Forecast: Global fixed broadband subs 1.6bn by 2030
March 15, 2023
Broadband market intelligence specialist Point Topic has updated its forecasts of fixed broadband take-up for 96 markets to the end of 2030. The forecasts are based on its quarterly broadband take-up data up to Q2 2022 and include both residential and business connections.
Point Topic forecasts that by the end of 2030, there will be more than 1.595 billion fixed broadband subscribers across the globe. This is a slight increase from 1.55 billion it predicted in its forecast published in October 2021. Between mid-2022 and end-2030, global fixed broadband subscribers will grow by 18 per cent.
The highest growth in fixed broadband subscribers (45.5 per cent) will come from the Emerging markets, where broadband services were introduced earlier than in the Youthful markets but there is still plenty of room to increase take-up. A number of countries in the Emerging category have been expanding fixed broadband infrastructure, especially focusing on fibre. The demand for ultrafast broadband has been increasing at healthy rates in these generally large and growing populations and economies, with Indonesia and Philippines just a couple of examples. Youthful countries will see the second highest growth at 16 per cent. Here, fixed broadband take-up has already grown at high speed and so they will see growth rates slow down. To date, the growth curve of Youthful markets has been the steepest, with the likes of China having invested heavily in their broadband infrastructure over the last decade.
The growth in mature countries will be the slowest (8 per cent) and flatline as fixed broadband penetration there is already high and population growth is slowing down.
At the regional level, the advanced, mature economies of Western Europe and North America will see the slowest growth, at 7 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. On the other hand, fixed broadband take-up in the Middle East & Africa and in Latin America will grow at significant rates (53 per cent and 33 per cent respectively).
In terms of the absolute figures, South and East Asia will continue to have by far the highest number of fixed broadband subscribers by the end of 2030, at 730 million. China will remain the largest market in the region, although the growth there will slow down significantly, given already high household penetration.
Among the global regions, Western Europe will follow in the remote second place with 180 million fixed broadband subscribers forecast by 2030. Despite the highest predicted growth, Middle East and Africa will remain the smallest fixed broadband market with 80 million subscribers.
Compared to the previous forecast, Point Topic’s current forecast of global fixed broadband take-up figures by end-2030 is 2.7 per cent higher. This reflects higher than previously-expected growth in broadband take-up and addressable audiences in a number of countries. The higher forecast growth in such markets as Saudi Arabia (+36 per cent), Qatar (+34 per cent), and Malaysia (+16 per cent), among others, has boosted its global fixed broadband subscriber forecast for this decade. These are emerging or youthful countries with relatively low market saturation, where there is still plenty of scope for expanding fixed broadband coverage and take-up. Markets of these types also dominate the fastest growth league table.
At the same time, Point Topic’s predict a modest growth between 2022 and 2030 in China (4.6 per cent), given that the country’s fixed broadband market is already highly saturated – it has reached the half billion subscriber milestone in Q2 2021. Moreover, 5G subscribers there are also approaching a billion. In the second largest fixed broadband market of the US (a mature market), Point Topic forecasts a 9.4 per cent growth between now and 2030.
Other lowest forecast growth countries are a mixture of markets with high fixed broadband penetration such as France, Hong Kong and Malta, and those where socio-economic conditions are less favourable for broadband investment and adoption despite low penetration, e.g., Venezuela.
The overall picture suggests that countries located in the Global South will generally see higher growth in fixed broadband take-up by the end of the decade.
Similarly, mainly countries from the Global South will see the largest improvements in fixed broadband penetration among population, with UAE at the top with +16 per cent.