Fiber Dominance Achieved in a Decade

  • Point Topic
LONDON — Global fixed broadband total exceeds 700 million as fiber takes over at the top, according to recent research from Point Topic, a provider of broadband market intelligence. The report also notes that while FTTH still often struggles to make the business case today, a tipping point is coming as the savings in OPEX approach the CAPEX associated with deployment and bandwidth demand continues to grow.

There are now more subscribers to fiber broadband services worldwide than any other fixed broadband technology. In not much more than ten years fiber has made it to over 285 million subscribers and a 40 percent plus market share.

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Cable’s Global Market Share Drops
Other access technologies are growing too, albeit more steadily. Cable’s global market share has dropped by almost 6 percent in the last five years and while they have a smaller slice the pie is bigger.

Fixed isn’t a solution for everyone either economically or practically but there are still instances where mobile isn’t available or good enough. Satellite and local fixed wireless access solutions have done relatively well in their niches.

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China and the U.S. Lead the Fiber Adoption Race
China and the U.S. continue to lead the adoption race but markets around the world are switching to fiber in the local loop in a variety of flavors.

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FTTx is Common in Mature Telecoms Markets
FTTx, usually with a VDSL termination is common in mature telecoms markets. FTTH still often struggles to make the business case today but a tipping point is coming for many as the savings in opex approach the capex associated with deployment and bandwidth demand continues to grow. In new build markets and command economies FTTH is the favored deployment.

Fiber growth overall will continue but as China starts to slow, which it will do over the coming quarters as they approach the last few million in their upgrade program, the global picture will be steadier.

That said there are plenty of programs around the world that will see the switch continue but it’s likely we’re already in the middle of ‘peak’ fiber in terms of new subscribers and the point of inflexion on the growth curve is represented above.

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