With recent aggressive 4G spectrum roll-outs in the US, particularly of the LTE variety, from telecommunications providers like Verizon and AT&T, the average observer cannot be faulted for assuming that the States are the hosts to broadband predominance. Business intelligence firm Berg Insight, however, has demonstrated that this is not the case. In fact, broadband subscribers in the US comprise of only 13.2% of all subscribers. By contrast, the percentage of HSPA/LTE subscribers in Europe grew by 33% in 2010 and accounted for 20.6% of the total population. By 2016, this amount is expected to triple. America’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during this period is predicted to only be 25.8% and reach 58 million subscribers versus the 96 million European subscribers.
“Austria is the most advanced market with a penetration rate of over 20%, corresponding with the 46% of all broadband coverage in the country,” said Lars Kurkinen, a Berg Analyst, “Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Ireland, and Portugal also have penetration rates above 10%. Belgium, Switzerland, and Greece have, on the other hand, penetration rates of less than 3%.”
Pricing discrepancies occur as well. 3GB bundles in Spain and Switzerland can cost up to four times as much as similar bundles do in Poland, Austria, and the Baltics.
Some Asian countries, like South Korea, are deeply embedded with broadband technology, in some cases even more so than European nations. Others, like China, are lagging far behind the curve. In fact, China’s penetration rate is a mere 3.7%, according to internetworldstats.com.
Currently, 1 in 5 broadband connections in Europe is a broadband connection. While this number is high and increasing, we can expect broadband subscription to accelerate worldwide over the next few years.