Study forecasts US$416bn worldwide broadband access market, as operators adopt "Happy Pipe" strategies

Having worried about becoming a dumb bit pipe, a new report maintains that operators will continue to grow their revenues by focusing on fixed and mobile broadband opportunities.

Published by the Telco 2.0 Initiative, the report contends that operators will continue to benefit from the traditional wholesale broadband sector, as well as more sophisticated direct-to-consumer retail propositions and tariffs. It points to the recent introduction of tiered and capped data download plans as evidence of this growing trend.

The key findings of the new study include:

  • Global broadband access is forecast to go from US$274 billion in 2010, to US$416 billion in 2020, an increase of 52 per cent in revenue terms.
  • More than half the revenue growth will come from wholesale and 'two-sided' fees for improved access capacity and quality.
  • By 2020, mobile broadband will be worth US$138 billion, or 32 per cent of the total broadband industry revenues.
  • Three new revenue streams are identified: bulk wholesale, comes with data and slice and dice.
  • New 'upstream' customers are forecast to generate over US$90 billion in broadband revenues globally by 2020.

The reports also attempts to calm operators' fears about becoming dumb pipes, and suggests the forecast market value means the term 'happy pipe' is more appropriate for some. Article