China will overtake the United States to become the world's biggest broadband market within a year because of its enormous growth potential, rising popularity of personal computers and new online services, a United Kingdom-based consulting firm said on Tuesday.
Lending support to the findings, China Telecom and China Netcom, the country's top fixed-line phone carriers, said they will focus on the broadband business in the future as it earns them a higher profit margin than voice services.
China's broadband users will reach 79 million by the end of 2007 compared with 46 million on June 30 this year, according to Ovum Inc.
There will be about 50 million in the United States by the end of this year, industry insiders said.
"We believe China's broadband development will continue to benefit from a booming economy, growing incomes, expanding PC penetration and new applications," said Kevin Lee, an Ovum senior analyst. "The Olympics will provide another boost."
With only 3.4 percent of the population now connected to the Internet via broadband, the service's penetration in China is well behind many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which translates into great growth potential, Ovum said.