The statistics also show that worldwide broadband subscribers have reached over 370 million with DSL remaining the most dominant access technology with 65 percent of the world’s subscribers. However, fiber subscriptions have risen by 33 percent since the beginning of 2007, with over 10 million people connected to a fiber network. This increase in fiber subscriptions may be attributed to the increased popularity of bandwidth hungry services such as IPTV. However, the leading technology delivering IPTV today is ADSL2plus, with 12,049,817 subscribers.
Nearly 15.5 million people are now subscribed to an IPTV service, with Europe having over 8.4 million subscribers, making it the strongest market in terms of growth and total subscriber numbers.
Regional IPTV subscriber growth worldwide, first quarter 2007 and 2008
Source: Data provided for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic (www.point-topic.com)
“IPTV operators around the world have shown that systems are scalable and can handle rapid growth in subscriber numbers,” said Point Topic Senior Analyst John Bosnell. “However, developing and agreeing standards will help these operators deliver IPTV more simply and effectively over a variety of access technologies and help to drive higher up take in other markets.”
DSL continues to be the most popular access technology with close to 240 million of the world’s subscribers. Cable subscriptions rates have slowed to 18 percent growth rate, while subscribers on FTTx rose 33 percent in the last year.
This increase in fiber subscribers is echoed in the current work of the Broadband Forum, which has expanded its remit over the past few years well beyond its DSL roots; first issuing access agnostic management specifications and most recently developing specifications to incorporate fiber into the standard architecture and management framework of providers. Most recently the Forum released Technical Report (TR)-142, “Framework for TR-069 enabled PON and fiber related devices”. Building on its existing TR-069, TR-142 enables vendors and service providers to remotely configure, troubleshoot and manage a Passive Optical Network (PON) – an important consideration as vendors and service providers worldwide look to maximise revenues, lower management complexities, minimise truck roll and introduce new revenue generating services.
The aim is also to enable fiber networks to work side by side with existing infrastructures – and with 370 million broadband subscribers in the world using a variety of access technologies, this is imperative to the success of fiber and others that they share common standards wherever possible.
Snapshot of Regional Broadband Growth to 31st March 2008