Week in research: Broadband subscriptions surpass estimates; data center infrastructure spending grows 50%

500 million and growing: Broadband subscriber numbers continue to trend upward globally, ABI Research says in its latest Broadband Subscribers Market Data report, with a total 503 million subscribers worldwide at the end of 2010--48 million of them added in the fourth quarter alone. South Korea, Hong Kong and France have some of the highest broadband penetration rates. The next challenge for operators? Balancing increases in broadband speed to stay competitive even as subscription prices drop. News release.

Video conference popularity rises: Telepresence for enterprises, including video conferencing, is moving forward, grew 18 percent last year to a $2.2 billion worldwide market. Infonetics Research analysts expect enterprise telepresence and video conferencing revenues to hit $5 billion by 2015. "Communicating via video continues to be one of the top trends in telecom, as evidenced by strong growth in the enterprise video market," says Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research. "...The biggest winners in the enterprise communications market will be those who offer solutions that are multi-modal, visual (e.g., video-based), and support the collaboration requirements of globally distributed organizations." News release.

Infonetics Enterprise Telepresence

Data centers revitalized: Adding to the somewhat rosy telecom forecast is the growth of data centers, Infonetics reports, including deployments and network equipment sales, thanks to the growth of virtualization and cloud services alongside robust network expansion. Simply put, enterprises and network operators alike moved away from 2009's bare-bones budgets and revitalized capex in 2010, to the tune of $8 billion, a 50 percent jump over 2009. Infonetics sees some tempering of this spending rush in 2011, with continued growth as North American enterprises surveyed said they will increase data center infrastructure spending by 25 percent this year. News release.