The international market for cable modem services is set to rocket, with current levels of 27 million subscribers increasing to 34 million by the end of the year, according to industry experts.
According to research from analyst firm In-Stat/MDR, this rapid growth is set to continue so that, by 2007, there will be 68 million cable modem subscribers worldwide.
"With demand for high-speed internet access increasing, many of the world's leading cable TV operators have invested heavily to upgrade their cable infrastructure in order to provide cable modem services," said Mike Paxton, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR.
"These investments are starting to pay off."
Cable operators are particularly enthusiastic about cable modem because of the service's attractive operating margins.
In-Stat/MDR estimated that cable TV operators collected $11bn (£6.9bn) in cable modem service revenues in 2002, and this is forecast to increase to $15bn in 2003.
But the firm's study, Broadband Bonanza: Worldwide Cable Modem Subscribers Approach 30 Million, found that a significant challenge for cable modem service providers is how to reach more business broadband users, since they pay more for their service compared with residential users.
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