A report from Point Topic on behalf of the Broadband Forum predicts there will be 1.2 billion fixed broadband subscribers by 2025. The report is Point Topic's first worldwide broadband subscribers forecast.
According to the research, the current trends of deep-fiber deployment and broadband penetration in developing markets will be the engine of broadband growth through 2025. The forecast says some variant of fiber - fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) or fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) - will be used by 59% of fixed broadband subscribers globally by 2025. The report also examines the impact of 5G wireless, predicting that fixed-mobile convergence will mean that the next 1 billion subscribers could blend wireless and fixed subscriptions.
"With 5G on the horizon and new Internet of Things devices and over-the-top services increasingly becoming a part of subscribers' everyday lives, this new analysis looks at how the fixed broadband market and the technologies within it are evolving to meet this demand," said Oliver Johnson, CEO at Point Topic. "As we look toward the next billion broadband subscriptions, fixed lines will continue to play a significant role. We expect to see more convergence between fixed and mobile lines as consumers look for a seamless, high-quality connectivity experience that is available anywhere, anytime."
Overall, 89% of the predicted 1.2 billion subscribers in 2025 are expected to come from the current top 30 broadband markets, defined in Point Topic's Q2 2018 report. Fixed broadband adoption in those top 30 markets is expected to grow by 22% between 2018 and 2025, with developing economies in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico likely to see the highest growth in the forecast period. Global adoption, including the rest of the world, is forecast to grow by 24%.
Between 2018 and 2025, fiber-based connections (FTTH/P/B) are expected to grow by 51% and FTTC/VDSL by 28%. In the same period, ADSL-based connections are forecast to drop by 39%. At the same time it is expected that pricing dependent growth in the satellite market and alternative offerings like TV White Space will extend the global broadband footprint.
Whereas broadband-capable device proliferation and connectivity paved the way to surpassing 1 billion deployments worldwide last October, emerging drivers such as 5G, meshed WiFi, and new advanced services will be key to continued growth.
"Following the significant achievement of 1 billion broadband subscribers worldwide, the global broadband market is continuing to evolve and find new ways to grow in both scale and quality," said Geoff Burke, CMO of Broadband Forum. "As 5G enters the picture, the fixed network will not only provide the backbone for the 5G services, but new services created from wireless-wireline convergence will also continue to drive fixed broadband proliferation and adoption."