Wednesday, 30 May 2018 00:16

Three quarters of global fixed broadband subscriptions are fibre and cable


Fibre and cable networks are "dominating the global broadband market, with the technologies now servicing 77% of fixed subscriptions", according to new figures.

According to the Global Broadband Statistics, which we're told "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-fibre, fibre-fed copper or cable".

The information comes from the Broadband Forum group, who exclusively spoke to "Point Topic Research Director Dr Jolanta Stanke".

Dr Stanke said: “We are finding that customers across most global regions increasingly prefer faster broadband services delivered over fibre and cable platforms, as opposed to ADSL.

"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.”

Then comes the news that "fibre-fed subscriptions — including fibre-to-the-home, fibre-to-the-building, fibre-to-the-cabinet, very high bitrate digital subscriber line (VDSL), VDSL2 and Gfast — accounted for 57% of broadband subscriptions, with more than 530 million connections".

We're told that "Stanke agreed VDSL and Gfast were together largely responsible for the growth that fibre has seen, with more than 30 operators across all continents deploying or trialling Gfast".

Stanke added: “Gfast gives operators a more cost-effective variant of fibre that will be used by operators who want to upgrade their existing networks quicker and more easily.

“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 hybrid fibre-coaxial, 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 chief executive Robin Mersh said: "The figures reflect the fact that new technologies that let operators deploy fibre deep into the network without having to enter buildings themselves are quickly moving from trials to mass deployment."

He added: “If operators want to deliver competitive broadband services, maximising their investments through the use of technologies like Gfast is vital.

“Expanding the footprint of their existing fibre networks in this way is cost-effective and delivers the gigabit speeds consumers crave.

"The growing trend towards fibre, whether its fibre-fed copper or full fibre, and cable deployments, highlighted by Point Topic’s report confirms that the Forum’s work on interoperability and management of ‘fibre-extending’ technologies is vitally important.”


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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