The Broadband Forum, backed by the efforts of market analysis firm Point Topic, announced at the start of this week’s Broadband World Forum 2018 that more than 1 billion broadband subscribers worldwide received their services via fixed networks. Approximately 80% of these fixed broadband connections are fiber-based, says the Broadband Forum.
The information is based on Point Topic’s new “World Broadband Statistics Q2 2018” report, which showed that the number of fixed broadband subscribers rose 2.5% sequentially, the biggest jump in six quarters (see "Fiber and cable networks dominate global broadband market: Point Topic" for a look at the previous quarter's numbers). Most of this growth comes from less developed regions and countries where broadband network deployments are still in comparatively early stages versus network roll outs in developed parts of the world. In these latter areas, attention is shifting to increasing average revenue per unit (ARPU) via enhanced offerings and gigabit speed options.
The approaches combined within the “fiber-based” category include fiber to the node/cabinet as well as fiber to the premises. The Broadband Forum did not reveal the proportion of subscribers within the two groups. It did say that the number of ADSL-based connections have declined 8% over the past year.
“For broadband service providers, a billion installations represent an enormous opportunity for building new value on top of this foundation with new cloud-based services, enhanced efficiencies driven by virtualization and artificial intelligence, and sensational new experiences,” commented Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh. "That said, passing this milestone also means that the industry is now chipping away at the remaining 1-billion-plus potential subscribers in the world that have a thirst for broadband but have yet to be connected. This represents another area of huge potential opportunity and growth – both for operators seeking new markets, as well as for improvements to the quality of life of these potential subscribers."
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