World Fixed Broadband Statistics – Q2 2019

Point Topic has published Q2 2019 broadband subscriber figures

At the end of Q2 2019, the quarterly growth of fixed broadband subscribers stood at 1.7 per cent. The number of global fixed broadband connections was 1.08bn.

Summary of key findings

At the end of Q2 2019, the quarterly growth of fixed broadband subscribers stood at 1.7 per cent. The number of global fixed broadband connections was 1.08bn.

The main trends in Q2 2019:

  • Between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019 the number of copper lines fell by 6.6 per cent, while FTTH connections increased by 18.6 per cent and FTTx/VDSL by 7.1 per cent.
  • Wireless (mostly FWA) and satellite saw a healthy growth of 26 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively. Cable connections grew by modest 2 per cent.
  • China continued to be the largest fibre growth market, with 66 per cent of global FTTH net adds (11m net additions).
  • Belgium, Thailand, Argentina, Philippines, Chile and South Africa among others saw significant FTTH quarterly growth rates in double digits.

Global and regional trends

Figure 1. Trends in world broadband subscriber growth. Source – Point Topic.

In Q2 2019, the number of global fixed broadband subscribers grew by 1.69 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 1.08bn (Figures 1 and 2). The growth was the lowest in the last six quarters, and the overall trend over the last four quarters was the slowdown in growth. This trend is mainly caused by the saturation of broadband markets in the leading economies and the increasing take-up of mobile broadband connections over 4G and 5G technologies.

Figure 2. Global broadband subscribers and quarterly growth rates. Source – Point Topic.

More than 63 per cent of all net additions in fixed broadband subscribers came from East Asia (Figure 3), which also retained the largest regional market share of all subscribers at 47 per cent (Figure 4). Compared to Q1 2019, market shares across all regions changed by less than a percentage point, except for Asia Other whose market share increased by 1.4 per cent.

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

Figure 4. Share of fixed broadband subscribers by region. Source – Point Topic.

Compared to the previous quarter, in Q2 2019 the quarterly growth rate was higher in Eastern Europe (+0.29 per cent) and America Other (+0.18 per cent) (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Quarterly growth rates by region

The rest of the world saw a decline in quarterly growth compared to Q1 2019, with Africa seeing the largest difference of -1.93 per cent. Oceania followed with -1.02 per cent. Despite this, Africa was still the fastest growing region (2.47 per cent up quarter-on-quarter). This can be explained by the very low market saturation, given that this region has the second lowest market share of all fixed broadband subscribers at 1.84 per cent and the lowest fixed broadband penetration at 3.93 per cent (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Penetration and quarterly growth by region (size of bubble represents subscriber volume in Q2 2019). Source – Point Topic.

In Q2 2019, East Asia came second in terms of growth in fixed broadband subscribers with quarterly increase of 2.3 per cent. China was the main driver, with 2.58 per cent. Another region with growth higher than 2 per cent was Asia-Other. In this region, strong quarterly growth was recorded in Saudi Arabia (7.1 per cent), Sri Lanka (6.4 per cent), Indonesia (5.7 per cent), Nepal (4.7 per cent), Philippines (3.5 per cent) and Vietnam (2.9 per cent), among others. Overall, growth tended to be higher in the countries with lower broadband penetration, with an exception of some markets where mobile broadband dominates due to low penetration of fixed lines (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Fixed broadband: quarterly growth and population penetration. Source: Point Topic.

 

Technology trends

Between Q2 2019 and Q1 2019, the market share of fibre connections in the total fixed broadband subscribers continued to grow – it went up by 0.96 per cent globally. The share of cable-based subscriptions dropped by 0.38 per cent as subscribers further migrated from legacy networks to fibre. The share of copper-based subscriptions (ADSL) continued to deteriorate and fell by 0.58 per cent (Figure 8).

Figure 8. Technology market share by region. Source – Point Topic.

Direct fibre connections continue to grow at high rates. In Q2 2019, 66 per cent of global FTTH net additions came from China due to the sheer size of the market. Having said that, China saw a mere 3 per cent quarterly growth in FTTH connections, compared to the double digit growth in Belgium, Thailand, Argentina, Philippines, Chile and South Africa among others (Figure 9).

Figure 9. Quarterly growth of FTTH subscribers. Source: Point Topic.

Figure 10. Changes in fixed broadband technology market shares by region.

In terms of annual changes, between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019 the number of copper lines globally fell by 6.6 per cent, while FTTH connections increased by 18.6 per cent and FTTx by 7.1 per cent (Figure 11). The trend of subscribers dropping copper in favour of fibre continues, albeit at a slower rate than in the previous quarter. Wireless (mostly FWA) and satellite saw a healthy growth as these technologies are increasingly used to cover broadband ‘white spots’.

Figure 11. Annual growth in subscriber numbers by technology (%). Source – Point Topic.

 

Top broadband countries

The top ten countries by total fixed broadband subscribers remained unchanged since Q2 2016 (Figure 12). China is approaching half a billion of fixed broadband subscribers and continues to record the largest broadband net adds globally (Figure 13).

Figure 12. Country ranking by broadband subscribers.  Source – Point Topic.

Figure 13. Country ranking by broadband net additions. Source – Point Topic.

 

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. The data is also available as part of our Double Play and Triple Play service. Please telephone +44 (0)20 3301 3303 or e-mail simona@point-topic.com for more details.

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