World Broadband Statistics – Q2 2017

Point Topic has published Q2 2017 broadband subscriber figures

At the end of Q2 2017, the quarterly growth of fixed broadband subscribers stood at 1.81 per cent. The global number of fixed broadband connections stood at 889.6m.

Summary of key findings

At the end of Q2 2017, the quarterly growth of fixed broadband subscribers slowed down compared to the previous quarter and stood at 1.81 per cent. The global number of fixed broadband connections stood at 889.6m.

The main trends that we spotted this quarter:

  • In Q2 2017 the highest growth q-o-q was recorded in East Asia, Asia – Other, and Oceania. It was influenced by the continuing increase in the number of FTTP connections: 12 per cent in New Zealand and Saudi Arabia, 11 per cent in the Philippines and Vietnam, and 6 per cent in China, among others.
  • Copper decline continued. The fall was especially notable in Oceania, where due to the boost in FTTH and VDSL connections, the share of copper dropped by 2.1 per cent, mainly influenced by the 7 per cent DSL decline in New Zealand.
  • In 12 months to the end of Q2 2017, China added 71 million FTTH connections. This figure is twice as high as the total fixed broadband subscribers in India and Mexico combined.

Global and regional trends

GBS

Figure 1. World broadband subscriber numbers and growth. Source – Point Topic.

In Q2 2017, the number of global fixed broadband subscribers grew by 1.81% quarter-on-quarter. The growth slowed down compared to Q1 2017 but was higher than in in the same quarter in 2016 (Figures 1 and 2).

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 13.00.23

Figure 2. World broadband subscriber quarterly growth figures. Source – Point Topic.

In Q2 2017, 72 per cent of all net additions in fixed broadband subscribers came from East Asia (Figure 3), nearly the same as in Q1 2017. The quarterly growth rate in this region was the highest among all regions and stood at 3 per cent (Figure 4).

net by region

Figure 3. Share of net adds in fixed broadband subscribers by region, Q2 2017. Source – Point Topic.

In Q2 2017 the next highest growth q-o-q was recorded in Asia – Other (2 per cent) and Oceania (1.8 per cent). In the case of Asia – Other, countries such as Saudi Arabia and Vietnam saw growth driven by a 12 per cent and 11 per cent increase in FTTP subscriptions. In Oceania, New Zealand recorded 12 per cent quarterly boost in FTTP connections.

regional growth and population penetration

Figure 4. Penetration and quarterly growth by region (size of bubble represents subscriber volume in Q2 2017). Source – Point Topic.

Technology trends

The share of copper based technologies (DSL, ADSL and ADSL2+) in the total subscriber figure continued to fall in all regions. In Q2 2017, the fall was especially notable in Oceania and Americas, where FTTH and FTTx, which includes VDSL, started to gain more ground. The share of copper in both these regions dropped by 2.1 and 1.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter respectively (Figure 5).

technology market share by region

Figure 5. Technology market share by region, Q2 2017. Source – Point Topic.

Overall, the share of FTTH connections in total fixed broadband subscriptions continued to increase in all regions while the share of cable based subscriptions dropped slightly in Asia and Oceania as operators migrated subscribers from legacy cable networks to FTTH and VDSL platforms.

In terms of the annual changes, the number of copper lines globally fell by 7.2 per cent, while FTTH connections increased by 34.3 per cent between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 (Figure 6). These figures are similar compared to the previous quarter with a prominent trend of copper to direct fibre substitution. The negative growth in FTTx lines was caused mainly by this technology being replaced with FTTH on a large scale in China. At the same time, fixed wireless technologies are increasingly giving way to 4G LTE based mobile broadband access. In fact, it is offered as one of the ways to get broadband at home in several countries and regions, for example Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

growth in subscribers by technolofy

Figure 6. Annual growth in technology subscriber numbers (%). Source – Point Topic.

Globally, from Q3 2015 FTTH is used by more broadband subscribers than cable. With an increasing number of fibre network upgrades to gigabit speeds being announced regularly by operators worldwide, this trend is likely to continue. As the same time, a number of cable providers especially in Canada and the US are responding with Docsis 3.1 deployments also capable of gigabit speeds.

Top broadband countries

The top ten countries by the total fixed broadband subscribers remained unchanged since Q2 2016 (Figure 7). However, in Q1 2017 France regained the fifth place in the rating after being pushed down by the Russian Federation in Q4 2016. China passed a quarter of a billion fixed broadband subscriber milestone in Q1 2016 and continues to grow at impressive speed.

top 10 countries

Figure 7. Country ranking by broadband subscribers in Q2 2017. Source – Point Topic.

top 10 countries net adds

Figure 8. Broadband subscribers added in Q2 2017. Source – Point Topic.

China also dominates globally by the number of quarterly net additions in fixed broadband subscribers, mainly driven by FTTH rollout on a massive scale. In 12 months to the end of Q2 2017, the country added 71 million FTTH connections.  At the same time, the quarterly net adds in the United States in Q2 2017 were only 20 per cent of the Q1 2017 net adds and slightly lower than the net adds in Q2 2016, as many cable operators and market giants such as AT&T saw their growth slow down significantly.

Get access to the full report and data used in it

The data used in this report is taken from Point Topic’s Global Broadband Statistics service that allows customers to analyse the datasets covering fixed broadband subscribers in more than 120 countries at country, operator and technology level. Please telephone +44 (0)20 3301 3303 or e-mail simona@point-topic.com for more details.

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