Fixed broadband tariffs in Q2 2017

Broadband tariff benchmarks for residential and business broadband services

We compared broadband tariffs across different technologies in Q2 2017, looking at price and speed variations in various parts of the world.

Global broadband tariffs and bandwidths

We have compared the average subscription charges and corresponding bandwidths for different broadband technologies across the world. All prices for fixed broadband tariffs are quoted in US dollars at PPP (purchasing power parity) rates to allow easier comparison.

Residential broadband packages

In Q2 2017, the average monthly charge for residential broadband services remained at $105, unchanged since Q1 2017.  At the same time, the average download speed provided to residential subscribers continued to climb and was 135Mbps, compared to 124Mbps in Q1 2017.

The increase in the average download speed was caused by the boost in the average speeds provided over cable and fibre platforms. Between Q1 2017 and Q2 2017, the average cable broadband download speed has gone up from 133Mbps to 143Mbps (+7.5%), and the same indicator for fibre was up from 195Mbps to 208Mbps (+6.7%). This trend will continue, with a number of broadband providers accelerating the rollout of FTTH and Docsis 3.1 networks capable of Gigabit speeds, as well as copper based g.Fast platforms.  (For more details on the next generation network upgrades see operator profiles which are part of our Broadband Operators and Tariffs service).

Average cost and download speeds Q2 2017

The average cost per Mbps continues to go down. The average ‘global’ cost per Mbps (for all three technologies combined) was $0.78 at the end of Q2 2017, compared to $0.85 recorded at the end of Q1 2017. This quarter it was impacted mainly by the decline in the cost per Mbps on cable and fibre based broadband packages due to the average speed boost on these platforms.

Business broadband packages

In Q2 2017, the average monthly charge for business broadband services was $197, compared to $201 in the previous quarter. The average download speed saw a boost of 7% from 100Mbps in Q1 2017 to 107Mbps in Q2 2017.  This increase in bandwidth was caused by significant growth in the average download speed on fibre based business packages. In Q2 2017 it went up 7% compared to Q1 2017 (+4% between Q1 2017 and Q4 2016).

In terms of average monthly cost, it remained stagnant for copper connections, decreased slightly for cable  and saw a significant fall in the case of fibre connections (-6% quarter on quarter).

Average cost and download speeds Q2 2017 Business

At the end of Q2 2017, the average global cost per Mbps for business broadband packages dropped by 8% and stood at $1.84. The decline in average cost per Mbps of bandwidth provided over cable and especially fibre has contributed to this overall drop.

Regional tariffs and bandwidths

In this section, we have compared the average subscription charges and corresponding bandwidths in different regions across the world. All prices are quoted in international US dollars at PPP rates to allow direct comparison between regions.

Residential broadband packages

Asia-Pacific retained its dominant position in terms of bandwidth as the operators in the region continue to push FTTP services. In Q2 2017, the average bandwidth in this region was 390Mbps, compared to 405Mbps in Q1 2017. Western Europe followed as it pushed VDSL and, since recently, g.fast. The region saw its average bandwidth grow from 164Mbps in Q1 2017 to 183Mbps in Q2 2017, and it offered the best value for money in terms of average monthly broadband tariff at $61.5 PPP.

In Q1 2017, North America saw its average bandwidth go up further by 14% compared to the previous quarter as Canadian and US operators upgraded their speeds and expanded FTTP and superfast cable networks. South and East Asia also saw the average download speeds increase by 15% q-o-q to 98Mbps. Countries of Middle East and Africa continued to be the most expensive broadband markets, not least due to the lack of competition in the fixed broadband markets and fixed broadband being strongly overshadowed by mobile.

Residentail tariff benchmarks Q2 2017

Business broadband packages

The lowest priced business tariffs were offered in Western Europe and North America. Although being the most expensive market, Asia-Pacific offered by far the highest average download speed at 417Mbps. However, in Q2 2017 it was overtaken by Western Europe in terms of the lowest average cost per Mbps of bandwidth at $0.83 PPP.

Business tariff benchmarks Q2 2017


Country ranking

In this section, we look at the average monthly tariff for residential broadband services across the world. The average tariffs include copper, cable and fibre broadband services, and cover both standalone and bundled services. All tariffs are quoted in international US dollars at PPP rates to allow comparisons between countries.

This isn’t the end of the story when it comes to making a comparison. Different approaches could be applied.  You may want to include bundles in cross country comparisons, though it is not easy to quantify the value of one TV channel versus another, for example.  You could look at a range of services on offer or select a single entry level tariff from the most popular supplier. As ever the answer is to pick whatever best suits your needs.

Entry level, median or average?

We are using the three most common comparison aggregations:

  • The entry level tariff – typically ignores variations in bandwidth caps, time charging, actual bandwidth offered and overall availability of a tariff in the market. Best used to indicate the conditions at the low end of the market and best comparator if you’re looking at the market penetration for broadband overall or a particular technology.
  • The median tariff – the value in the middle of the count of all values in the set. Can be skewed by unbalanced reporting or data gathering.  Useful as a general indication of the country market and for inter market comparisons.
  • The average tariff – doesn’t represent an amount anyone actually pays, skewed by extremes in price. The best single number for comparing whole country markets when you want to understand the range of options for the consumer.

There is a difference in the relative country performance depending on which metric is used and the variation can be significant.

Here we show the price and country ranking for the metrics explained above for residential services. All prices expressed as international US$ (PPP rates).

Entry level, average and median tariffs

The above chart shows the range from the entry level service through the median up to the average value of all the residential tariffs in the market. This highlights some of the issues we have outlined above.

The spreads in Japan, Germany, South Korea and Russia for example seem to indicate that it is relatively straightforward to get more bandwidth, at least in terms of cost. In India, Turkey, Brazil and the United States the differences in price levels of various speeds are much more pronounced, not least due to the limited supply of alternative technologies especially in rural areas.

Top 10

If we look at the most expensive markets in terms of median tariffs we also see some variation in entry level and average ones. Upgrading to higher level tariffs is still especially expensive in UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Bolivia.

Get access to the full data

Access to the full version of the this report and our latest tariff database featuring more than 5,000 services from over 90 countries are available to subscribers of Point Topic’s Broadband Operators & Tariffs service. To find out more, please telephone +44 (0)20 3301 3303 or e-mail simona@point-topic.com.

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