Broadband revenue to overtake voice in 2012, says Ovum

Global consumer fixed broadband revenues will overtake voice for the first time in 2012, according to analyst firm Ovum, as consumer landlines decline in number by 18 per cent over the next five years. While fixed voice is set to decline, fixed broadband is forecast to grow enjoy continued, steady growth.

2011 will be the last year that consumer fixed voice revenues are higher than consumer fixed broadband revenues, with the markets reaching $176bn and $167bn respectively. In 2012 the two revenue streams will change places, with broadband access generating $180.5bn worldwide, compared to £158.6bn for voice.

These revenue trends are reflected in the number of fixed phone and broadband lines. Ovum predicts that fixed telephone lines will fall from 685 million worldwide in 2011 to 560 million in 2016. By contrast, fixed broadband lines will hit 776 million by 2016, a compound annual growth rate of seven per cent over the next five years.

“Our research reveals the extent to which the fixed voice telecoms market is shrinking and just how important broadband has become to the telecoms industry,” said Ovum analyst Charlie Davies.

“Next year, telcos will generate more consumer revenues from fixed broadband than from telephone lines for the first time. This will be driven by consumers continuing to shun their landline in favour of the mobile phone and the greater need for fixed broadband in the home to meet the demands of increasing video traffic, more applications and content in the cloud and more connected devices. The rise of internet-based voice services such as Skype will also play a significant role.

“However, broadband revenue growth alone will not be sufficient to offset the decline in fixed voice revenues due to the investment needed for next-generation access networks and software. This underlines the need for telcos to find a role and further revenues from new service lines.”

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