Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top Ten Broadband Service Values in the World

Hong Kong is confirmed as the best value on earth for consumer broadband -- while Singapore joins the top ten nations worldwide for the first time -- according to the latest market study by Point Topic.

The research data, which is collected on a quarterly basis by industry leading analysts at Point Topic, showcases the best value on offer to consumers around the world.

"Consumers in different countries are faced with very different broadband tariffs, dependent on geography, market and network maturity, local competition and various levels and sources of subsidy," said Fiona Vanier, Senior Analyst at Point Topic.

In the standalone tariffs that Point Topic tracks, advertised bandwidth can vary from 150kbps up to 1Gbps. Many come with data limits, email addresses or static IPs and that is before any 'special offers' are accounted for.

To help comparison, Point Topic has analyzed the amount a consumer will actually pay for a megabit of bandwidth. For this analysis Point Topic has calculated the total cost for the first year of a broadband subscription.

Nine of the ten best value tariffs are either pure fiber-to-the-home or hybrid offerings where fiber is a significant part of the local loop. The exception is Germany where Unity Media offer a cable service that is very competitive.

Rankings can change very quickly. If a particular broadband service provider upgrades its network or decides to introduce a new tariff, it can result in a significant improvement in the cost on offer to the consumer.

"Prices are stabilizing in many markets around the world and overall in the last quarter there was an average increase globally. However, there are plenty of countries that are still rolling out new networks and ISPs that are announcing new tariffs," added Vanier.

Even in relatively mature markets, like Singapore or Italy, there is room for improvement as the new tariffs from StarHub and Fastweb demonstrate.

Faster downstream speeds do usually mean a lower price per megabit but the bandwidth has to be used for those savings to be achieved.

"Bandwidth will continue to increase as fiber edges closer to the consumer. Higher speeds generally mean better value for the consumer. All that remains is to work out how best to use it," concluded Vanier.

Lowest Cost/Megabit by Country, Operator and Tariff

The Top 10 (PPP rates)
Country, ISP and tariff $/Mb
Hong Kong, HKBN, (bb Fibre Home 1000) 0.028
Japan, KDDI, (FTTH AU-Hikari Mansion Giga) 0.048
Romania, Romtelecom, (Clicknet Power) 0.163
Sweden, Riksnet, (Riksnet Broadband 100) 0.182
Latvia, Lattelecom, (Fibre Internet 4) 0.241
China, China Tietong, (J3 Shared 100M VDSL Unlimited) 0.247
Singapore, StarHub Cable Vision, (MaxInfinity Supreme) 0.271
Russia, Beeline (VimpelCom), (High Speed 22G) 0.353
Germany, UnityMedia, (1play Internet) 0.415
Finland, Elisa, (Laajakaista Super 100M/10M) 0.443

The first year of a broadband subscription includes a number of costs. In addition to the monthly rental a consumer can pay for the installation, the activation and the cost of the equipment. Adding these together and converting to a common base using purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates from the United Nations and then calculating the amount per megabit of bandwidth produces a listing from which the lowest cost per megabit for a generally available, standalone (broadband only) tariff in each country is selected. A total of 70 countries provided enough data to qualify for this analysis.