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Forecast: FTTP broadband subs at 1.1bn by 2030

June 18, 2024

Point Topic has completed its latest forecasts for fixed broadband subscribers by technology. They are based on Global Broadband Subscriber figures for up to Q4 2023.

By 2030 Point Topic is projecting a total of 1.39 billion subscribers to a fixed broadband connection in the 29 largest broadband markets in the world. Full fibre (FTTP) is already dominating most of the markets and it will be the preferred option for most consumers, where it is available.

Split by technology, Point Topic estimates that by 2030 there will be 1.12 billion FTTP, 149 million cable, 79 million FTTX, 16 million FWA and only 28 million DSL lines in these markets.

Between 2023 and 2030 Point Topic projects a 15 per cent growth in total fixed broadband subscribers in the top 29 markets. The growth will come mainly from FTTP – although the increase in the total fibre lines will be lower than that in Fixed Wireless Access lines – 25 per cent and 61 per cent respectively, the sheer number of already existing and new FTTP connections will drive the total growth.

Regional breakdown

In terms of fixed broadband penetration regardless of platform, four out of five regions will see it rise to more than 70 per cent by 2030. Africa, where fixed infrastructure is still quite limited, will be approaching 60 per cent and will record the largest increase between 2023 and 2030 (+18 per cent), driven by Egypt and Algeria. Europe will see it above 90 per cent, with many markets already saturated or almost there.

Full fibre will drive broadband subscriber growth in most markets. It is already the market leader in two out of five regions (Asia and Europe) and will become the dominant technology in the Americas by 2025. In Africa, full fibre deployment is in the very early stages, so copper connections will still outstrip fibre by a large degree.

Asia will dominate in terms of total numbers and penetration, with China, India, Indonesia and others enjoying large populations and abundant potential new subscribers, although mobile technologies remain an important means of broadband access in these markets. Mainly due to China’s investment in fibre, this technology will dominate fixed broadband connectivity in this region, with other technologies paling in comparison to it.

Europe will see stagnation in cable broadband connections and decline of copper (DSL more sharply than FTTX), while Point Topic expects full fibre take-up to accelerate, as network coverage and consumer choice expand further

Asia is expected to have the highest regional FTTP penetration by 2030 with nearly 67 per cent of households and businesses subscribing to a full fibre service. As mentioned earlier, China is the main driver but rapid progress in terms of fibre deployment is also being made in other markets. Having said that, some countries in the region are still relying on legacy infrastructure.

Europe will follow Asia closely, with nearly 63 per cent FTTP penetration, with a number of mature fibre markets already approaching saturation (France, Portugal, Spain), while others are catching up at speed.

In the Americas, markets like the US, Canada and Argentina will have high take-up of ultrafast fixed broadband but the strength of the ‘cable’ sector means it will see a slower decline compared to other regions. In the US, for example, Point Topic projects that cable penetration will remain higher than that of FTTP. In turn, Point Topic projects a relatively lower FTTP penetration in the region in 2030 – at 51 per cent.

In Africa, as Egypt and Algeria are investing in full fibre, FTTP penetration will grow to 14 per cent.

In comparison, in 2023, there was widespread adoption of fixed broadband but FTTP penetration stood at under 40 per cent in all regions except Asia.

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