Forecast: 640M Homes Will Have Broadband by 2013

DALLAS

The demand for high-bandwidth applications will jump in the next few years as the number of households worldwide with broadband will reach close to 650 million by 2013, according to research firm Parks Associates.

Providers will have to continue investing in network technologies to accommodate multiple services such as video-on-demand and converging social networking applications, according to the firm’s report, Broadband Services: Global Outlook.

According to the report, the number of broadband households worldwide grew by more than 18 percent in 2008 to exceed 400 million. Asia-Pacific is the largest market, accounting for more than 160 million subscribers, and it will have nearly 50 percent of the global market share by 2013.

Advanced online services in rural parts of the U.S. is expected to increase once the Obama Administration releases stimulus package money to promote the expansion of affordable, high-speed Internet services in those areas.

“Bandwidth will continue to be a focus as the operators re-architect their networks to deliver multiple services over the same infrastructure; however, in such a competitive field, bandwidth alone is not enough to win subscribers,” says Kurt Scherf, vice president, principal analyst, Parks Associates. “Blended applications, combining services such as online video and customer support, offer operators an opportunity to increase [average revenue per user]. In addition, innovative new services will help differentiate service providers, which can then compete on factors beyond pricing or raw bandwidth.”

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