There are now more subscribers to fibre broadband services worldwide than any other fixed broadband technology, according to research by Point Topic.
In not much more than ten years fibre has made it to over 285 million subscribers and a 40 per cent plus market share.
Other access technologies are growing too, albeit more steadily. Cable’s global market share has dropped by almost 6 per cent in the last five years and while they have a smaller slice there’s a bigger pie.
Fixed isn’t a solution for everyone either economically or practically but there are still instances where mobile isn’t available or good enough. Satellite and local fixed wireless access solutions have done relatively well in their niches.
China and the US continue to lead the adoption race but markets around the world are switching to fibre in the local loop in a variety of flavours.
FTTx, usually with a VDSL termination is common in mature telecoms markets. FTTH still often struggles to make the business case today but a tipping point is coming for many as the savings in opex approach the capex associated with deployment and bandwidth demand continues to grow. In new build markets and command economies FTTH is the favoured deployment.
Fibre growth overall will continue but as China starts to slow, which it will do over the coming quarters as they approach the last few million in their upgrade programme, the global picture will be steadier.
That said there are plenty of programmes around the world that will see the switch continue but it’s likely we’re already in the middle of ‘peak’ fibre in terms of new subscribers and the point of inflexion on the growth curve is represented above.