Soaring subscriber growth in India led a 38 percent global rise in DSL (digital subscriber line) use in the 12 months ended June 30, according to an industry group.
While India had the fastest growth, China remained the world’s largest DSL market, according to the DSL Forum. On Tuesday, the group released results from a study conducted by research company Point Topic. During the period, almost 46 million more subscribers signed up for DSL, the group said.
India’s DSL market grew from fewer than 250,00 subscribers in June 2005 to more than 1.5 million a year later, according to the group. DSL use also boomed in Vietnam (up 147 percent), the Czech Republic (143 percent), Morocco (141 percent) and Russia (130 percent).
China gained almost 12 million users to reach 33 million in June 2006. It became the world’s largest DSL market in 2004, said DSL Forum spokeswoman Carol Friend. Still, fewer than 3 percent of China’s phone lines are being used for DSL.
In the U.S., the second-largest market, DSL subscribers went up 6.36 million to more than 23 million. The growth surpassed that of cable Internet access, which gained 5.45 million users, according to the group. In the U.S. and Canada, DSL gained market share and is now the choice of more than 46 percent of the broadband subscribers, DSL Forum said.
However, the U.S. comes in number 33 for the penetration of DSL among all phone lines, Friend said. Only 8 percent of the country’s lines have DSL. Finland leads the world in DSL penetration, with nearly 40 percent, followed by France with almost 33 percent. DSL penetration made big strides in France and the U.K. as speeds increased while prices remained about the same, she said. Penetration in the U.K. is now almost 25 percent.
DSL subscriptions grew 45 percent in Europe, which now has 56 million DSL subscribers, more than any other region. Europe is home to 35 percent of the world’s total, followed by Asia-Pacific with 18 percent and North America with 16 percent.