Broadband Ventures Into Value

As the broadband access market gathers steam, the rise of value-added services has created a $3.3 billion market for service providers, according to Point Topic Ltd.’s latest broadband analysis.

Revenues from consumer broadband access worldwide were running at an estimated $32 billion per year at the beginning of 2004, making value-added services worth an additional 10 percent in revenues.

Aside from security services, which Point Topic assumes every customer is using in some way, there are 49 million value-added service accounts on 90 million broadband lines worldwide. Of these, home networks and online gaming currently attract the most users and annual revenues; they accounted for a total of 25.8 million users and $1.6 billion by early this year (see table below).

Service providers looking to develop products with potential for the highest monthly revenue per user are more likely to focus on video-on-demand services and IP telephony, which bring in average revenue per user (ARPU) of $29.21 and $10.58 per month, respectively.

Table 1: Summary of the world consumer broadband value-added services market
Key service Total users (m) Monthly ARPU ($) Annual revenues ($m)
File transfer 4.5 0 0
Game downloads 0.9 2.1 23
Gaming online 11.4 6.12 839
Home networks 14.4 4.5 778
Internet voice 2 0.13 3
IP telephony 3.7 10.58 469
Music downloads 0.5 7.31 46
Security 90 1.02 1098
Teleworking 9.9 0 0
Video-on-demand (DSL) 0.2 29.21 54
Total active accounts 137.5
Totals 90 3.06 3310
Source: Point Topic Ltd.

Since adoption of these services is still in the early stages, the problem for providers is guessing which ones will generate the most cash down the line. Of course, they also want to avoid those that don't. File transfers and teleworking, for example, account for a combined 14.4 million users, but contribute nothing to revenues.

— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

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