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APAC fixed broadband lines to reach 182M this year

Posted: 21 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fixed broadband? mobile broadband? Asia Pacific market?

Asia Pacific's fixed broadband subscribers are expected to grow 17.3 percent to reach 182 million users by the end of 2009 according to Frost & Sullivan. This equates to estimated billings of $44.9 billion, a rise of 13.3 percent over 2008.

Even as mobile broadband grows in tandem, Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Adeel Najam expects fixed broadband uptake to continue. He attributes this to the various government initiatives in rolling-out their national broadband ambitions such as Malaysia's high-speed broadband project, Australia's national broadband network and Singapore's iN2015 master plan. He also expects telcos in developing markets to continue deploying basic xDSL infrastructure.

By next year when most of the government-initiated projects are earmarked for full-scale roll-out, broadband users in Asia Pacific are expected to breach the 200-million-mark closing the year 2010 at 212.6 million.

Frost & Sullivan finds that the broadband subscriber base in the regioncovering 14 Asia Pacific countries including Japanwill grow at a CAGR of 14.1 percent annually from 2009-2014, to reach 342.9 million subscribers by the end of 2014. In that same year, the region's household broadband penetration would have risen to 37.2 percent, from only about 18 percent last year, with revenues estimated at close to $69 billion.

"The bulk of bandwidth growth and network roll-outs in the next few years will be driven by fibre-to-the-node deployments aided mainly by government spending on national high-speed broadband projects," Najam says, adding that xDSL will however remain the dominant platform in developing markets.

According to Najam, "Consumer appetite for broadband will be spurred by the demand for high throughput value-added services such as IPTV and video-on-demand."

He adds that services such as Web 2.0, social networking, file-sharing, online gaming, as well as falling PC prices and availability of low-cost netbooks have also added impetus towards broadband consumption.

Country stats
In 2008, South Korea had the highest household broadband penetration rate at 92.8 percentone of the highest in the world. It is followed by Hong Kong at 85 percent; Singapore, 78.5 percent; Taiwan, 66 percent; Australia, 63.7 percent; and Japan at 62.7 percent. The remaining eight markets have household broadband penetration rates of less than 60 percent.

By number of subscribers, in 2008 China had the most fixed broadband users with 83.4 million (53.8 percent of the region's total subscriber base), followed by Japan with 30 million and South Korea with 15.5 million.

Looking forward, Najam dispels the threat of mobile broadband to fixed broadband services. He believes that both these access services need to co-exist, "In the age of convergence and multi-play services, both wireless and wireline broadband should be viewed as complementing technology to offer subscribers with blended services.

"While mobile broadband has significantly lower throughput than fixed access, it provides residential users with the convenience of 'on-the-go' connectivity," he adds.

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