The number of mobile broadband subscribers worldwide has eclipsed that of wireline, according to Infonetics’ latest “Fixed and Mobile Subscribers” market report and forecast. Though down, wireline services are by no means out, however.

“As we predicted, mobile broadband subscribers surpassed wireline broadband subscribers in 2010 (558 million vs. 500 million). Fixed-line services are not dead, though, especially with China giving a boost to the worldwide wireline broadband base with its massive fiber-based program led by the Chinese government, which has set a 20Mbps benchmark for all broadband subscribers, where most today receive 2Mbps to 3Mbps at best,” noted Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure.

Latest information included in Infonetics’ latest report reveal that:

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  • The company forecasts that the number of mobile phone subscribers will reach 6.4 billion in 2015; that compares to a current global population of 6.9 billion;
  • The Asia Pacific region accounted for nearly half of all mobile subscribers in 2010;
  • The number of cellular mobile broadband subscribers surged nearly 60% last year to 558 million worldwide, and should exceed 2 billion by 2015;
  • Residential, business and wholesale PSTN, POTS and ISDN access line connections will continue to decline, falling to 759 million worldwide by 2015;
  • They will be replaced by new forms of wireline broadband: the number of wireline broadband subscribers (DSL, cable, PON, Ethernet FTTH, FTTB+LAN) reached 500 million worldwide in 2010;
  • Though modest in scale, WiMAX access is growing rapidly: the number of WiMAX subscribers grew 75% in 2010 and is forecast to reach 126 million in 2015;
  • VoIP subscriptions, including VoIP over access lines and over other broadband lines, such as cable, is forecast to grow from 157 million in 2010 to 264 million in 2015;
  • Telco IPTV subscriptions are forecast to triple between 2010 and 2015 despite growing competition from OTT and free-ti-air video services;
  • Digital and satellite cable subscriptions “will see healthy annual growth as analog cable video subscribers continue to decline.”

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