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European FTTH subs up 15.7%

March 14, 2019

The latest figures of the FTTH Market Panorama prepared by IDATE have been released, revealing forecasts for 2020 and 2025 for the first time.

The number of fibre to the home (FTTH) and fibre to the building (FTTB) subscribers in Europe increased by 15.7 per cent in EU39 since September 2017 with more than 59.6 million FTTH/B subscribers in September 2018. Although Russia is the leader in terms of FTTH/B subscribers in the European region, it has showed a lower growth rate compared to other European countries which are catching up quickly with a 21 per cent growth.

The deployment of both FTTH and FTTB networks has increased significantly. By September 2018 it is estimated that the coverage of FTTH/B reached 46,4 per cent in the EU39 and 36,4 per cent in EU28. This shows a clear upward trend from September 2015 where the estimated coverage rate in the region was 39 per cent in the EU39 and 27,2 per cent in the EU28.

This year, the country adding the most subscribers is European. Spain added 1.858.743 new FTTH/B subscribers, France comes second with an addition of 1.480.220 new FTTH/B subscriptions, while Russia saw its FTTH/B subscriber base increase with 1.256.000 new FTTH/B customers. Other countries also experienced notable increases such as Czechia with 523.950 new subscribers and Italy with 449.637 new subscribers. Italy saw an outstanding growth in the number of homes passed, from 4.398.435 in September 2017 to 6.295.000 in September 2018 for a total increase of 43.12 per cent.

The take-up rate elevated to 37.4 per cent for EU39 from 34.8 per cent the previous year with a take-up rate for EU28 (38.2 per cent) surpassing the EU39 rate for the first time. Countries like Andorra, Belarus, Belgium, Latvia, Netherlands and Romania experience a take-up rate surpassing 50 per cent.

It is interesting to note that fibre technologies have evolved the last years; by September 2018, we observe a predominance of FTTH architecture over FTTB (56 per cent vs 44 per cent).

In the European region, alternative players are the most involved in FTTH/B expansion, with a contribution of around 55 per cent from the FTTH/B total players. We also see that governments and local authorities are getting more involved in fibre projects, either directly, by signing agreements with telecom players, or via public funds. It is also worth noting that incumbents in some countries have started to modify their strategy in order to deploy FTTH solutions, instead of continuing the development of legacy copper-based or cable-based networks.

Commenting on the report, Ronan Kelly, President of the FTTH Council said: “these new figures show a momentum that is accelerating over the last few years. Full fibre is the way forward and the results of the Market Panorama provide compelling evidence of this. Fibre expansion is booming in many countries and today more consumers are aware of the benefits of fibre. Our job is not done, however, there is still a long way to go until every citizen and business has access to the benefits of full fibre in Europe.”

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