.38
Indonesia, PT Telkom, Speedy Home 384 Kbps Limited 3GB 104.08
Bolivia, COSETT, ADSL Exclusivo 256K 90.72
Belarus, Beltelecom, Super Home 79.76
Venezuela, Cantv, ABA 1024 63.24
Algeria, Algerie Telecom, ADSL 1 Mbps unlimited 54.74
Turkey, Turk Telekom, Nete Davet 46.18
Kuwait, Qualitynet, Light Surf Unlimited 39.83

Table 3: Largest quarterly percentage reductions in price per megabit – Q2 to Q3 2010 (PPP rates)

Country % drop in best available consumer tariff (q2 to q3)
Saudi Arabia -93%
India -84%
Turkey -71%
Singapore -70%
Kuwait -65%
Bulgaria -65%
Italy -64%
Thailand -52%
Pakistan -49%
Norway -43%


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