Consultancy Pyramid Research forecasts Hong Kong's broadband users will soar to 3.88 million in 2005 from last year's 255,000. The Economist Group study also found there, during the same time, would be a five-fold rise in subscribers across Asia, including Japan, to 70 million from 13.782 million. The report, Broadband in Asia: The Next Big Thing, ranked areas in Asia based on broadband technologies among other things. Broadband is expected to underpin much of the Internet infrastructure needed in Asia. In 2005, the top three countries will be South Korea, Japan and China. China's huge population meant it would have the third most broadband users in Asia, at 8.5 million, the study found.