MEA emerges as broadband "hotbed"

Report predicts rapid growth in broadband penetration.
The Middle East and Africa will experience 33% growth in home broadband connections during the next year.
The Middle East and Africa will experience 33% growth in home broadband connections during the next year.


Global household penetration of fixed broadband will continue to rise, with the total number of subscribers exceeding 500 million by 2010, according to a recent report from Futuresource Consulting.

The Middle East and Africa will witness an estimated 33% growth in the coming year, the report added.

“More than 60% of all fixed broadband households on the planet are connecting using xDSL, where digital data transmission takes place over a local telephone network, while cable accounts for a little over 20%,” commented Patrik Pfandler, senior market analyst, Futuresource Consulting.

“Although markets in many developed countries are becoming saturated, alternative hotspots are starting to emerge: our research shows Africa and the Middle East will experience spikes this year that equate to 33% growth,” he commented.

“Longer term, India is the country to watch out for over the next four years. With one of the lowest household penetration rates for fixed broadband at the moment — at just over 2%, or five million subscribers — the market is projected to grow five-fold by 2013, to almost 25 million lines.”

The report added that Japan and South Korea lead the way when it comes to broadband speeds, with average download speeds of approximately 30Mb/s each. Looking to Europe, Sweden comes out on top, averaging 14Mb/s last year. In the US, the national average achieved last year was just 2.7Mb/s.

“Download speeds are becoming the next broadband battleground for ISPs in developed countries, with network upgrades over the next four to five years providing a number of players with that much-needed edge in a commoditised market,” added Pfandler.

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