Nicolas delafraye - stock.adobe.
The number of new copper-based broadband lines fell by 6.6% globally in the second quarter of 2019 compared with Q2 2018, while fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections increased by 18.6% and FTTx/VDSL by 7.1%, according to research from Point Topic.
At the end of the quarter, growth of fixed broadband subscribers stood at 1.7% and the number of global fixed broadband connections totalled 1.08 billion. Wireless, mostly fixed wireless access (FWA), and satellite saw healthy growth of 26% and 9.1%, respectively, while cable connections grew by just 2%.
Even though there was a clear trend towards fibre, the increase was at a slower rate than in the previous quarter. Global fixed broadband growth was the lowest in the last six quarters, and the overall trend over the last four quarters was a slowdown in growth, said Point Topic.
It attributed this mainly to saturation of broadband markets in the leading economies and the increasing take-up of mobile broadband connections over 4G and 5G technologies.
China continued to be the largest fibre growth market, accounting for two-thirds (11 million) of global FTTH net adds. Belgium, Thailand, Argentina, the Philippines, Chile and South Africa, among others, saw double-digit FTTH quarterly growth rates.
Point Topic noted that in the second quarter, 66% of global FTTH net additions came from China, which now has approaching half a billion fixed broadband subscribers. Yet in the same quarter, the country saw quarterly growth of just 3% in FTTH connections, compared with double-digit growth in Belgium, Thailand, Argentina, the Philippines, Chile and South Africa, among others.
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