Australia is expected to add about 1.7 million household broadband connections between 2008 and 2013, lifting its penetration rate from about 55 per cent in 2008 to 69 per cent, according to new research from Gartner.
The growth will see Australia move from its ranking as the 19th highest nation for household broadband penetration up to 14th, outpacing Germany and Belgium, but trailing New Zealand, the US and Canada.
China, leading the broadband growth, is expected to add 61.535m connections from 2008 to 2013, with the US adding 26.934m, Russia 12.478m, India 11.064m, and Japan 9.548m.
The figures, from Gartner’s Dataquest Insight: Next Phase of Growth in Worldwide Consumer Fixed Broadband; Emerging Markets Take the Lead report, show that despite the global economic downturn, the numbers of household broadband connections have continued to grow robustly.
“By the end of last year approximately 21 countries had broadband connections in at least 50 per cent of homes and in many countries the household penetration rates are much higher; the highest being South Korea at 86 per cent and the lowest, at less than 1 per cent, in Indonesia,” the report reads.
While consumers were watching their household expenditure during the global financial crisis, dropping their broadband connections was not top of their agendas as a way to help reduce household expenses, the report found.
The report found that broadband penetration was being driven by a number of factors such as PCs becoming more affordable, migration from dial-up, increasingly affordable broadband subscriptions, newly formed households requiring broadband, and economic stimulus packages.
“By the end of 2013, Gartner predicts that there will be almost 580 million consumer broadband connections in homes; a five year compound annual growth rate of 8.7 per cent,” the report reads.
Despite emerging markets expected to be the engines of broadband growth over the next five years - out-numbering those in the mature markets by 4:1 - broadband services were not expected to become ‘lifestyle requirements'.
“Hence, despite the significant growth in connections expected in the emerging markets, it is not realistic to expect broadband household penetration in these emerging markets to catch up to that of the mature markets within the next 10 years,” the report found.
According to the report, the next five years would also continue to prove that the global consumer broadband market still has growth potential in the mature markets, but especially in the emerging markets.
“Broadband services represent the core of all fixed-line household communications services, hence, communications providers will be able to continue their reliance on broadband subscription revenue to offset revenue loss from other services in their portfolio offerings,” the report reads.
“Equipment manufacturers (modems, routers, PCs) and providers of carrier infrastructure will benefit by having more connections to supply equipment and services to. Government, medical and educational institutions alike will have alternative access to their customers via the household broadband connection.”