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DSL Market Trends EOY Assessment

The world installed base of DSL lines grew by over 9 percent in Q3 of 2005 to pass 125 million by 30 September. Point Topic expects that there will be at least 137 million DSL lines by the end of 2005.

The Middle East and Africa is now the fastest growing region of the world, adding over 20 percent in Q3. Turkey, Morocco and South Africa all gained over 30 percent in the quarter. Turkey now has over 1 million lines and Morocco has very quickly built a significant installed base of 179,000 lines.

Latin America and Eastern Europe are the next most fast-growing regions. In the Americas, Argentina and Mexico are the fastest growing countries, both adding over 17 percent. Brazil has 2.7m lines and gained 14.5 percent in the quarter.

In Eastern Europe the fastest growing countries are the Czech Republic and Slovakia, both catching up after a relatively slow start, but most countries grew faster than the world average.

South East Asia also showed strong growth at 12.9 percent. India is the most rapidly growing major country of all, reporting almost doubled DSL numbers in the quarter, to over 400,000. But the continuing strong performance by China, adding 3.7m DSL lines, accounted for the bulk of the region's growth.

North America and Western Europe both grew at about the world average rate but several countries grew significantly faster, including Greece, Luxembourg, Finland, Ireland and the UK.

The slowest-growing region was Asia-Pacific where major countries such as Japan, Singapore and Taiwan are showing signs of saturation. DSL numbers in South Korea appear to be flatlining. On the other hand, countries such as Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia are now showing rapid growth.

DSL continues to draw ahead of cable modems and other technologies in its share of the broadband market. In the USA, for example, the DSL providers added over 1.5 million lines in the quarter, 300,000 more than cable modem growth, and a 9.8 percent increase against only 5.5 percent for cable.

One of the few countries which is an exception to this trend is Romania, in Eastern Europe, where there are still only 4,200 DSL lines against over 160,000 cable modems and other broadband accesses. Countries appearing on this list for the first time include Morocco, Sri Lanka, Monaco and Liechtenstein.

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