ABI Research: One-third of households worldwide subscribe to fixed broadband service

In North America and Europe, penetration of fixed broadband service has reached or exceeded 72 percent of households, the researcher said.
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More than 72 percent of households in North America have fixed broadband service, representing the highest level of penetration worldwide, according to newly released data from ABI Research.

However, due in part to the addition of 1.2 million new broadband subscribers in the second quarter of 2012, Europe is approaching the North American level with 72 percent of households subscribing, the findings reveal.

Worldwide the fixed broadband market will account for 618.7 million subscribers by the end of the years. This will represent more than one-third of world’s total households will have a fixed broadband connection at the end of 2012.

In Western Europe, several major broadband providers, including British Telecom, Deutsche Telecom, and Iliad Telecom, their subscribers by more than 1 percent in the second quarter. Growth in North America for the quarter registered .8 percent. However, Cox Communications experienced broadband subscriber growth of about 3 percent, ABI Research said.

“As broadband operators upgrade their networks, customers are snapping up the faster services,” said research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn. “At the end of 2Q-2012, more than 44 percent of total customers subscribe to a broadband service of 10Mb/s and above.”

Worldwide, all fixed broadband platforms, including DSL, cable and fiber-optic broadband, grew. In the second quarter, DSL broadband subscriptions grew 1.2 percent compared to the first quarter, with 4.3 million subscribers, a slight drop in the 1.5-percent quarter-over-quarter growth rate from Q3 2011 to Q1 2012. The slower growth results from subscribers seeking out alternative platforms, such as fiber optic.

“Development of next generation broadband networks is creating opportunities to upgrade customers to fiber optic. Fiber optics broadband market-share is expected to increase to 13.2 percent by year-end 2012 from 12 percent in 2011, while DSL market-share will decline nearly 1 percentage point from 64 percent in 2011,” said Jake Saunders, ABI Research VP and practice director of core forecasting.