Meanwhile by the end of 2010 the total number of IPTV subscribers had reached almost 45.4 million, representing over 11.5 million new subscribers over the year and an annual increase of 34.6%. The fourth quarter was the strongest quarter for IPTV growth, adding more than 3.4 million new subscribers and accounting for 8% of the total growth.
Presenting the report at the IP & TV World Forum in London, Laurie Adams Gonzalez, Marketing Director of the Broadband Forum, said: "2010 was a banner year for IPTV and broadband. We have watched how broadband is changing the world and creating a connected society that few could have imagined a few years ago. With great success comes real world logistical problems - the surge of new devices coming online will soon exhaust the IPv4 address pool. To address this looming problem, the Broadband Forum focused our resources to ensure specifications were in place for a smooth integration of the new Internet protocol, IPv6 into network and device management around the world."
The BroadbandSuite™ 4.0 IPv6 Toolkit defines the network support of IPv6 from core to user, brings IPv6 to all TR-101 based network deployments, allows remote management of IPv6 devices, is scalable to address trillions of devices, and future enhancements have the potential to enrich the user experience (supporting secure, mobile and nomadic applications) and enable the proliferation of connected user devices. Most importantly, this IPv6 toolkit will help service providers reduce the impact of IPv4 protocol exhaustion on their services today while ensuring the growth of new users, devices and applications continues unhampered.
IPTV Regional growth
Europe held on to its number one regional spot, but the growth rate was lower in comparison to other markets, mostly due to maturing IPTV territories such as France and Belgium. Asia showed strong growth with over 50% for the year and is the one to watch to overtake Europe in 2011 as largest IPTV subscriber base. And although the region started with a low overall number of subscribers, the Middle East and Africa (MEA), had the strongest percentage growth - at 63.5%.
Six of the top 10 IPTV countries are in Europe, with France remaining the leading IPTV nation, passing the 10 million mark for the first time. China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) also passed 10 million, and is closing the gap on France. It will almost certainly overtake France in Q1 or Q2 2011.
Broadband Trends and Overall Growth
2010 saw a steady rise in the number of new broadband subscribers with 56 million subscribers added, accounting for 12% annual growth. Asia is moving to become the largest broadband region in the world and is likely to overtake Europe during 2011 in terms of total broadband subscribers. The Americas and the Middle East & Africa are still showing plenty of activity, but Europe and Asia show faster broadband adoption.
Asia is made up of a mixture of rapidly growing as well as relatively saturated mature markets and a large and increasingly affluent population. This means growth from new subscribers as well as a number of users trading up to higher speed broadband options as their broadband usage increases and local availability allows.
China continues to dominate the rankings both for total subscribers and net additions as well as the most rapidly growing, in percentage terms, market in the top 10 over the last 12 months.
"The Chinese broadband juggernaut continues to overshadow other markets. Growth is accelerating and this quarter is a significant improvement on the same period in 2008 and 2009," says Oliver Johnson, chief analyst Point Topic.
While China dominates, there continues to be plenty of growth in other parts of the market. The US, Japan and the UK all fared better in 2010 than they did in 2008 and 2009. Germany is doing reasonably well too, however there are indications of a slowing in other areas, such as France, Russia and Italy due to these being well established markets.
Meanwhile India continues its progress towards the Top 10. It will overtake Spain in the next quarter in terms of total fixed broadband subscribers and there is a possibility it will be in the top 10 by the end of the year.