by Geoff Burke, DZS Inc. (a global provider of access networking infrastructure, service assurance and consumer experience software solutions). Edited by Alan J Weissberger
There are a handful of significant trends that will emerge over the next several months as service providers navigate their transformation and seek to find their Competitive EDGE. This post will focus on the increasing shift to multi-gigabit services, the growing importance of the network edge and how service providers are being transformed into “experience providers..
- Multi-Gigabit Broadband Services are Becoming the New Standard – The shift to gigabit services was both widespread and well suited for Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) However, new advanced applications will require symmetrical multi-gigabit speeds. The proliferation of multiple devices using these bandwidth-hungry apps is pushing service providers to begin to think 10 gig services and beyond for both business and residential services. The emergence of the metaverse, with Ultra High Definition (UHD) Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/Extended Reality (AR/VR/XR) and gaming applications will continue push these boundaries.
- The Network Edge Continues to Rise as a Strategic Location – The rise of 10 Gigabit Symmetrical (XGS)-PON and multi-gigabit services that support the above mentioned applications and more is creating new challenges in the network – especially as these apps require symmetrical bandwidth. Service providers realize that they must push equipment as close to the subscriber as possible to optimize traffic management, but also to minimize latency, which is becoming increasingly important in the world of the metaverse and AR/VR/XR apps. Additionally, leveraging intelligence at the edge moves it closer to where data is actually created and consumed and where the subscriber experience is defined giving service providers increased agility in monitoring, managing and optimizing performance.
- Service Providers are Rapidly Transforming into Experience Providers – As the network becomes increasingly software defined and intelligent equipment is deployed closer to the edge, the ability for carriers to both gather meaningful information that can reflect and provide actionable insights into user experience grows dramatically. As a result, the concept of a true “experience provider” is emerging where subscriber problems can be anticipated and proactively addressed, and user needs can be addressed remotely and immediately in an extraordinarily personalized manner. This transformation is proving to have profound impacts on carrier performance, with dramatically reduced churn, faster responsiveness, better performance, and higher Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).
DZS Inc says these Applications are Changing the Broadband Industry:
- Connected Home: WiFi everywhere
- Connected Business: Passive Optical LAN
- MDUs: delivering multi-gigabit services
- Multi-gigabit services: they are becoming a major source of differentiation for service providers
When the FCC announced the November 18th release date for their long-awaited broadband mapping update, reflecting location-specific broadband availability as of June 2022, analysts at MoffettNathanson thought it would contain information on how many of U.S. homes have access to broadband and how many are too rural and are therefore unserved. However, that FCC release didn’t offer the numbers they needed, and the market research fim didn’t
have the necessary information to calculate it themselves.
In the underlying FCC datasets, which are provided for public download, each location served by a given technology or provider is a separate entry. One location is equivalent to one street address. But many street addresses in the U.S. correspond to multiple living units, and the number of units per location is not publicly available (the location fabric used by the FCC was contracted to a third party, CostQuest Associates, and that fabric is provided only to the FCC, broadband providers, state/local government entities, and select other interested parties). With approximately 31% of residences in multifamily homes, according to a 2019 survey by the Census Bureau, the number of units per location was, as of the November 18th release, a crucial missing piece for any meaningful coverage analysis we could do on our own.
Principal Analyst Craig Moffett wrote:
The FCC’s new maps of broadband availability can tell us coverage for residential locations or business locations, but not the combined total. The companies we cover sometimes break out residential and commercial, but not always. [As an aside, about half of small businesses in the U.S. are actually operated out of peoples’ homes, but hopefully this, at least, doesn’t introduce further distortion, since we are presumably still seeing just one subscription for one location]. So we’ll do our best to make sure we’re matching numerator and denominator by specifying whether we’re looking at all locations or residential locations only.
The FCC’s coverage data also doesn’t distinguish between occupied and vacant units. For our calculation of penetration, we’d want to exclude most vacant units, since vacant units don’t need broadband. Excluding all vacant units likely understates the denominator, though; for example, some second homes (which are treated as vacant) may have year-round broadband subscriptions. The best we can do is assume the coverage of total units is the same as the coverage of occupied units, and that vacant units with broadband subscriptions are negligible.
The FCC does report service coverage for satellite and fixed wireless. But some of those FWA subscribers are in areas where there’s no access to wired broadband, while others are in areas where wired broadband is available. Naturally, the companies won’t tell us how many of each there are. So we’ll just have to leave them all out. We’ll focus just on the availability of wired broadband.
Editor’s Note: The FCC broadband map for my address show a Licensed Fixed Wireless operator serves my condo. It’s California Internet with symmetrical 1G upstream/1G downstream. Also, there are two Satellite providers – Hughes Network Systems, LLC 25M/3M and Space X 350M/40M. Wired internet is available from AT&T and Comcast.
We’d really want to know how many DSL subscribers are in each of those different cohorts. But the
companies we cover don’t report how many of their DSL subscribers are in areas where there is
also a cable or fiber operator, and how many are in areas where DSL is the only option. The first
group is at risk. The second group is not. So, we’ll just have to include all DSL.
According to the FCC’s current estimates, wired broadband (defined as anything over 200 kbps downstream and 200 kbps upstream) was available to 93.7% of residential units in America as of June 30, 2022. Again, we don’t know the percentage of occupied housing units with wired broadband available, but let’s assume it’s the same. And we don’t know the number of residential units in the location fabric, so we’ll use the Census Bureau’s estimate of 128.1M occupied housing units in the U.S. Given these assumptions, we estimate wired broadband was available to around 120.0M occupied housing units as of June 30, 2022. With, by our count, an estimated 104.9M residential wired broadband subscriptions in America in Q2 2022 – again, including DSL, and sometimes including commercial as well as residential subscribers – that translates into penetration of 87.4% of broadband-available homes. We estimate that 81.5% of all households subscribe to wired broadband.
The goal for the FCC is to create maps that are not frozen in time but instead become living and breathing reflections of a dynamic marketplace. The new maps are subject to a public challenge process, enabling interested parties, including operators, local governments, and even individual would-be subscribers, to dispute reported availability. Challenges will eventually be part of a routine updating process. Indeed, the maps released in November were the product of what had already been a months-long initial challenge process. The maps are, again, a critical input to distribution of $42.5 billion of funds earmarked for rural broadband by the JOBS/Infrastructure Act. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is required by law to use the FCC’s new map to distribute those funds in what is referred to as the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, something they have committed to do by June 2023. They are likely to begin that process almost immediately, based on the number of unserved locations in each state, although NTIA chief Alan Davidson has said they will wait for the FCC to release the second version of its coverage map, later this year, before they actually begin to disburse those funds.
The network operators themselves, including the cable operators in particular, will in our view be major participants in the BEAD process, bidding aggressively to bring broadband to unserved census blocks on the periphery of their current franchise areas.
Meanwhile, Leichtman Research Group indicates that 90 per cent of U.S. households get an Internet service at home, compared to 84 per cent in 2017, and 74 per cent in 2007. Broadband accounts for 99 per cent of households with an Internet service at home, and 89 per cent of all households get a broadband Internet service – an increase from 82 per cent in 2017, and 53 per cent in 2007.
These findings are based on a survey of 1,910 households from throughout the United States and are part of a new LRG study, Broadband Internet in the U.S. 2022. This is LRG’s twentieth annual study on this topic.
Other related findings include:
- Individuals ages 65+ account for 34% of those that do not get an Internet service at home
- 56% of broadband subscribers are very satisfied (8-10 on a 1-10 scale) with their Internet service at home, while 6% are not satisfied (1-3).
- 44% of broadband subscribers do not know the download speed of their service – compared to 60% in 2017
- 61% reporting Internet speeds of >100 Mbps are very satisfied with their service, compared to 41% with speeds <50 Mbps, and 57% that do not know their speed
- 40% of broadband households get a bundle of services from a single provider – compared to 64% in 2017, and 78% in 2012
- 59% of adults with an Internet service at home watch video online daily – compared to 59% in 2020, 43% in 2017, and 17% in 2012
“The percentage of households getting an Internet service at home, including high-speed broadband, is higher than in any previous year,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Computer usage and knowledge remain the foundation for Internet services in the home. Among those that do not get an Internet service at home, 58% also do not use a computer at home..”
Internet connectivity benchmarking firm Ookla, which maintains the popular Speedtest.net service, has updated their ranking of broadband performance in countries around the world to include internet speed rankings for some of the “world’s largest cities.” Ookla’s new list ranks median internet download speeds in nearly 200 cities all over the world.
Overall, China topped the list with Shanghai as the fastest city on their list for mobile broadband with a median download speed of 158.63Mbps (24.32Mbps upload and 17ms latency), while Beijing was fastest for fixed broadband during September 2022 at 238.86Mbps (37.75Mbps upload and 7ms latency).
Beijing (China) and Valparaiso (Chile) were ranked highest in the fixed broadband category, with average speeds of 239 Mbps and 223 Mbps, respectively, followed by Shanghai (222 Mbps), New York (218 Mbps), Bangkok (217 Mbps) and Madrid (197 Mbps).
Fastest Broadband Speeds for the World’s Largest Cities 2022
|Fastest Cities for Mobile (Mbps)||Fastest Cities for Fixed Broadband (Mbps)|
|Shanghai, China||158.63||Beijing, China||238.86|
|Copenhagen, Denmark||157.54||Valparaíso, Chile||222.67|
|Oslo, Norway||155.19||Shanghai, China||221.85|
|Busan, South Korea||147.55||New York, United States||218.04|
|Beijing, China||145.76||Bangkok, Thailand||217.19|
|Sofia, Bulgaria||145.28||Madrid, Spain||196.7|
|Ar-Rayyan, Qatar||140.69||Bucharest, Romania||195.6|
|Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||137.48||Lyon, France||193.34|
|Dubai, United Arab Emirates||135.52||Chon Buri, Thailand||188.25|
|Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||133.65||Tokyo, Japan||185.04|
|Stockholm, Sweden||126.4||Los Angeles, United States||184.15|
|Antwerp, Belgium||121.33||Geneva, Switzerland||182.84|
|Gothenburg, Sweden||120.71||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||178.17|
|Doha, Qatar||114||Zürich, Switzerland||177.6|
|Seoul, South Korea||113.36||Santiago, Chile||176.58|
|Melbourne (Greater), Australia||111.78||Copenhagen, Denmark||175.31|
|Sydney, Australia||108.04||Barcelona, Spain||173.71|
|New York, United States||106.57||Osaka, Japan||169.18|
|Rotterdam, Netherlands||100.85||Toronto, Canada||164.93|
|Skopje, North Macedonia||99.02||Paris, France||155.24|
|Toronto, Canada||98.29||Auckland, New Zealand||149.22|
|Amsterdam, Netherlands||96.79||Budapest, Hungary||147.82|
|Los Angeles, United States||95.4||Taipei, Taiwan||144.35|
|Zürich, Switzerland||89.17||Kraków, Poland||138.75|
|Montreal, Canada||84.25||Warsaw, Poland||138.64|
|Helsinki, Finland||83.57||São Paulo, Brazil||124.05|
|Zagreb, Croatia||82.36||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||118.99|
|Muscat, Oman||79.66||New Taipei, Taiwan||115.36|
|Auckland, New Zealand||77.91||Gothenburg, Sweden||111.29|
|Lisbon, Portugal||76.23||Porto, Portugal||110.91|
|Manama, Bahrain||72.72||Stockholm, Sweden||109.59|
|Kuwait City, Kuwait||72.61||Haifa, Israel||108.46|
|Porto, Portugal||72.16||Seoul, South Korea||106.48|
|Paris, France||72.12||Chisinau, Moldova||105.05|
|Jeddah, Saudi Arabia||71.92||Panama City, Panama||104.25|
|Geneva, Switzerland||70.88||Oslo, Norway||102.76|
|Berlin, Germany||70.02||Montevideo, Uruguay||102.57|
|Vilnius, Lithuania||67.7||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||100.49|
|Manchester, United Kingdom||67.07||Amsterdam, Netherlands||99.66|
|London, United Kingdom||66.36||Milan, Italy||98.57|
|Taipei, Taiwan||65.18||Rotterdam, Netherlands||95.39|
|Vienna, Austria||65.08||Kuwait City, Kuwait||94.65|
|New Taipei, Taiwan||64.69||Medellín, Colombia||94.48|
|Brussels, Belgium||58.78||Busan, South Korea||94.43|
|Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||58.64||Bogotá, Colombia||94.38|
|Athens, Greece||57.23||Vilnius, Lithuania||94.28|
|Hamburg, Germany||56.77||Ar-Rayyan, Qatar||94.16|
|São Paulo, Brazil||56.58||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||93.71|
|Thessaloniki, Greece||56.57||Lisbon, Portugal||93.13|
|Lyon, France||56.08||Dublin, Ireland||91.63|
|Prague, Czechia||55.25||Moscow, Russia||91.26|
|Belgrade, Serbia||53.27||Riga, Latvia||91.14|
|Bucharest, Romania||52.03||Montreal, Canada||90.06|
|Osaka, Japan||51.53||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||89.38|
|Milan, Italy||51.27||Vienna, Austria||88.05|
|Budapest, Hungary||49.88||Belgrade, Serbia||87.88|
|Tokyo, Japan||49.86||Antwerp, Belgium||87.17|
|Riga, Latvia||45.88||Berlin, Germany||86.65|
|Kraków, Poland||44.42||Doha, Qatar||86.62|
|Warsaw, Poland||43.48||Hamburg, Germany||85.35|
|Barcelona, Spain||42.88||Johor Bahru, Malaysia||85.03|
|Rabat, Morocco||41.98||Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel||84.96|
|Madrid, Spain||40.78||Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||84.32|
|Johannesburg, South Africa||40.38||Helsinki, Finland||84.11|
|Hanoi, Vietnam||40.01||Saint Petersburg, Russia||83.33|
|Rome, Italy||40||Amman, Jordan||80.37|
|Dublin, Ireland||39.96||Kiev, Ukraine||77.42|
|Bangkok, Thailand||39.3||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia||76.81|
|Haifa, Israel||39.05||Davao City, Philippines||75.23|
|Chon Buri, Thailand||39.03||Asuncion, Paraguay||74.18|
|Baku, Azerbaijan||37.12||London, United Kingdom||73.93|
|Tbilisi, Georgia||37.08||Hanoi, Vietnam||73.67|
|Chisinau, Moldova||36.3||Sofia, Bulgaria||73.66|
|Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||36.09||Manila, Philippines||73.47|
|Johor Bahru, Malaysia||35.67||Manchester, United Kingdom||73.43|
|Cape Town, South Africa||35.42||Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||73.2|
|Ankara, Turkey||35.27||Brussels, Belgium||71.71|
|Montevideo, Uruguay||34.82||Buenos Aires, Argentina||71.41|
|Istanbul, Turkey||34.7||Muscat, Oman||69.46|
|Tehran, Iran||34.24||Az-Zarqa, Jordan||67.53|
|Guadalajara, Mexico||32.77||Kharkiv, Ukraine||67.05|
|Mashhad, Iran||32.71||Rome, Italy||64.92|
|Beirut, Lebanon||32.35||Zagreb, Croatia||63.92|
|Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel||31.69||Delhi, India||63.2|
|Kharkiv, Ukraine||31.06||San José, Costa Rica||61.44|
|Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)||30.98||Prague, Czechia||60.67|
|Casablanca, Morocco||30.84||Mexico City, Mexico||59.56|
|Mosul, Iraq||30.77||Minsk, Belarus||59.14|
|Sfax, Tunisia||30.74||Maracaibo, Venezuela||57.31|
|Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||30.1||Guadalajara, Mexico||55.63|
|Kingston, Jamaica||29.89||Lima, Peru||53.68|
|Moscow, Russia||29.74||Sydney, Australia||53.64|
|Baghdad, Iraq||29.62||Melbourne (Greater), Australia||53.45|
|Mexico City, Mexico||28.28||Arequipa, Peru||53.4|
|Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)||28.21||Gomel, Belarus||52.91|
|Samarkand, Uzbekistan||28.2||Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia||52.79|
|Vientiane, Laos||28.15||Kathmandu, Nepal||52.68|
|Kiev, Ukraine||28.15||Guayaquil, Ecuador||51.87|
|Guatemala City, Guatemala||27.89||Johannesburg, South Africa||51.79|
|Buenos Aires, Argentina||26.49||Córdoba, Argentina||51.67|
|Almaty, Kazakhstan||26.44||Alexandria, Egypt||51.07|
|Manila, Philippines||26.16||Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan||50.05|
|Tunis, Tunisia||25.87||Skopje, North Macedonia||48.09|
|Córdoba, Argentina||25.3||Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan||47.85|
|Valparaíso, Chile||24.16||Manama, Bahrain||47.69|
|Yerevan, Armenia||23.98||Quito, Ecuador||47.36|
|Tegucigalpa, Honduras||23.93||Almaty, Kazakhstan||47.21|
|Luanda, Angola||23.93||Tashkent, Uzbekistan||46.27|
|San Pedro Sula, Honduras||23.83||Kingston, Jamaica||45.75|
|Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic||23.81||Thessaloniki, Greece||44.35|
|Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic||23.64||Mumbai, India||43.56|
|Saint Petersburg, Russia||21.19||Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso||43.14|
|San Salvador, El Salvador||20.58||Managua, Nicaragua||42.68|
|Alexandria, Egypt||20.46||Dhaka, Bangladesh||40.38|
|Cairo, Egypt||20.43||Yerevan, Armenia||40.34|
|Az-Zarqa, Jordan||20.4||Athens, Greece||40|
|Davao City, Philippines||20.35||Cape Town, South Africa||39.5|
|Amman, Jordan||20.13||Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire||38.44|
|Kampala, Uganda||20.01||Ankara, Turkey||37.42|
|Santiago, Chile||19.87||Istanbul, Turkey||36.75|
|Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan||19.79||Libreville, Gabon||36.13|
|Phnom Penh, Cambodia||18.94||Tegucigalpa, Honduras||33.55|
|Quito, Ecuador||18.89||Antananarivo, Madagascar||33.34|
|Lagos, Nigeria||18.85||Chittagong, Bangladesh||33.02|
|Managua, Nicaragua||18.64||Lome, Togo||31.97|
|Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan||18.37||Samarkand, Uzbekistan||31.58|
|Addis Ababa, Ethiopia||17.29||San Pedro Sula, Honduras||31.53|
|Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire||17.22||San Salvador, El Salvador||31.36|
|San José, Costa Rica||17.21||Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic||30.87|
|Nairobi, Kenya||17.09||Pointe-Noire, Congo||30.11|
|Colombo, Sri Lanka||16.95||Guatemala City, Guatemala||29.53|
|Tashkent, Uzbekistan||16.69||Vientiane, Laos||29.04|
|Guayaquil, Ecuador||16.6||Accra, Ghana||28.71|
|Bekasi, Indonesia||16.47||Baku, Azerbaijan||28.69|
|Misrata, Libya||16.46||Brazzaville, Congo||27.55|
|South Jakarta, Indonesia||16.14||Bekasi, Indonesia||27.04|
|Dakar, Senegal||16.13||South Jakarta, Indonesia||27|
|Asuncion, Paraguay||15.93||Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia||26.28|
|Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia||15.8||Tbilisi, Georgia||26.12|
|Panama City, Panama||15.75||Bamako, Mali||24.37|
|Oran, Algeria||15.57||Dakar, Senegal||23.41|
|Lahore, Pakistan||15.01||La Paz, Bolivia||23.25|
|Delhi, India||14.99||Cairo, Egypt||22.42|
|Dhaka, Bangladesh||14.98||Nouakchott, Mauritania||21.75|
|Kathmandu, Nepal||14.94||Baghdad, Iraq||21.58|
|Lima, Peru||14.65||Casablanca, Morocco||20.23|
|Dar es Salaam, Tanzania||14.51||Phnom Penh, Cambodia||19.78|
|Arequipa, Peru||13.5||Dushanbe, Tajikistan||19.61|
|Algiers, Algeria||13.49||Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)||19.37|
|Damascus, Syria||12.83||Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)||19.03|
|Tripoli, Libya||12.36||Rabat, Morocco||17.57|
|Mumbai, India||12.29||Colombo, Sri Lanka||16.65|
|Bogotá, Colombia||11.99||Cotonou, Benin||15.97|
|Karachi, Pakistan||11.92||Karachi, Pakistan||14.82|
|Minsk, Belarus||11.33||Port-au-Prince, Haiti||14.7|
|La Paz, Bolivia||10.76||Luanda, Angola||14.18|
|Khartoum, Sudan||10.66||Mombasa, Kenya||14.08|
|Medellín, Colombia||10.4||Dar es Salaam, Tanzania||13.74|
|Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia||10.07||Mosul, Iraq||12.43|
|Sana’a, Yemen||9.96||Lagos, Nigeria||12.22|
|Aleppo, Syria||9.18||Oran, Algeria||12.09|
|Chittagong, Bangladesh||8.84||Tehran, Iran||11.9|
|Dushanbe, Tajikistan||8.83||Algiers, Algeria||11.87|
|Gomel, Belarus||8.72||Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic||11.71|
|Maracaibo, Venezuela||7.75||Lahore, Pakistan||10.88|
|Caracas, Venezuela||7.16||Kampala, Uganda||10.6|
|Accra, Ghana||6.41||Kigali, Rwanda||9.65|
|Kabul, Afghanistan||5.15||Nairobi, Kenya||9.58|
|Port-au-Prince, Haiti||4.82||Lusaka, Zambia||9.12|
|Havana, Cuba||4.51||Tunis, Tunisia||8.54|
- United States: T-Mobile was the fastest mobile operator with a median download speed of 116.14 Mbps. Spectrum was fastest for fixed broadband at 211.66 Mbps.
- Canada: TELUS was the fastest mobile operator in Canada with a median download speed of 76.03 Mbps. Rogers was fastest for fixed broadband (223.89 Mbps).
- Mexico: Telcel had the fastest median download speed over mobile at 36.07 Mbps. Totalplay was fastest for fixed broadband at 74.64 Mbps.
- Albania: Vodafone was the fastest mobile operator with a median download speed of 46.75 Mbps. Digicom was fastest for fixed broadband at 77.83 Mbps.
- Belgium: Telenet had the fastest median download speed over fixed broadband at 126.79 Mbps.
- Denmark: YouSee was the fastest mobile operator in Denmark with a median download speed of 118.32 Mbps. Fastspeed was fastest for fixed broadband at 270.80 Mbps.
- Estonia: The fastest operator in Estonia was Telia with a median download speed of 72.95 Mbps. Elisa was fastest over fixed broadband at 84.09 Mbps.
- Finland: DNA had the fastest median download speed over mobile at 74.65 Mbps. Lounea was fastest for fixed broadband at 103.79 Mbps.
- Germany: Telekom was the fastest mobile operator in Germany with a median download speed of 78.85 Mbps. Vodafone was fastest for fixed broadband at 112.58 Mbps.
- Latvia: LMT had the fastest median download speed over mobile at 63.59 Mbps. Balticom was fastest for fixed broadband at 203.31 Mbps.
- Lithuania: The operator with the fastest median download speed was Telia with 102.09 Mbps. Cgates was fastest for fixed broadband at 131.63 Mbps.
- Poland: Orange had the fastest median download speed over mobile at 43.02 Mbps. UPC was fastest for fixed broadband at 206.22 Mbps.
- Turkey: Turkcell was the fastest mobile operator in Turkey with a median download speed of 51.92 Mbps. TurkNet was fastest for fixed broadband at 50.94 Mbps.
In the twelve months to the close of Q2 2022, global residential fixed line broadband subscribers saw their average monthly charges decrease by 4% on copper, cable and fiber-based tariffs. Across the three technologies the average bandwidth increased by 22% year-on-year (y-o-y), due to the increased innovation and proliferation of fiber-based networks globally. Business subscribers continued to struggle with rising monthly charges, with the average monthly charge increasing by 12% and the average downstream speed standing at 426 Mbps compared to residential tariff averages of 464 Mbps.
The Asia-Pacific region retained its dominant bandwidth position with average speeds of 1,146 Mbps, up from 1,355 Mbps in Q4 2021 and 1,135 Mbps y-o-y, followed by North America, Western Europe, and Southeast Asia with the three regions reaching a combined average of around 465 Mbps.
Qatar, Switzerland and Southeast Asian countries still remain at the top of the league by average bandwidth along Italy, France and Bulgaria; these countries all rank in the top ten cheapest for residential broadband in terms of average cost per Mbps being less than $0.10 PPP.
In Q2 2022, the combined average download bandwidth grew by 20% compared to Q2 2021 and stood at 426 Mbps. This was caused by the boost in the average speed over cable and especially fibre, 14% and 22% respectively. Copper maintained largely the same average download speed compared to the previous quarter. However, the overall global average monthly cost across the three technologies has increased by just over 12% from $217 PPP to $244 PPP at the close of Q2 2022
While U.S. inflation in 2022 has soared to a 40+ year high (at 8.6% YoY), the price of broadband internet access is still falling and consumers are getting even more for less.
USTelecom’s latest analysis of the broadband marketplace: 2022 Broadband Pricing Index (BPI). This year’s report finds pricing for the most popular and highest-speed broadband internet services continues to decline while value continues to increase. The research compares prices over two time periods: the year-over-year price difference from 2021-2022; and a longer-term view of price changes between 2015 and 2022.
The third installment of the USTelecom Broadband Pricing Index (BPI) reveals continued substantial price reductions for both the most popular and highest-speed broadband internet services.
As in previous years, the BPI uses FCC and other public data sources to assess recent trends in residential fixed broadband pricing in the United States. The 2022 edition of the BPI compares prices over two time intervals:
- The price difference from 2021-2022
- A longer-term view in price changes between 2015 and 2022
In both cases, as in the past, the BPI creates an index that allows comparisons between the most popular speed tiers in each year (BPI-Consumer Choice) and the highest speed tiers in each year (BPI-Speed).
Key Findings of the Report:
Broadband Pricing Ran Counter to Significant Overall Inflation in the Past Year
- Real BPI-Consumer Choice broadband prices dropped by 14.7% from 2021-2022
- Real BPI-Speed broadband prices dropped by 11.6% from 2021-2022
- In contrast, the cost of overall goods and services rose by 8% from 2021-2022
Historical Broadband Pricing Analysis Shows Real Broadband Prices Have Been Cut in Half from Seven Years Ago
- Real BPI-Consumer Choice tier prices dropped by 44.6% from 2015-2022
- Real BPI-Speed tier prices dropped by 52.7% from 2015-2022
The Consumer Value of Broadband Service Has Never Been Higher
- Providers have increased the speeds of their broadband offerings. When combined with the price drops for that service, the overall value to customers (measured on a dollars/megabit basis) shows a dramatic improvement over the past seven years.
- The real cost per megabit of both the most popular and fastest service offerings have dropped by around 75% since 2015. This gives the consumers a boost in their wallet and in their daily online performance.
Intelsat and PCCW Global Combine Networks:
Satellite communications specialist Intelsat and Hong Kong based PCCW Global have announced a new collaboration to extend the reach, resiliency, and quick delivery of on-demand enterprise connectivity offerings.
The integration of Intelsat’s FlexEnterprise global connectivity fabric with PCCW Global’s Console Connect Software Defined Interconnection® platform enables organizations to deliver enterprise connectivity to locations around the globe while leveraging an easy-to-use platform underpinned by one of the world’s largest private MPLS networks.
The combined solution addresses two key obstacles to delivering reliable, agile services across all of an enterprise’s locations: limited local telecom infrastructure that can challenge traditional network deployments in developing or hard-to-reach places, and lengthy lead times typically associated with creating high-performance networks and services. The collaboration brings together FlexEnterprise’s reach and reduced network deployment speed and Console Connect’s real-time quoting, ordering and provisioning of high-performance connectivity.
Mr. Frederick Chui, Chief Commercial Officer, PCCW Global, said, “The collaboration with Intelsat brings together the latest innovations in fixed network and satellite network technologies to deliver more flexible enterprise connectivity solutions. By integrating Intelsat’s FlexEnterprise solution with the Console Connect digital platform, our global customers can access satellite connected locations wherever they need to and effortlessly turn up services across all sites.”
FlexEnterprise leverages the world’s largest and most advanced integrated satellite fleet and ground infrastructure to enable service providers to integrate the reach and reliability of Intelsat services without the need to manage wholesale satellite capacity. The connectivity-as-a-service solution offers packaged service that makes it quicker and more cost-effective to add resiliency to existing sites and extend the reach of enterprise networks to even the most remote areas.
The Console Connect digital platform puts users in control of one of the world’s largest MPLS and Tier 1 IP networks, providing them with private, on-demand connections between over 750 data centres across more than 50 countries worldwide. Console Connect is home to a growing ecosystem of cloud, SaaS, IX, IoT, carrier and enterprise partners, which are directly interconnected by the platform’s private high-performance network, delivering higher levels of network performance, speed, and security. Through the platform’s MeetingPlace feature, users can also directly order and provision partner services, such as remote peering, colocation and business applications, as well as access native services from Console Connect.
Mr. Brian Jakins, General Manager and Vice President of Networks, Intelsat, said, “Our Sales and Product teams work closely with the telecom ecosystem to make satellite services more relevant and easier to adopt for a broader set of customers. With the integration into the Console Connect platform, Intelsat is able to more easily meet customers anywhere on the PCCW Global network, while enterprises leverage the platform to extend applications and services to their most remote users and outposts.”
Intelsat’s Global Network is First to Achieve MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet Certification for New Performance Tier:
Intelsat has become the first satellite operator to achieve MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet (CE) Certification for services delivered through its integrated space and global terrestrial network. Intelsat’s achievement means that customers can dependably integrate Intelsat’s global network solutions into their network solutions with assurance of performance and security. This also represents continued progress towards Intelsat’s Unified Network vision to enable seamless, end-to-end orchestrated services, driven by our integration of 5G and other open standards.
“Intelsat’s achievement of MEF 3.0 certification ensures that customers can rely on Intelsat to provide Ethernet services that meet the demands of enterprise, government and wholesale use cases with key performance indicators that define the industry standard for high-quality,” said Lance Hassan, Director of Terrestrial Network Innovation at Intelsat. “This achievement also demonstrates Intelsat’s leadership as a satellite communications company and global provider of network solutions.
MEF service definitions help telecom service providers accelerate product development and service implementations, with definitive measures to ensure consistency of the quality of the services they provide. As part of Intelsat’s continued efforts to drive open standards development and adoption across the satellite industry, the company worked with MEF member companies to amend MEF 23 with a new Performance Tier (PT5) that defines new Class of Service performance objectives for satellite-based networks.
“Intelsat, in achieving our industry’s first MEF 3.0 certification for GEO satellite-based Carrier Ethernet services, is adding a dimension to MEF’s important work that will benefit users no matter where they stand on the globe,” said Bob Mandeville, president and founder of Iometrix, MEF’s testing partner for carrier ethernet certifications.
“Companies in the satellite community are crucially important in enabling accessibility of carrier ethernet services anywhere on the planet,” said Kevin Vachon, chief operating officer, MEF. “Achieving MEF 3.0 certification facilitates interoperability with terrestrial networks and lays the groundwork to ultimately achieve service automation with MEF’s Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) framework and APIs. We congratulate Intelsat on their certification achievements.”
Internet connectivity became less affordable worldwide in 2021, according to new data from the ITU-D and the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI).
The new study shows an increase in fixed and mobile broadband costs during the pandemic. Relative prices of fixed broadband services increased to 3.5 percent of gross national income (GNI) per capita worldwide in 2021, from 2.9 percent in 2020. The relative price of mobile broadband services worldwide increased from 1.9 percent to 2 percent of GNI per capita.
It shows that many people have sacrificed other services and goods to start connected during the pandemic, with those who can staying largely connected, even at relatively higher prices. The report shows that fewer economies worldwide meet the UN Broadband Commission’s affordable cost target of 2 percent of monthly GNI per capita for entry-level broadband.
The policy brief analyzes the prices of five baskets: mobile broadband, fixed broadband, mobile data and voice low-usage, mobile data and voice high-usage and mobile cellular low usage. The figure below provides a simplified overview of the each of the five baskets used in the 2021 data collection.
Global gigabit internet subscriptions are expected to increase to 50 million in 2022, more than doubling from 24 million at the end of 2020, according to a new report from market research firm Omdia (owned by Informa).
The Omdia report states that accelerated fiber deployments are helping to drive an increase in gigabit connectivity.
“Demand for reliable broadband is set to drive growth in gigabit services, with fiber playing a key role,” said Peter Boyland, principal analyst, broadband at Omdia.
“There were fewer than 620 million fiber subscriptions globally at the end of 2020, but we expect these to grow to 719 million in 2022, or 62% of total subscriptions.” The majority of fiber internet subscribers are expected to be in China.
However, Omdia warns that service providers must “carefully consider market demand” for their gigabit strategies and make targeted investments in fiber.
“Service providers need to carefully plan and execute gigabit network rollout, analyzing a number of factors, including infrastructure challenges, market competition, and expected demand,” writes Omdia. “But this does not stop with network rollout – operators need to continually monitor potential competitors and constantly innovate, refresh, and build service offerings so they stay ahead of rivals.”
The analysts also point out the opportunity for vendors in the market who can help service providers build “future proof” networks. “Vendors can offer long-term solutions such as monitoring and automation tools to extend the operator/vendor relationship beyond network rollouts,” the report recommends.
Of course, what matters most to consumers is reliable service. According to Omdia’s Digital Consumer Insights survey, 36% of respondents said they were more reliant on broadband services during COVID-19, and 55% of respondents said reliability ranked top among the most important home broadband features.
All of this gigabit and fiber growth will impact broadband speeds for years to come. According to Omdia:
“In 2020, just 2% of broadband subscriptions were more than 1Gbps, but this is expected to double to 4% in 2022.”
–>See table below for the 25 countries with the fastest AVERAGE internet speeds, ranked by Cable. Note that none of them is close to 1Gbps.
The report says that subscribers with access to 500 Mbit/s-1 Gbit/s will increase from 15% in 2020 to 21% in 202, with 17% of broadband subscriptions projected to reach speeds over 1 Gbit/s by 2026.
While high-bandwidth entertainment like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and gaming were thought to be the main drivers for ever-faster home broadband speeds in pre-pandemic times, Omdia’s report doesn’t think they are significantly important for gigabit Internet growth, referring to them just once as “other drivers.”
Internet comparison site Cable has ranked the countries with the fastest broadband internet in the world based on over 1.1 billion speed tests across 224 countries and territories.
“The acceleration of the fastest countries in the world has finally plateaued this year as they reach FTTP pure fibre saturation. Increases in speed among the elite performers, then, can be attributed in greater part to uptake in many cases than to network upgrades. Meanwhile, though the countries occupying the bottom end of the table still suffer from extremely poor speeds, 2021’s figures do indicate that the situation is improving,” said Dan Howdle of Cable.
Here are the 25 countries with the fastest download speeds:
|7||Macau||MO||ASIA (EX. NEAR EAST)||128.56|
|11||Singapore||SG||ASIA (EX. NEAR EAST)||97.61|
|13||Japan||JP||ASIA (EX. NEAR EAST)||96.36|
|14||United States||US||NORTHERN AMERICA||92.42|
|15||Hong Kong||HK||ASIA (EX. NEAR EAST)||91.04|
|23||Aland Islands||AX||WESTERN EUROPE||81.31|
It is the fourth year of the assessment and the latest ranking uses data collected in the 12 months up to 30th June 2021 to evaluate internet speed by country.
Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – acquired about 630,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 3Q 2021, compared to a pro forma gain of about 1,525,000 subscribers in 3Q 2020, about 615,000 in 3Q 2019, and about 600,000 in 3Q 2018.
These top broadband providers now account for about 107.9 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 75.2 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having about 32.7 million subscribers.
Findings for the 3rd /quarter include:
- Overall, broadband additions in 3Q 2021 were 41% of those in 3Q 2020
- The top cable companies added about 590,000 subscribers in 3Q 2021 – 45% of the net additions for the top cable companies in 3Q 2020
- The top wireline phone companies added about 40,000 total broadband subscribers in 3Q 2021 – compared to about 200,000 net adds in 3Q 2020. Telcos had about 475,000 net adds via fiber in 3Q 2021, and about 435,000 non-fiber net losses
“Broadband additions returned to pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of 2021,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “The top broadband providers added significantly fewer subscribers than in last year’s third quarter, but had a similar number of net adds as in 3Q 2019 and 3Q 2018.”
|Broadband Providers/||Subscribers at end of 3Q 2021//||Net Adds in 3Q 2021/|
|Total Top Cable||75,207,600||592,400|
|Wireline Phone Companies|
|Total Top Telco||32,724,461||39,781|
Cable network operators (cablecos or MSOs) are losing ground to FTTP/FTTx (fiber to the premises/ cabinet/ home) and FWA (fixed wireless access).
- Bloomberg reports that cable broadband growth is sputtering and no one knows why.
- GlobalData agrees, but forecasts a solid increase in U.S. fixed-broadband lines.
Broadband internet subscriber growth at Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc has decreased, raising concerns about an end to what has been a huge growth business, with explanations ranging from a slowdown in consumer spending to competition from phone giants.
Charter on Friday reported 25% fewer new broadband subscribers than analysts estimated and said the overall number of new customers would fall back to 2018 levels. Charter had 1.27 million new broadband customers in 2018 compared with 2.2 million last year. Analysts predict it will add 1.4 million subscribers this year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Comcast, which had earlier cut its subscriber forecast, reported 300,000 new internet customers Thursday, less than half the number added a year ago.
Analysts were expecting some slowdown in demand coming off 2020, a year when broadband sign-ups spiked as the pandemic shifted people to working and schooling from home. Still, with Charter echoing Comcast’s gloomy picture from Thursday, suddenly there’s a chill on the cable broadband front, which became the most prized segment of the business as consumers cut traditional TV service.
Charter’s shortfall raises “questions about whether this is the beginning of the end of the cable broadband story,” said Geetha Ranganathan, an industry analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
GlobalData forecasts that cable’s share of total U.S. fixed broadband subscriptions will decline to 67.1% by the end of 2026, from 68% in 2021, as other technologies such as fiber and fixed wireless expand their presence. Total U.S. fixed-broadband lines, including fiber, fixed wireless and cable, will increase from 103.1 million in 2021 to 112.3 million by 2026 says the market research firm.
No one has been able to identify the exact reason why the wind has gone out of the sails for big cable. Both Charter and Comcast blamed a slower new home market for some of the slack in demand, leaving the companies to try and squeeze more business out of their saturated markets. Other factors could include a drop off in lower-paying customers as government assisted broadband funds dry up.
Even as Comcast and Charter deploy new faster network technology to attract more lucrative customers, cable’s share of the market is starting to shrink, according to Tammy Parker, a senior analyst with GlobalData.
Total U.S. broadband lines will increase to 112.3 million by the end of 2026 from 103.1 million in 2021, including new wireless internet customers, the market research firm predicts.
The number of U.S. fiber lines will grow at a CAGR of 10.8% to reach 28.2 million lines by the end of 2026. This growth will be due to rising demand for high-speed internet services in the nation, and efforts by the government and operators to expand FTTx networks.