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​Worldwide fiber-optic broadband subscriptions to double by 2019

The worldwide cable, DSL and fiber-optic fixed-line broadband subscriber base grew 6% in 2013 surpassing 665.4 million subscribers. The fiber-optic broadband segment grew at a robust rate, 29% from 2012 to 126.6 million subscribers in 2013. By 2019, fiber-optic broadband subscriptions will grow to 265 million subscribers, with a CAGR of 11.7%.

The global cable broadband market grew nearly 7% to 161 million subscribers while the DSL broadband market contracted around 1% to 378 million subscribers in 2013. An increasing number of customers opting for high-speed fiber-optic broadband service contributed to a decline in DSL broadband subscriptions in Asia-Pacific and North America. “Global DSL broadband service revenue dropped nearly 2% in 2013, mainly due to a declining subscriber base and average revenue per user in the Asia-Pacific,” says Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting.

Worldwide fiber-optic broadband service revenue grew over 15% to $46 billion in 2013. Operators such as British Telecom from the UK and VimpelCom from Russia reported that growth in its fiber-optic broadband customers contributed to overall service revenue growth in 2013.“Since revenue from traditional services such as voice and messaging is declining, innovative services and content over high-speed broadband networks are proving essential for operators to maintain overall service revenue growth. ABI Research forecast that the worldwide fiber-optic broadband market will generate $100 billion in 2019,” notes Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.

Chinese operators dominate the fixed broadband subscriber rankings. China Telecom and China Unicom lead the global fixed broadband market shares with over 100 million and 64 million broadband subscribers respectively at the end of 2013. Currently the two companies own 53% and 34% market share respectively. China Mobile received a license to invest in fixed broadband services at the end of 2013, likely spurring the Chinese fixed broadband market to have greater competition and faster infrastructure development.

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