Global fixed broadband subscriber forecasts to Dec 2020

989.4m broadband lines predicted by the end of the decade

Every six months, Point Topic updates its five-year global broadband subscriber forecasts. In this free report we present the global highlights of the most recent analysis.

Point Topic has published its latest set of global broadband forecasts. While the growth rate appears relatively static, it is not as strong as some previous estimates. The forecasts are based on individual growth calculations for 114 countries which are supplemented by combined calculation for remaining countries and territories. Further details on our forecasting methodology are included later in this report.

Global broadband subscriber numbers

We predict the worldwide number of fixed broadband lines will reach 989.4m by the end of December 2020.

world broadband subscriber forecasts to Dec 2020 Figure 1: World broadband subscriber forecasts to 2020. Source – Point Topic.

Broadband subscriber growth by market type

Differences in broadband subscriber growth across the world are driven by how developed the market is within a particular country. We use three different classifications depending on the age of the market: emerging, youthful and mature*. We can see very clear differences in growth rates for each type of market below.

broadband forecasts by market to 2020 Figure 2: World broadband forecasts to 2020 by market type. Source – Point Topic

How do we forecast broadband subscriber numbers?

Point Topic uses the Gompertz Curve to forecast global broadband growth. The Gompertz Curve has been used for modelling consumer behaviour in a number of instances for at least the last 50 years. It has proven to be an accurate and powerful tool for predicting the diffusion of technology products through a consumer universe.

Broadband forecasts are generated for the 114 countries with the highest broadband subscriber numbers, as well as a general curve addressing growth in the rest of the world.

Point Topic’s forecasts use the following inputs:

  • Broadband subscribers – every quarter, Point Topic updates its database of broadband subscriber numbers across the world. The full database is available to our Global Broadband Statistics subscribers. This historical data is used as the basis for our forecasts.
  • Population forecasts – we use population forecasts published by the UN.
  • Household forecasts – we use estimates of the number of people per household to forecast growth in households

We then calculate the following variables for each of the markets covered:

  • Coverage – coverage defines the total addressable audience and is therefore set as the upper limit for broadband subscriptions. We forecast coverage growth over time.
  • Inception date – how many quarters since the technology was adopted in that market? This will affect the growth rate.
  • Growth factor – the speed of adoption (diffusion) of fixed broadband in a particular market. This is an indicator of how accessible, both economically (consumers can afford it) and in terms of availability (the service is present for a consumer in a particular place), fixed broadband is. This will vary from market to market.

Using these inputs we generate a forecast of broadband subscriptions in each of the 114 markets covered and for the rest of the world. These forecasts are inspected manually and adjusted to account for local market knowledge.

Find out more

Individual forecasts for 114 countries at quarterly intervals up to December 2020 are published in Point Topic’s Global Broadband Statistics service. Please telephone +44 (0)20 3301 3303 or e-mail for more details.

*countries and their market classifications

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