Wireless broadband subscriptions in OECD countries exceeded half a billion by the end of 2010, an increase of more than 10 percent on June 2010, according to data from the OECD. Fixed broadband subscriptions reached 300 million, but growth slowed to 6 percent year-on-year. This reflects higher broadband penetration and market saturation in some countries. The Netherlands and Switzerland lead with 38.1 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, followed by Denmark with 37.7 and Norway with 34.6. Fibre subscriptions continue to grow and account for 12.3 percent of all fixed broadband connections, while DSL is still the most widely used technology with 57.6 percent, followed by cable with 29.4 percent. Leading countries in fibre are Japan with 58 percent, Korea with 55 percent, Slovak Republic with 29 percent and Sweden with 26 percent. Korea is the leading country for wireless broadband subscriptions, with 89.8 per 100 inhabitants, followed by Finland with 84.8, Sweden with 82.9 and Norway with 79.9. This compares to an OECD average of 41.6 and a total of under 512 million.
The factors in the sector's continuing health include long contract durations of mobile operators, the popularity of bundled offers of television, mobile and fixed telephony, and the fact that communication services are perceived as non-discretionary spending items. Households looking to cut spending seem to be economising in other areas. The prevalence of bundled services has also played a role in this shift by reinforcing customer loyalty and reducing churn. Bundled services may benefit consumers by offering lower prices and gains such as unified billing, integrated services or customer assistance. The complexity of some bundled offers makes them hard to interpret and poses additional issues for consumers trying to compare prices and make informed decisions. In addition, bundling may make it harder for users to switch providers or drop a service.
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