The number of broadband subscribers worldwide rose by 3.08 per cent (or 17.4 million lines) during the third quarter of 2011 to reach a total of 581.3 million, according to new figures prepared for the Broadband Forum by Point Topic.
Any modern communications network is a complex architectural arrangement. By 2013 it’s likely that a mobile network operator will have 2G, 3G and LTE operations running in parallel, with support infrastructure such as backhaul that has been updated and augmented over the years. As networks mature, they also evolve—the trend right now is to alleviate RAN congestion with smaller cells, increasing network density but also putting extra burden on the backhaul infrastructure. In order to keep pace, backhaul implementations also need to evolve.
A report from UK analyst firm Ovum has found that preliminary results for the FTTx, DSL and CMTS markets in the second quarter of this year show a mix of growth and declines as multiple transitions in fixed access technologies and products continued.
On the face of it, DSL acceleration technologies seem to offer a neat solution to a key problem of fixed line operators: to offer superfast BB without having to invest billions rolling fiber all the way to the home. But the new DSL technologies, as discussed in last week’s DSL Acceleration conference, are not without their own complexities.
Fixed broadband services in emerging markets are more expensive than in mature markets, keeping them beyond the reach of the majority of consumers, according to research house Ovum. The firm studied broadband prices across 19 emerging markets, including South Africa, Nigeria and Colombia, concluding that growth in fixed broadband is being seriously impeded by the high service cost.
The number of broadband subscribers in France had reached 21.774 million by the end of the first quarter of 2011, up slightly from 20.234 million one year previously, according to the latest market report from the country’s telecoms regulatory body Arcep.
Optical fibre technology is finally starting to make significant inroads into the broadband space worldwide, at the expense of DSL, according to a market report by telecoms analyst house Ovum.
Having recently read Slavenka Drakulic’s marvellous and wholly wry little book Cafe Europa, I think it is worth noting the real differences that exist in the fixed broadband markets of all the countries in Eastern Europe. And that is the theme of Slavenka’s book: that culture matters and that generalisations are dangerous.
National incumbent operators such as BT and Deutsche Telekom have been caught on the back foot by cable carriers and their bundled offerings, with analysts expecting a mass deployment of fibre in a bid to avoid large scale subscriber loss.
UK communications watchdog Ofcom published the results of its research into fixed line broadband speeds in the UK on Tuesday, and it makes disappointing reading.