Fixed broadband tariffs in Q3 2018

Broadband tariff benchmarks for residential and business broadband services

We have compared broadband tariffs across different technologies in Q3 2018, 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 are quoted in US dollars at PPP (purchasing power parity) rates to allow easier comparison.

Residential broadband packages

In Q3 2018, the average monthly charge for fibre and copper connections decreased by $4 and $3 respectively while cable remained unchanged compared to the previous quarter. The average monthly charge for residential broadband services dropped by $3 and stood at $91 in Q3 2018.

The average bandwidth provided to residential subscribers increased by about 8% compared to Q2 2018. The boost was impacted by the continued increase in bandwidth provided over fibre and cable networks. In Q3 2018, the average download speeds over fibre and cable increased by 5% and 8% respectively.

In Q3 2018, the combined average cost per Mbps on broadband packages provided over the three technologies continued to decrease – it dropped from $0.54 in Q2 2018 to $0.49 in Q3 2018. Despite this 9% decrease in average cost per Mbps, copper remains the most expensive technology. Operators, especially in better developed regions, stopped promoting copper based broadband services as their main broadband product and are migrating consumers to fibre and gigabit capable cable broadband packages.

Business broadband packages

In Q3 2018, the average monthly charge for standalone business broadband services decreased further by 2.5% compared to the previous quarter and stood at $193. The average monthly charge decreased by 4% for copper and 7% for fibre while it went up by 4% for cable.

At the same time, the average bandwidth continued to grow – it went up by 7% compared to Q2 2018 and stood at 153Mbps. This boost was caused by higher average download speeds offered over cable and fibre networks. In the case of cable, in Q3 2018 the average bandwidth has gone up by 9% compared to Q2 2018. For fibre connections, the average download speed has increased by 2%. Copper connection speed remained at 11Mbps this quarter.

At the end of Q3 2018, the average combined cost per Mbps for business broadband packages went down by a further 9% and stood at $1.26. The decrease in the average cost of bandwidth provided over all technology networks has contributed to the overall drop in the average cost per Mbps. Fibre connections saw the most substantial decrease of 8% this quarter.


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 operators in the region continue to push fibre services. In Q3 2018, the average bandwidth in this region was 516Mbps. Western Europe and North America followed with 247Mbps and 217Mbps respectively as the rollouts of VDSL,, FTTP and Docsis 3.1 continued.

Middle East and Africa, which are focusing in mobile markets and technologies, saw the average fixed broadband download speeds drop by nearly 11% q-o-q, to 37.41Mbps. Due to the limited supply of fixed broadband, it was also the second most expensive region. With still relatively low fixed broadband penetration, Latin America was the most expensive market offering the second lowest bandwidth.

Business broadband packages

The lowest priced business tariffs were offered in Europe and North America. While being the most expensive market, Asia-Pacific also offered the highest average download speeds at 494Mbps and one of the lowest average cost per Mbps of bandwidth at $0.94. In comparison, in Western Europe and North America the average cost per Mbps stood at $0.57 and $0.73 respectively, with the average bandwidth being 230Mbps in the former and 191Mbps in the latter.

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.

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).

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, France, UK, Korea and Russia for example seem to indicate that it is relatively straightforward to get more bandwidth, at least in terms of cost, even though this may indicate that consumers on entry level tariffs are subsidising those on higher level tariffs. In Brazil, India, Turkey, China and the United States the differences in price levels of various packages are much more pronounced, not least due to the variation of supply between urban and rural areas.

Looking at the most expensive markets in terms of median tariffs we also see some variation in the entry level and average ones. Upgrading to higher level tariffs is still especially expensive in Bolivia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Mauritania and Sudan. This is symptomatic of the African and Middle Eastern countries where mobile broadband is the technology of choice for accessing the internet.

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 as well as Double Play and Triple Play services. To find out more, please telephone +44 (0)20 3301 3303 or e-mail

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