There are over a billion fixed network broadband subscribers worldwide, up from about 485 million at the start of 2010. The figure is forecast to rise to 1.2 billion by the end of 2025, after which growth is projected to flatten off. Nearly 90% of fixed broadband subscribers are in the top 30 markets. It is interesting to see how much future growth will come from fibre to the premises.
Point Topic has for the first time produced global fixed broadband take-up forecasts by technology. The forecast, including data for the top 30 markets, is based on its extensive historical data on fixed broadband take up, the trends in subscriber churn for various broadband technologies, the size of the addressable market at country level, and current and planned network upgrades.
By the end of 2025, Point Topic predicts that some variant of fibre to the home, premises or building will be used by around 6 out of 10 fixed broadband subscribers globally, compared to 48% in 2018.
In the same period, the share of copper connections using DSL or ADSL technologies will fall from 19% to 9%. VDSL or fibre to the cabinet connections will account for 12%, despite an increase in the number of subscribers. Cable will continue to account for 19% of connections.
Legacy copper networks have been losing customers to more advanced technologies for years. It looks like direct fibre networks will attract the majority of new customers, with the figures for copper connections forecast to drop to hundreds or tens of thousands in most technologically advanced markets.
However, advanced technologies such as G.fast and Docsis 3.1, which are capable of gigabit speeds, are being more widely deployed on copper and cable networks respectively.
5G services, which are being trialled in some markets, are expected to have an impact on fixed broadband technologies, which will lose subscribers in some markets by 2025.