Fiber and cable networks are dominating the global broadband market, accounting for 77% of fixed subscriptions, new figures from Point Topic have revealed.
According to Point Topic’s latest Global Broadband Statistics report, which take into account subscriptions up to the end of 2017, more than 50% of people in more than 40 countries, including Singapore (97%), China (89%), United States (87%), and the UK (55%), are connected via full-fiber, fiber-fed copper or cable.
“We are finding that customers across most global regions increasingly prefer faster broadband services delivered over fiber and cable platforms, as opposed to ADSL,” said Point Topic Research Director Dr Jolanta Stanke in a statement posted by the Broadband Forum. “This trend will continue as more bandwidth-hungry young consumers become paying decision makers, even though superfast 4G LTE and 5G mobile broadband services will compete for their wallets.”
Fiber-fed subscriptions – including FTTH, FTTB, FTTC, VDSL, VDSL2 and G.fast – accounted for 57% of broadband subscriptions, with more than 530 million connections. Stanke said VDSL and G.fast were together largely responsible for the growth that fiber has seen, with more than 30 operators across all continents deploying or trialing G.fast.
“G.fast gives operators a more cost-effective variant of fiber that will be used by operators who want to upgrade their existing networks quicker and more easily,” she added. “This could enable them to serve more customers in less densely populated areas, where direct fibre investment is less economically feasible.”
In total, cable – including HFC – accounted for 20% of all fixed broadband connections. According to the report, the latest standard of this technology is currently deployed across several markets, being especially popular in North America, and can deliver gigabit download speeds.
Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh said the figures reflect the fact that new technologies that let operators deploy fiber deep into the network without having to enter buildings themselves are quickly moving from trials to mass deployment.
“If operators want to deliver competitive broadband services, maximizing their investments through the use of technologies like G.fast is vital,” said Mersh. “Expanding the footprint of their existing fiber networks in this way is cost-effective and delivers the gigabit speeds consumers crave.”