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DSL Adds 10M in Q1

DSL gains 10 million new global subscribers in first quarter of 2005, according to data produced for the DSL Forum by Point Topic

June 10, 2005

3 Min Read

FREMONT, Calif. -- Over 10 million new subscribers chose DSL (digital subscriber line) for broadband services in the first quarter of 2005, according to the latest data produced for the DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic. DSL, the world's most popular broadband technology, reached a global total of 107 million by 31 March 2005, with an estimated 115 million subscribers worldwide by early June 2005.

DSL increased its share of the broadband market in the USA, with more than 1.37 million subscribers added in the first quarter of 2005 -- the second largest subscriber increase worldwide. Canada gained almost 165,000 subscribers in the quarter, to total more than 2.8 million DSL subscribers by 31 March 2005.

China, comfortably the largest DSL population worldwide and accounting for 95% of total subscribers in South and South East Asia, has added more than 2.5 million subscribers to DSL services in the first quarter of 2005, to a record total of almost 19.5 million. Five countries have more than seven million subscribers, and a further eight have at least two million DSL-enabled phone lines.

France, UK, Germany and Japan all added over half a million new subscribers to broadband DSL in the first three months of 2005 and a further nine countries gained more than 100,000 subscribers. The UK is the fastest growing established DSL market, adding over 20% to reach almost five million subscribers, but other fast-growing countries are generally those at an earlier stage of market development. Turkey has already added almost 180,000 subscribers to DSL services this year -- representing a growth of 39%. Significant growth in DSL subscribers over the quarter is also evident in Thailand (27%), Poland (25%), Mexico (19%) and Portugal (18%).

In terms of market penetration, eight countries have now passed the DSL Forum's first stage target for a global broadband DSL mass-market (20% of all phone lines). Both Norway and Japan are approaching that mark. Of the top 20 countries by DSL penetration of phone lines, 13 are in Europe.

European Union (EU) countries continue to make up the world's number one DSL region, accounting for almost one-third of total DSL subscribers worldwide. The EU added almost 4.2 million subscribers in the first three months of 2005.

Latin America continues to show strong growth, gaining almost 420,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2005. Brazil has grown by more than 10% in 2005 to pass the two million subscriber mark, with Mexico and Argentina totaling more than 300,000 each. Middle East and Africa, the world's smallest DSL region, has also emerged as a DSL market. With Turkey leading the way, it has experienced a 24% growth in subscribers so far this year, to reach 1.5 million DSL subscribers.

"DSL keeps spreading. As the early adopters start to slow down slightly, the baton passes to the emerging countries," commented Tim Johnson of Point Topic. "Countries such as Turkey, Mexico or the Philippines would not even have been considered as mass-market targets for a high-tech premium service a few years ago. And I think there's another cycle of growth to come as the established DSL markets tackle the problem of making broadband connections ubiquitous to all their citizens."

Steve Kingdom, president of the DSL Forum, added, "DSL roll-out continues to reach unprecedented levels, in both established and emerging countries. The DSL Forum facilitates DSL's global dominance by advancing technical developments, such as our next generation DSL network architecture specifications and our new work launched for VDSL2 specification support."

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