China looks set to snatch top place in the IPTV charts from leader France in the coming months.
According to research commissioned by the Broadband Forum, China’s IPTV user base grew 55% year-on-year to reach 9.83 million in Q1. This figure is just one million away from France’s 10.6 million.
Although Europe remains the largest region for IPTV with over 21 million subscribers, Asia is fast gaining ground with 18 million users. Taiwan made the Top 10 chart for the first time with 850,000 users, while South Korea and Japan, which stood at third and fourth place, had 3.98 million and 2.87 million users respectively.
The global figure for IPTV now stands at 48.2 million. The technology enjoyed 34% year-on-year growth globally, and 1.4 million of the 2.9 million new subscribers added in Q1 hailed from Asia.
Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh said Asia’s positive showing for IPTV was coupled with healthy broadband growth for the region. Asia remains the fastest growing broadband region, with a 16.21% increase over last year. Subscribers in Asia now comprise 42% of the global total, up from 40% last year.
The first three months of the year saw 42% of global net additions come from China, Hong Kong and Macau.
“Asia is doing a bang up job for broadband growth,” Mersh told reporters at CommunicAsia2011. “India’s broadband usage grew 6.4% in Q1 alone to reach 10.7 million users, which is remarkable.”
Other fast growing countries in Asia were Thailand and Indonesia, which registered yearly growth rates of 66.53% and 39.4% respectively.
Although DSL continues to be the most widely used broadband technology with 64% of the global total, the Broadband Forum observed impressive growth for fiber usage, which included various hybrid DSL cum fiber rollouts. The subscriber base for fiber grew nearly 20% in the past year to hit 76.2 million.
Mersh said fiber subscribers could potentially overtake cable subscribers in the coming year. The number of cable subscribers stood at 108.9 million at the end of Q1.
The Broadband Forum can be found at Booth BH6-07.