2008 Global Broadband Market - Demand for Faster Networks

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Last updated: 8 Apr 2008 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 170

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide development of the broadband sector. Information at a regional level is also provided for the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. The report includes analyses, statistics, forecasts and trends. It provides a comprehensive insight into the progress of broadband and examines the key issues and opportunities.


Subjects covered include:

  • High level analyses of the broadband market and its importance as essential infrastructure;
  • Broadband statistics including current and historical subscribers, regional subscribers and penetration;
  • Average broadband costs and speeds;
  • Internet usage and penetration statistics;
  • Broadband statistics by country;
  • Analysis of broadband trends and infrastructure;
  • Cable modem infrastructure including statistics;
  • DSL infrastructure including statistics;
  • FTTx infrastructure including statistics;
  • BPL infrastructure including statistics;
  • Satellite broadband infrastructure including statistics;
  • Regional information including statistics.


Researchers: Paul Budde, Lawrence Baker, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Phil Harpur, Kay Harris, Lisa Hulme-Jones, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange, Kylie Wansink.

Current publication date: April 2008 (8th Edition)

Next publication date: April 2009


Executive Summary

The primary driver behind users upgrading to broadband is simple – users want fast Internet connections. And as the popularity of Web 2.0 applications continues to grow, this demand will in turn continue to build. The opportunities high-speed services present are becoming apparent and Internet users are increasingly tiring of the problems and slow speeds associated with dial-up services. In 2008 broadband subscribers now account for roughly 30% of all worldwide Internet subscribers. For more information, see chapter 1.1, page 1.

Broadband and high-speed wireless penetrations will continue to increase, as will the growth of new applications that could exploit these higher speeds. Internet access is just one of many services that will be delivered over broadband infrastructure. Far more importantly, other services that depend on high quality broadband infrastructure include e-health, e-education, e-business, digital media, e-government, smart utility meter reading, etc. In countries where the national telco is lagging behind, local governments have no other choice than to take a leadership role - just as they have done with similar infrastructure over the last 100 years. For more information, see chapter 1.2, page12.

Broadband is clearly established as one of the fastest growing new technologies in history. While DSL is the most effective and economical route to global broadband deployment, the emphasis of the next phase of broadband is on increasing speeds which via ADSL2+ and VDSL is leading to FttH. For more information, see chapter 2.1, page 17.

Globally the installed base and market share of FTTx technologies is continuing to increase and there are now over 35 million subscribers worldwide. FTTx captures almost 11% of the market share of broadband technologies – although DSL is still easily the leader with around 66%. In 2008 Japan still leads the world in terms of FttH connections and the USA and South Korea continue to rapidly roll out. Europe still lagged behind Asia and the USA in 2007 but this gap is expected to close sharply in 2008. For more information, see chapter 4.3, page 76.

Satellite broadband first turned a corner around 2005 and today there is further evidence of growing success in this sector. Services from WildBlue and Hughes now reach thousands of customers in North America. ViaSat and Eutelsat are also expected to launch Ka-band satellite services across Europe and North America; significantly increasing the potential of satellite broadband in these markets. For more information, see chapter 4.5, page 97.

The market for BPL also remains positive, despite the several obstacles that continue to hinder the industry. A solid growth is expected for this sector in 2008. For several years the lack of an international standard has held the industry back, but there is progress in this area - in late 2007 a joint IEEE standards proposal was submitted by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance and Panasonic. IPTV over BPL is becoming a competitive technology for carrying HDTV signals into the home and BPL also offers benefits in home networking due to its ubiquity.

However, with mainly low-risk-taking utilities involved in this market, they have become unwilling to take-on the telcos in the broadband market. Instead they are more interested in using BPL for smart grid applications and Demand Side Management services, such as switching on and switching off facilities for appliances, meter-reading, etc. This demand is expected to increase as pressure to reduce energy consumption intensifies worldwide. For more information, see chapter 4.4, page 84.

This report provides an insight and analysis into the trends and developments taking place primarily in the fixed broadband sector. Wireless broadband is covered in detail in a separate annual publication. The report comprises a global overview of the progress of broadband technologies and subscribers, including DSL and FttH. The report includes detailed information on broadband infrastructure including cable modems, xDSL, FTTx, BPL and satellite broadband. Developments and statistics at a regional level are also provided for North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. The report contains BuddeComm’s analyses of the current and future broadband sector.

Key highlights:

  • In early 2008 there were over 350 million broadband subscribers worldwide.

Worldwide broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2008


Approximate broadband subscribers (million)

Percentage change













2008 (e)



(Source: BuddeComm - Global - Broadband - Statistical Overview)

  • During 2008 to 2013, worldwide fixed broadband services revenues are expected to grow by between 8-13%.
  • Worldwide satellite broadband service revenues are also expected to grow on average around 8% in the coming years.
  • DSL subscribers are expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 13% through to 2011. For more information, see chapter 4.2, page 68.
  • Broadband is seen as being vital to both the economy and the community. BuddeComm estimates that it will add over $100 billon to the Australian economy. For more information see chapter 5.6.1, page 136.
  • In New Zealand Telecom’s cabinetisation plan will see the incumbent replace 2,000 local exchanges when they roll out their FttN network. This could potentially make ULL investments in DSLAMs obsolete. For more information, see chapter 5.6.2, page 142.
  • As with the past decade, the coming decade will witness the Internet, underpinned by broadband, having dramatic impacts on the lives of North Americans. For more information, see chapter 5.1, page 106.
  • Eight new international submarine fibre projects are planned around Africa and expected to go online in 2008 and 2009.
  • 3G mobile networks in South Africa are being upgraded to 7.2Mb/s and surpassing ADSL subscriber numbers. For more information, see chapter 5.4.1, page 123.
  • The broadband market in Latin America has been growing steadily in most countries, and there is considerable room for expansion. Although the situation varies considerably from country to country, the region as a whole is a fertile ground for broadband investment. For more information, see chapter 5.2, page 107.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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