As the total number of broadband lines in the world passes 400 mln, Point Topic forecasts that the total in the 40 biggest broadband countries in the world will grow from 393 mln by the end of 2008 to 635 mln by 2013. Broadband in the rest of the world will grow from 16 mln to 48 mln lines in the same period, so the world will add 273 mln lines to reach 683 mln in total. This represents a 10.8% per year compound growth rate, well down from 27.7% per year in the 2004 to 2008 period, but still substantial. One major reason for the slowdown in growth is that most of the richer countries are approaching saturation with broadband; new customers are becoming harder to find and sign up. At the same time poorer countries such as China and India have gone through the initial phase of rapid growth and are now growing steadily rather than exponentially.
Looking five years ahead, China is forecast to be well in front as the biggest broadband country, with 153 mln broadband lines against 117 mln in the USA. In fact China is expected to be already ahead of the USA by the end of 2008. India and Brazil are also expected to enter the Top 10, but Russia is forecast to be just outside at number 11. The story with broadband take-up – the%age of broadband lines per 100 population – will be rather different. Here Sweden, Germany and the USA are expected to be the biggest gainers as they start closing the gap with similar countries. Germany, which has been rather lagging in broadband until recently, is expected to gain most of all, increasing take-up from 26.4% to 42.4%. Denmark is expected to remain the most broadband-intensive major country, going from 37.0% to 46.3% take-up.