Number of worldwide broadband subscribers rockets

The increase of bandwidth intensive applications such as IP telephony has driven up the number of people subscribing to broadband internet services, according to a recently published report.

In a paper analysing internet usage by market analysts In-Stat, the number of broadband subscribers worldwide, including domestic and small to medium business users, topped 763 million at the end of 2010, with the United States accounting for more than 179 million of that figure.

The report concludes that the growth of super-fast internet access has been driven by the demand for online video, music and film downloads, and the increasing number of domestic and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol) telephone users.

Vahid Dejwakh, an analyst at In-Stat, commented on the survey:

“From 2007 through 2009, there was a continued growth rate of 25% in broadband subscribers worldwide, though this is expected to slowly decrease to 10% by 2014 as the broadband market matures, there are still some substantial gains to be made.

“The Asia/Pacific region will continue to see very high growth rates, along with Latin America and the Middle East/Africa regions.”

The report also found that the demand for mobile broadband continued unabated. As service providers are rolling out third and fourth generation services, more users, especially businesses, are taking advantage of IP telephony in an effort to reduce overheads and allow employees not on site to have calls routed to their mobile phone easily ad effectively. However, broadly speaking, different factors drove growth in each sector – in America, for example, it was fuelled by cable modem providers.

In closing, the survey, entitled ‘World Connecting at Broadband Speeds’, concluded that the number of those subscribed to a broadband service swelled by 25 per cent between 2007 and 2009.

In-Stat’s figures are somewhat higher than those previously forecasted by market researchers Analysys Mason.