China has become the #1 DSL nation on the planet, with close to 20 million lines, zooming ahead of USA, Japan and South Korea, according to data collected by Point Topic. At the end of first quarter 2005 there were 107.3 million DSL lines, up 37 million lines from March 2004. For the trailing 12-months, the DSL lines were up nearly 54%. In the first quarter alone, 10.1 million DSL lines was added in the first quarter of 2005 alone – second only to the 10.4m added in the fourth quarter of 2004.
“These results show DSL is continuing to enjoy good momentum in 2005,” Point Topic says. Emerging markets such as Turkey, Thailand and Poland are showing growth of 24 per cent or more, and the incumbent operators are beginning to lose market share to unbundlers in countries where unbundling is well established. For example, the number of wholesale lines provided by France Telecom fell by 19,000, and that by KPN (Netherlands) fell by 22,000 as competitors switch to unbundled lines. The UK was the fastest growing major DSL country, adding over 20% to reach almost five million DSL lines in the quarter – faster than world leader China which grew by 15 per cent and looks set to pass 20 million lines, any day now.