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Fixed broadband subs approach 500 mil.

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Global fixed broadband subscriptions will reach half a billion in 2010, driven by continued growth in emerging markets, according to figures released by Informa Telecoms & Media on Thursday.

Fixed broadband markets in mature countries are fast approaching saturation point, but tens of millions of homes in some of the world’s largest markets, such as China and India, are still without connectivity and it is these developing regions that are poised to drive a second wave of broadband growth.

The number of net new fixed broadband subscriptions in 2009 grew to over 480 million, largely as a result of accelerating growth in emerging markets. That number is expected to reach 500 million this year. China, Russia, Mexico, India and Vietnam were among the countries that recorded the greatest leaps in fixed-broadband subscription numbers in 2009.

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“China extended its lead over the US, and Russia overtook Italy to claim the number eight spot. India, Mexico, Turkey, the Ukraine and Vietnam look set to also grow strongly, provided that current trends continue,” said Rob Gallagher, principal analyst at Informa. “Given that about four out of five households do not have broadband in these markets, there is still much room for growth. We forecast that these underserved markets will contribute the bulk of the next 100 million subscriptions by 2014. This represents a major opportunity. Already we have seen that most of the world’s fastest-growing operators were based in underpenetrated emerging markets,” Gallagher added.

Analyst figures indicate that seven of the top 20 countries by fixed broadband subscription count at the end of September 2009 could be classified as emerging markets. The number of net additions in each of these countries was up substantially year-on-year, while those of the world’s largest developed markets were either flat or down.

Countries by fixed broadband subscriptions, September 2009

Rank Country Subscriptions
1 China 91,348,000
2 US 82,846,600
3 Japan 31,240,000
4 Germany 25,114,300
5 France 19,306,400
6 UK 18,033,300
7 Korea 16,238,262
8 Russia 12,356,100
9 Italy 12,116,350
10 Brazil 10,951,600
11 Spain 9,681,520
12 Canada 9,562,000
13 Mexico 8,771,100
14 India 7,653,460
15 Netherlands 6,274,000
16 Turkey 6,166,800
17 Australia 5,968,000
18 Poland 5,654,100
19 Taiwan 5,549,440
20 Argentina 3,543,800

Source: Informa Telecoms & Media

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