The markets and technologies which will drive continued rapid broadband growth over the next decade have been revealed by Broadband Forum and Point Topic in a report which predicts there will be 1.2 billion fixed broadband subscribers by 2025.
Following the announcement last October that there are now one billion global fixed broadband subscribers, this report is Point Topic’s first worldwide broadband subscribers forecast providing the details behind that milestone, addressing the period between Q3 2018 and Q4 2025.
According to the research, the current trends of booming deep-fiber deployment and accelerating broadband penetration in developing markets will be the engine of broadband growth through 2025. The forecast states that some variant of fibre – Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH), Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) or Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB) – will be used by 59 per cent of fixed broadband subscribers globally by 2025. The report also examines the impact of superfast 5G, predicting that fixed mobile convergence will mean that the next one billion subscribers could blend wireless and fixed subscriptions.
“With 5G on the horizon and new Internet of Things devices and Over the Top services increasingly becoming a part of subscribers’ everyday lives, this new analysis looks at how the fixed broadband market and the technologies within it are evolving to meet this demand,” said Oliver Johnson, CEO at Point Topic. “As we look towards the next billion broadband subscriptions, fixed lines will continue to play a significant role. We expect to see more convergence between fixed and mobile lines as consumers look for a seamless, high-quality connectivity experience that is available anywhere, anytime.”
Overall, 89 per cent of the predicted 1.2 billion subscribers in 2025 will come from the current top 30 broadband markets, defined in Point Topic’s Q2 2018 report. Fixed broadband adoption in these top 30 markets is expected to grow by 22 per cent between 2018 and 2025, with developing economies in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico likely to see the highest growth in this period. Global adoption, including the rest of the world, is forecast to grow by 24 per cent.
Between 2018 and 2025, fiber-based connections (FTTH/P/B) are expected to grow by 51 per cent and FTTC/VDSL by 28 per cent. In the same period, ADSL-based connections are forecast to drop by 39 per cent. At the same time it is expected that pricing dependent growth in the satellite market and alternative offerings like TV White Space will extend the global broadband footprint.
Whereas broadband-capable device proliferation and connectivity, catalysed by key enablers such as Broadband Forum’s TR-069 protocol, paved the way to surpassing one billion deployments worldwide last October, emerging drivers such as 5G, meshed Wi-Fi, and new advanced services will be key to continued growth. Broadband Forum is well ahead of this curve, already preparing operators’ networks for the next billion connections. Ongoing projects include work with 3GPP to develop a converged 5G network, Broadband Quality Experience Delivered (Broadband QED) initiative, and User Services Platform (USP) which enables operators to manage connected home devices.
Additionally, Broadband Forum has published new standards for the modularisation of the Dynamic Bandwidth Assignment (DBA) function in optical access systems and the industry’s first Wi-Fi performance test standard. Its equipment conformance and interoperability certification testing is also ongoing, with this work being critical as networks scale to accommodate more than a billion subscribers.
“Following the significant achievement of one billion broadband subscribers worldwide, the global broadband market is continuing to evolve and find new ways to grow in both scale and quality,” said Geoff Burke, CMO of Broadband Forum. “As 5G enters the picture, the fixed network will not only provide the backbone for the 5G services, but new services created from wireless-wireline convergence will also continue to drive fixed broadband proliferation and adoption. Broadband Forum is on the forefront of this transformation, championing the initiatives that will continue to improve the broadband experiences of the future.”