IDC Forecasts Worldwide Cable Modem Subscribers Will Skyrocket to 57.5 Million by 2005

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 25 , 2001 – The worldwide cable modem market experienced a growth surge in 2000. IDC reports cable modem subscriptions jumped almost 178% to 7.2 million while equipment revenue grew 122%. And the surge is far from over. IDC forecasts the number of subscribers will increase more than eight times to 57.5 million by 2005.


"Work-at-home employees and power Internet users sparked demand for cable modems in the residential market," said Amy Harris, program manager with IDC’s Broadband Markets and Technologies program. "Future growth will be driven by the prevalence of image-rich and video-rich applications on the Internet."

In 2000, the number of U.S. cable modem subscribers grew 171% to 3.8 million – more than three times as many as any other region and representing 53% of the worldwide market. However, during the next few years cable modems will begin to lose ground to DSL, and U.S. share of worldwide subscribers will fall to 36%.

Meanwhile, cable modem use in Western Europe will significantly pick up. From 1 million in 2000, Western European cable modem subscriptions will soar to almost 17.7 million in 2005. During this time frame, Western Europe’s share of worldwide subscribers will soar from 14% to 31%.

"Industry consolidation and the increasing availability of broadband content are driving the rollout of cable modems in Western Europe," Harris said. Despite the growth expected in the worldwide subscription base, IDC believes cable modems will have to confront a number off issues, including scaling problems, installation and provisioning challenges, and challenges from other broadband technologies.

"To attract and retain customers, cable modem services must be reliable, the installation process must be fast and easy, and pricing must be compelling and competitive with other broadband services pricing," said Brad Baldwin, director of IDC’s Broadband Markets and Technologies research.

IDC recently published Worldwide Cable Modem Equipment and Services Market Analysis and Forecast, 2000–2005 (IDC #B24243). This bulletin forecasts worldwide cable modem service subscriptions, new subscriptions, equipment revenue, and service revenue by region. Additionally, the bulletin forecasts and compares the number of Internet households and cable modem households. U.S. forecasts are segmented by residential and small business markets.

To purchase this bulletin, contact Bruce Atlas at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4053, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world’s leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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