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April 7, 2006 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations you might have missed. This month we feature a WiMAX white paper, statistics on DSL and European broadband and some more observations on mobile video.

New WiMAX White paper

The WiMAX Forum has released a white paper titled "Mobile WiMAX Part I: A Technical Overview and Performance Evaluation" ( ). Part 2, which will follow, will compare WiMAX technology with 3G cellular systems. ( )

DSL Statistics

Point Topic has published the latest edition of their World Broadband Statistics report ( ), providing DSL country numbers to the end of 2005. Some of their key observations include:

  • The global DSL numbers have increased by 42% during 2005.
  • The installed base of DSL lines grew much more slowly in the leading Asia-Pacific countries than in the leading European countries.
  • The UK was the fastest growing Top Ten country for the year as a whole, adding over 3 million DSL lines to increase its installed base by 73%.
  • Emerging countries are showing triple digit growth for the year.
  • There are growing signs of saturation among the countries with higher penetration.
  • Western Europe has almost caught up with North America as the most high-penetration region, but is still growing considerably faster - 47% in 2005 as against 27%. Unless broadband growth in Western Europe goes through a very sharp slowdown, it will soon be well ahead of North America in up-take. ( )

Broadband Connections in Europe

The e-Media Institute has published statistics on the number of European broadband connections. The total number of European lines as of the end of the first half of 2005 was in excess of 50 million. The top 10 countries by number of broadband lines were UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark. However, the more meaningful metric of diffusion, as measured by the ratio between broadband lines and population, ranged from a high in the Scandinavian countries of about 200 lines per 1,000 inhabitants, to Great Britain with 136, France with 134, and Italy with 95. Since broadband growth has been on the move since the date of these statistics, the ratios are probably now higher. ( )

Mobile Video -- How Interested Are Consumers?

Last month we included some thoughts about a survey on consumer interest in mobile video commissioned by Royal Bank of Canada's RBC Capital Markets. TDG Research looked at what had been asked and of whom and wrote The Appeal of Mobile Video: Reading Between the Lines ( ), a thoughtful review of the survey. Saying "We're not trying to be hypercritical here, but simply wish to point out that black and white/true or false research is not the best way to understand consumer interest in novel services such as mobile video," the review casts doubt on some conclusions drawn in the RBC report. ( )