Global FTTH subscribers increase 23% in 2013

Posted on Aug 20, 2013 in Industry News, News

Fiber-optic broadband networks such as Fiber to the Home (FTTH) will serve 19% of subscribers worldwide by the end of this year, forecasts ABI Research. The figure represents a 23% improvement over the 13% fiber-optic networks served by year-end 2012, according to the market research firm’s new “Broadband Subscribers” market report.

The move to fiber is part of an overall expansion of fixed broadband access network deployments. “The number of broadband subscribers is growing on all DSL, cable, and fiber-optic platforms,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director at ABI. “However, there is a marked shift in consumer adoption from DSL to fiber-optic as operators continue to extend the reach of their fiber-optic infrastructure.”

“ABI Research expects globally 25.6 million fiber-optic broadband subscribers will be added to eclipse 124 million subscribers in YE-2013. In the DSL broadband category, subscriber net addition is expected to drop by ~50% compared to 2012,” added Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.

The move to fiber encompasses both developed and emerging markets, ABI asserts. For example, the market research firm expects DSL broadband adoption to decline in China over the next few years as China Telecom and China Unicom aggressively deploy FTTH and Fiber to the Building (FTTB). DSL subscriptions dropped by 3 million in the first quarter of this year, ABI reports; meanwhile, fiber-optic subscriber numbers grew from 32.9 million to 37.6 million.

Yet the path isn’t entirely clear for FTTH to overwhelm DSL thanks to the promise of VDSL2 vectoring. ABI notes trials of the technology by such Tier 1 carriers as Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, and BT.

ABI Research’s quarterly “Broadband Subscribers” market data resource profiles broadband subscriber numbers by operator, country, and technology. It also provides market trends and market forecast information for key regions and countries around the world. The data is part of ABI Research’s Broadband Subscribers Research Service.