Dell’Oro: Optical Transport, Mobile Core Network & Cable CPE shipments all declined in 1Q-2024

Apparently, there’s no place to hide in any telecom or datacom market?  We all know the RAN market has been in a severe decline, but recent Dell’Oro Group reports indicate that Optical Transport, Mobile Core Network and Cable CPE shipments have also declined sharply in the 1st Quarter of 2024.

Here are a few selected quotes from Dell’Oro analysts:

“The North American broadband market is in the midst of a fundamental shift in the competitive landscape, which is having a significant impact on broadband equipment purchases,” said Jeff Heynen, Vice President with Dell’Oro Group. “In particular, cable operators are trying to navigate mounting, but predictable, broadband subscriber losses with the need to invest in their networks to keep pace with further encroachment by fiber and fixed wireless providers,” explained Heynen.

Omdia, owned by the ADVA, expects cable access equipment spending to grow later in 2024 and peak in 2026 at just over $1 billion, then drop off to $700 million in 2029.


“Customer’s excess inventory of DWDM systems continued to be at the center stage of the Optical Transport market decline in the first quarter of 2024,” said Jimmy Yu, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “However, we think the steeper-than-expected drop in optical transport revenue in 1Q 2024 may have been driven by communication service providers becoming increasingly cautious about the macroeconomic conditions, causing them to delay projects into future quarters,” added Yu.


“Inflation has impacted the ability of some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to raise capital, and it has also impacted subscribers when it comes to upgrading their phones to 5G. Many MNOs have lowered their CAPEX plans and announced that they have fewer than expected 5G subscribers on their networks; which limits MNOs’ growth plans. As a result, we are lowering our expectations for 2024 from a positive growth rate to a negative one,” by Research Director Dave Bolan.

  • As of 1Q 2024, 51 MNOs have commercially deployed 5G SA (Stand Alone) eMBB networks with two additional MNOS launching in 1Q 2024.


Optical Transport Equipment Market Forecast to Decline in 2024, According to Dell’Oro Group

Optical Transport Equipment Market Forecast to Decline in 2024, According to Dell’Oro Group



U.S. broadband subscriber growth slowed in 1Q-2024 after net adds in 2023

The pace of U.S. broadband subscriber growth slowed considerably in the first quarter of 2024 as fiber, fixed wireless access (FWA) and cable broadband service providers collectively turned in results that were worse than what they posted in the year-ago period.

Total industry net additions, including or excluding FWA and geosynchronous (GEO) satellite broadband providers, decelerated noticeably in Q1 2024. The total market’s growth rate decreased to just 2.3% year-over-year, the slowest since the COVID-19 pandemic, analysts at MoffettNathanson estimated in its latest broadband industry trends report (paid subscription required). When FWA and GEO satellite categories were excluded, the growth rate was much worse: -0.7%.

The overall number of  U.S. broadband market subscribers decelerated by 299,000 net adds versus the year-ago quarter.  “That was the most abrupt since Q2 2022,” said MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett.  “The bottom line is that penetration of home broadband stalled, and perhaps even declined in the quarter, particularly if one adjusts for the growth in homes passed in rural areas under RDOF [Rural Digital Opportunity Fund] subsidies and unsubsidized edgeouts,” Moffett wrote.

Here’s a breakdown of U.S. broadband subscribers by access type:

  • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) providers added 879,000 subs in Q1 2024, down from a gain of 925,000 in the year-ago period.
  • Fiber net adds also slowed – from 487,000 in Q1 2024 versus a gain of 517,000 in the year-ago quarter.
  • DSL losses of 560,000 in Q1 were similar to a year-ago loss of 571,000.
  • MSO/cable network operators shed 169,000 broadband subs in Q1, much worse than a year-ago gain of about 71,000 subs.

“The culprit for cable’s weaker broadband net additions was a slower market growth rate,” though lower new household formation and cessation of ACP enrollments in the quarter also played a role, Moffett noted.


According to Statista, the total number of broadband subscribers in the U.S. stood at 114.7 million at the end of 2023,  This was an increase of over four million subscribers compared to the previous year.

Source: Statista


In March 2024, Leitman Research found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers and fixed wireless services in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – acquired about 3,520,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2023, similar to a pro forma gain of 3,530,000 subscribers in 2022.

Leitman Research findings for 2023:

  • The top cable companies lost about 65,000 subscribers in 2023 – compared to about 530,000 net adds in 2022
  • The top wireline phone companies lost about 80,000 total broadband subscribers in 2023 – compared to about 180,000 net losses in 2022
    • Wireline Telcos had about 1.97 million net adds via fiber in 2023, offset by about 2.05 million non-fiber net losses
  • Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 3,665,000 subscribers in 2023 – compared to about 3,185,000 net adds in 2022
    • Fixed wireless services accounted for 104% of the total net broadband additions in 2023, compared to 90% of the net adds in 2022, and 20% of the net adds in 2021

“Top broadband providers added about 3.5 million subscribers in 2023, similar to the number of broadband adds in 2022,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.  “Over the past four years, top providers added about 15.9 million broadband subscribers, compared to about 10.2 million net broadband adds in the prior four (pre-pandemic) years.”



About 3,500,000 Added Broadband From Top Providers in 2023

Dell’Oro: Broadband access equipment sales to increase in 2025 led by XGS-PON deployments

Fiber and Fixed Wireless Access are the fastest growing fixed broadband technologies in the OECD

Verizon’s 2023 broadband net additions led by FWA at 375K

Charter Communications: surprise drop in broadband subs, homes passed increased, HFC network upgrade delayed to 2026

Altice USA transition to fiber access; MoffettNathanson analysis of low population growth on cablecos broadband growth

FCC increases broadband speed benchmark (x-satellites) to 100/20 Mbit/s

The U.S. FCC voted this week to implement a 4x increase to its “broadband” benchmark, from 25/3 Mbit/s to 100/20 Mbit/s (download/upload speeds).  The Commission’s Report was issued pursuant to section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The FCC concluded “that advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion based on the total number of Americans.”

Using the agency’s Broadband Data Collection deployment data for the first time rather than FCC Form 477 data, the Report shows that, as of December 2022:

• Fixed terrestrial broadband service (excluding satellite) has not been physically deployed to approximately 24 million Americans, including almost 28% of Americans in rural areas, and more than 23% of people living on Tribal lands;

Mobile 5G-NR (ITU-R M.2150/3GPP Release 16) coverage has not been physically deployed at minimum speeds of 35/3 Mbps to roughly 9% of all Americans, to almost 36% of Americans in rural areas, and to more than 20% of people living on Tribal lands;

• 45 million Americans lack access to both 100/20 Mbps fixed service and 35/3 Mbps mobile 5G-NR service; and

• Based on the new 1 Gbps per 1,000 students and staff short-term benchmark for schools and classrooms, 74% of school districts meet this goal.

The Report also sets a 1 Gbps/500 Mbps long-term goal for broadband speeds to give stakeholders a collective goal towards which to strive – a better, faster, more robust system of communication for American consumers.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement discussing the agency’s new 100/20 Mbit/s benchmark.

“This fix is overdue. It aligns us with pandemic legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the work of our colleagues at other agencies. It also helps us better identify the extent to which low-income neighborhoods and rural communities are underserved. And because doing big things is in our DNA, we also adopt a long-term goal of 1 Gigabit down and 500 Megabits up.”

“One more thing. The law requires that we assess how reasonable and timely the deployment of broadband is in this country.”

Don’t expect much change. As noted by Engadget, U.S. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering speeds under the new benchmark won’t be able to call their services “broadband” on the new telecom information labels the FCC will soon begin requiring. However, ISPs and network providers are not required to hit the FCC’s new 100/20 Mbit/s speeds.

Moreover, it will not impact the NTIA’s massive $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, which already requires 100/20 Mbit/s speeds on networks receiving government subsidies.


The FCC’s definition of broadband excludes satellites at a time of frenzied investments in Internet services from space. Championed by Elon Musk’s Starlink, companies ranging from Amazon to OneWeb to Telesat are planning similar low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations for space-based Internet.

Starlink’s parent company – SpaceX – this week conducted another test of its massive Starlink rocket. That rocket is in part intended to launch Starlink’s second generation satellites.

However, the FCC has excluded such satellite efforts from most of its broadband programs. For example, it rejected Starlink’s application for government funding through its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) program.

“It is evident that fixed wireless access (FWA) offerings already compete aggressively with traditional wired broadband services, and LEO satellite-based services are poised to do the same. Accordingly, all three should be treated as robust rivals within a single ‘home Internet’ product market,” wrote the Free State Foundation, another think tank.

According to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican, the agency specifically excludes Starlink from its overall efforts because he thinks President Biden dislikes SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk. “The Biden Administration is choosing to prioritize its political and ideological goals at the expense of connecting Americans,” Carr alleges.

With its roughly 5,000 satellites, Starlink currently offers median speeds of around 64 Mbit/s, according to Ookla, and counts around 2.6 million customers globally.


BroadbandNow Research: Best & Worst States for Broadband Access

FCC proposes 100 Mbps download as U.S. minimum broadband speed

Fiber Connect 2023: Telcos vs Cablecos; fiber symmetric speeds vs. DOCSIS 4.0?

GAO: U.S. Broadband Benchmark Speeds Too Slow; FCC Should Analyze Small Business Speed Needs

FCC Says Broadband Deployment Lacking; Redefinition (25M/3M) Has Huge Implications for AT&T, Verizon & Comcast

ABI Research and CCS Insight: Strong growth for satellite to mobile device connectivity (messaging and broadband internet access)


Dell’Oro: Broadband access equipment sales to increase in 2025 led by XGS-PON deployments

Dell’Oro Group expects broadband access equipment sales to decline by 1% in 2024 versus 2023, with the first half of 2024 seeing continued weakness followed by a surge in spending in the second half of the year. The first half of 2024 will continue to see some of the inventory corrections that marked a tough 2023 that saw a spending decline of 8% to 10%, according to Dell’Oro VP Jeff Heynen.

“Although the inventory corrections seen in 2023 will continue through the first half of 2024, the second half of the year is expected to be the turning point towards renewed growth,” said Jeff Heynen, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “Service providers still have the same goals of increasing their fiber footprint, increasing the bandwidth they can offer their customers, and improving the reliability of their broadband services through the distribution of intelligence closer to subscribers,” added Heynen.

Additional highlights from the Broadband Access & Home Networking 5-Year January 2024 Forecast Report:

  • PON equipment revenue is expected to grow from $10.8 B in 2023 to $11.8 B in 2028, driven largely by XGS-PON deployments in North America, EMEA, and CALA and early 50 Gbps deployments in China.
  • Revenue for Cable Distributed Access Equipment (Virtual CCAP, Remote PHY Devices, Remote MAC/PHY Devices, and Remote OLTs) is expected to reach $1.3 B by 2028, as operators continue their DOCSIS 4.0 and early fiber deployments.
  • Revenue for Fixed Wireless CPE is expected to reach $2.5 B by 2028, led by shipments of 5G sub-6GHz and a growing number of 5G Millimeter Wave units.
  • Revenue for Wi-Fi 7 residential routers and broadband CPE with WLAN will reach $9.3B by 2028, as the technology is rapidly adopted by consumers and service providers alike.

Source: Dell’Oro Group

About the Report:

The Dell’Oro Group Broadband Access & Home Networking 5-Year Forecast Report provides a complete overview of the Broadband Access market with tables covering manufacturers’ revenue, average selling prices, and port/unit shipments for PON, Cable, Fixed Wireless, and DSL equipment. Covered equipment includes Converged Cable Access Platforms (CCAP), Distributed Access Architectures (DAA), DSL Access Multiplexers (DSLAMs), PON Optical Line Terminals (OLTs), Customer Premises Equipment ([CPE] for Cable, DSL, PON, Fixed Wireless), along with Residential WLAN Equipment, including Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 Gateways and Routers. For more information about the report, please contact [email protected].


Broadband Equipment Spending Expected to Pick Up 2nd Half of 2024, According to Dell’Oro Group – Dell’Oro Group (

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Alaska Communications uses XGS-PON, FWA, DSL in ~5K homes including Fairbanks and North Pole

AT&T to deploy FTTP network based on XGS-PON in Amarillo, TX

Telefonica España to activate XGS-PON network in 2022; DELTA Fiber to follow in Netherlands


Charter Communications: surprise drop in broadband subs, homes passed increased, HFC network upgrade delayed to 2026

Charter Communications posted a surprise drop in broadband subscribers in the Q4-2023, the company announced on Friday.  Charter’s internet customers decreased by 61,000 (-62,000 residential and +1,000 business) in the 4th quarter, with nearly all of the decline from residential customers. That was much worse than expectations for 17,290 additions, according to Visible Alpha and a year-ago gain of +105,000.  The broadband subscriber drop was especially disappointing given Charter’s homes passed growth accelerated to 2.5% year-over-year, Craig Moffett said in a research note.

“Internet growth in our existing footprint has been challenging, driven by admittedly more persistent competition from fixed wireless and similar levels of wireline overbuild activity,” CEO Chris Winfrey said on a post-earnings call, adding that new investments will help drive growth despite the “temporary challenges.”  Chief Financial Officer Jessica Fischer had warned in December that the company could lose internet customers in the quarter. At the time, speaking at an analyst conference, she said the company was facing short-term challenges and that results would be in line with the rest of the industry.

Charter was not the only cableco/MSO to report decreased broadband internet subscribers in the 4th quarter. Last week, rival Comcast reported a loss of 34,000 broadband customers, fewer than expectations, but exceeding the 18,000 broadband customers it lost in the previous quarter.

Stiff competition across broadband and wireless mobile and the decline of traditional television have been causes of concern, with Charter trying to expand its reach into rural areas in an effort to boost subscriber and earnings growth. Charter is facing heightened competition from Verizon and T-Mobile’s wireless home internet offerings, and the cable company could soon lose even more subscribers when a key government program runs out of funding in April, JPMorgan analysts say in a research note. In particular, the end of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provided up to $30 per month to eligible customers to put toward their internet bills, could hurt Charter more than its peers.   If ACP is not refunded, “we’ll work very hard to keep customers connected,” Winfrey said.  Charter has more than 5 million ACP recipients, the highest in the industry. The majority of them were Charter broadband subscribers before the program began.


Charter added 142,000 broadband subs via its rural subsidy program in Q4, for a total of 420,000, and an overall penetration rate of 33.8% – up from 27.2% in the year-ago quarter. The company posted $74 million in rural revenues, up from $39 million a year earlier. Charter pulled in subsidy revenues of $29 million in Q4. Total capex for the project in Q4 was $426 million, down from $567 million in the year-ago quarter.  Charter plans to activate 450,000 new subsidized rural passings in 2024. With all programs rolled up, Charter has committed to build 1.75 million subsidized rural passings.

Charter expects to complete its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) builds by the end of 2026 – two years ahead of schedule. Charter also intends to participate in the much larger $42.45 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.


Completion of Charter’s hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network upgrade has been delayed to 2026 due in part to a lengthier certification process for distributed access architecture (DAA) technology.  Charter’s original plan was to complete its HFC upgrades by the end of 2025. Charter’s HFC evolution plan consists of three steps:

  1. An upgrade to 15% of its network to 1.2GHz with an upstream-enhancing “high-split” using traditional integrated cable modem termination systems (CMTSs). That enables multi-gigabit downstream speeds and upstream speeds up to 1 Gbit/s.
  2. An upgrade to 1.2GHz with DAA and a virtual CMTS in 50% of the HFC footprint, enabling downstream speeds up to 5 Gbit/s and upstream speeds up to 1 Gbit/s.
  3. A full DOCSIS 4.0 upgrade by deploying 1.8GHz with DAA and a vCMTS to 35% of the HFC footprint. That’ll put Charter in position to deliver up to 10 Gbit/s downstream and at least 1 Gbit/s upstream.

Speaking on today’s Q4 2023 earnings call, Charter CEO Chris Winfrey said the operator has launched symmetrical speed tiers in two markets (Reno and Rochester, Minnesota, an official confirmed), with deployments in six additional markets underway that, once completed, will fulfill the phase one plan. Charter expects to start DAA deployments in its phase two markets later this year, Winfrey said.


Charter added 546,000 mobile lines in Q4, down from a gain of +615,000 in the year-ago quarter and +594,000 in the prior quarter. Analysts were expecting Charter to add 594,000 mobile lines in the 4th quarter and +2.5 million lines for full 2023, up from 1.7 million in full 2022.  The MSO ended 2023 with 7.76 million mobile lines.  Charter is also expanding its deployment of CBRS spectrum to help the company offload MVNO costs in high-usage areas.  Winfrey said “thousands” of CBRS units have been deployed in one “large” market (believed to be Charlotte, North Carolina). Charter expects to roll CBRS to an additional market later this year, he said.


Charter Communications adds broadband subs and raises CAPEX forecast

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Dell’Oro: Broadband network equipment spending to drop again in 2024 to ~$16.5 B

Executive Summary:

Operator spending on broadband network equipment will remain sluggish well into 2024, forecasts Dell’Oro’s Jeff Heynen.  “Inventory Correction, Inventory Realignment,” or whatever term you prefer to call the root cause of 2023’s broadband spending slowdown will likely persist well into 2024, he wrote. Without the benefit of fourth quarter numbers, total spending on broadband equipment in 2023 is expected to show a decline of around 10%. Early projections for 2024 indicate an additional 5% year-over-year decrease, as the lagging impact of interest rate increases to curb inflation will be felt more acutely. This additional 5% decrease would put total spending to around $16.5 B—roughly equal to 2021 spending levels.

The expected declines in 2023 and 2024 follow three straight years of white-hot growth in broadband network and service investments from 2020 to 2022. During this period,  year-over-year growth rates reached 9%, 15%, and 17%, respectively. Similar periods of growth from 2003-2006 and 2010-2014 were both followed by two subsequent years of reduced spending, as operators—particularly in China—shifted their capital expenditure focus from broadband to mobile RAN.

However, there are signs of a return to growth in 2025 as money from BEAD and other broadband subsidy programs trickle down to broadband equipment suppliers. Well before that, pockets of growth in fixed wireless CPE, cable DAA equipment and CPE, and continued spending on PON equipment by tier 2 and tier 3 operators should make the broadband market one in which the headlines might communicate malaise, but a peek under the hood shows clear signs of resilience powering an inevitable return to growth.

Cable Operators Travel Different Paths to Fend off Fixed Wireless and Fiber:

Just like last year, in the minds of cable consumers, cable operators find themselves stuck battling against the perception that they are the provider with inferior copper technology that can’t be flexible when it comes to offering plans that meet a consumer’s budget, like fixed wireless currently can. As a result of this situation, larger cable operators are seeing increased broadband subscriber churn and quarters of net subscriber losses.

Comcast is pushing hard to counter those perceptions and is already offering its X-Class Internet tiers, which offer symmetrical speeds of 2 Gbps in Atlanta, Colorado Springs, and Philadelphia. Additional cities are expected to roll out these service tiers in 2024. Comcast’s use of full-duplex DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX), including brand new CPE using Broadcom’s D4.0 silicon in a two-box configuration. Later this year, we expect to see a combined gateway that also incorporates Wi-Fi 7, as Comcast looks to battle back against FTTH providers by providing the most advanced residential gateway to customers.

Meanwhile, in 2024, Charter’s Remote PHY and vCMTS rollouts will kick into high gear. (At the time of this publication, we are awaiting fourth quarter earnings from both Harmonic and Vecima, the announced RPD partners for Charter’s buildout to determine how much equipment the operator purchased in advance of this significant deployment.) For Charter, which is employing Extended Spectrum DOCSIS 4.0, 2024 will also bring much wider availability of 1.8 GHz amplifiers and taps, as well as a choice of CPE with dedicated silicon for ESD, as well as silicon that combines both FDX and ESD variants.

Charter will likely also announce additional vendors for its upgrade efforts, as the operator has been public about its desire for a multi-vendor environment.

Cox will also begin rolling out 1.8 GHz amplifiers this year but, like Charter, will likely run those at 1.2 GHz until taps and CPE become more widely available.

Meanwhile, for those operators that weren’t part of the initial DOCSIS 4.0 Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Broadcom (and for some of those who were), DOCSIS 3.1 Plus is quickly becoming an important stopgap measure to help increase throughput within the existing DOCSIS 3.1 framework by leveraging additional OFDM channels. Operators can either use existing integrated CCAP chassis (with either legacy line cards supporting 3 OFDM blocks or newer cards supporting 4 OFDM blocks) or vCMTS platforms. This can be combined with either DOCSIS 4.0 modems or modems designed specifically for D3.1 Plus deployments, which won’t require the additional gain amplifier (and cost) needed for full DOCSIS 4.0.

While it remains to be seen which type of CPE operators deploying DOCSIS 3.1 Plus will move forward with, the fact that there is significant interest in the technology means that there will now be additional operators who will likely move on from DOCSIS 4.0 and instead buy themselves time with DOCSIS 3.1 Plus before moving forward with fiber overbuilds. The biggest question here is just how many operators will do so.

As Light Reading previously reported, Broadcom and MaxLinear are working on new D3.1 chipsets that can beef up downstream capacity and speed through the support of additional OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) channels. Some operators are likewise exploring the deployment of new D4.0 modems on their D3.1 networks to achieve similar capacity gains.

That approach could extend the life of DOCSIS 3.1 networks, delay D4.0 upgrades or become an interim step before a future leap to fiber-to-the-premises. But it’s still not clear how many operators will pursue this path.

Heynen expects to see additional FTTH deployments—both greenfield and overbuild—by cable operators around the world. Whether using Remote OLT platforms or more traditional OLT platforms, cable operators will take advantage of work being done at CabeLabs to standardize the integration of ITU-T PON recommendations into existing DOCSIS management frameworks. This will make it far easier for MSOs (aka Cablecos) to deploy XGS-PON, as well as 25GS-PON and, potentially 50G- and 100G-PON.

XGS-PON to Dominate Fiber Spend This Year:

The PON equipment market will be the most dynamic this year, with tier 1 operators besides of BT OpenReach and Deutsche Telekom, all continuing to better align their inventories with anticipated subscriber growth, as well as reduced homes passed goals. For larger tier 1s, the short-term reduction in homes passed goals will ultimately give way to a renewed construction phase beginning in 2025 that should propel the overall PON market through the end of the decade.

But while the tier 1s slow, there will be no slowing the continued efforts by tier 2 and tier 3 operators in both North America and Europe to both upgrade and expand their fiber networks. In fact, the same dynamic that played out in North America in 2023 will likely repeat in 2024, as tier 2, tier 3, utilities, municipalities, and co-ops all continue their buildouts.

The technology beneficiary will be XGS-PON, which already surpassed 2.5 Gbps GPON revenue back in 2022, but will more than double it in 2024. And in markets where operators are beginning to see cable operators deliver symmetric 2 Gbps services, there is a strong chance they will also sprinkle in some 25GS-PON to comfortably deliver symmetric 5-10 Gbps services.

Meanwhile in China, which is expected to show a marked decline in new OLT port shipments in 2023, will likely see another decline until 50G-PON rollouts begin in earnest later this decade. On the flip side, ONT unit shipments in China are expected to increase as FTTR (Fiber to the Room) deployments expand, delivering 2-3 ONTs per home as opposed to the traditional architecture of using a single ONT to terminate fiber.

Wi-Fi 7 Progress Will Accelerate:

With the Wi-Fi Alliance recently announcing the opening of certification testing for Wi-Fi 7 products, don’t be surprised to see dozens of Wi-Fi 7 residential routers and broadband CPE models being deployed by operators by the end of this year. Early gateway models, though pricey, have already been introduced to the market and will become much more widely available this Spring, and then well before the Holiday season. As of our July 2023 forecast, we expect over 2.5 million residential Wi-Fi routers and broadband gateways to ship in 2024, though we are undoubtedly increasing this forecast based on the certification testing opening up.

Operators can’t wait to deploy Wi-Fi 7 products to help differentiate themselves in increasingly crowded broadband markets and to eliminate much of the confusion in the market with the coexistence of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E.



2024 Outlook: Broadband Market Faces Challenge Amidst Lower Spending from 2023

Dell’Oro: Broadband Equipment Spending to exceed $120B from 2022 to 2027

MTN Consulting: Top Telco Network Infrastructure (equipment) vendors + revenue growth changes favor cloud service providers

Dell’Oro: U.S. suppliers ~20% of global telecom equipment market; struggling in RAN business

Dell’Oro: Worldwide Telecom Equipment Market Growth +3% in 2022; MTN: +2% Network Infrastructure Growth in 2022

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ZTE sees demand for fixed broadband and smart home solutions while 5G lags

According to a senior executive, ZTE Corp has seen “tremendous” opportunities due to the increased demand for high-speed internet and smart home solutions globally following the COVID-19 pandemic.  That’s despite a slower-than-expected development of 5G outside of China.

Deployment of 5G technology in overseas markets has been slower than what we previously thought and investments in the field have also lagged behind,” said Chen Zhiping, vice-president of ZTE Corp.

“However, we have seen rapid growth of two sectors in our business – fixed broadband and home network solutions – internationally, especially in the Latin American market.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed up demand for these two types of businesses, as people who were confined to their homes became more reliant on high-speed internet connections and home automation, she said.

“We are actively promoting these two areas of business in Latin America. Besides, the Asia-Pacific region is also where we put great focus on, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, as the region has a huge demand for network convergence, network modernization and digitalization,” Chen said.

The Asia-Pacific region is a market from which the company generates most of its overseas revenue, she added.

ZTE posted 60.7 billion yuan ($8.36 billion) in operating revenue in the first half of the year, up 1.5 percent from the year-ago period, according to its interim results announced on Aug 18. Of the total, 17.6 billion yuan, or 29 percent, came from international markets.

Net profit grew 19.9 percent on a yearly basis to 5.47 billion yuan.

“Exploring the domestic market is far from enough for a technology company, whether it is research and development or marketing. We have been committed to the international markets and promoting the globalization of research and development, supply chain and collaboration all along,” she said.

Chen acknowledged that factors such as geopolitical tensions, economic slowdown and a deteriorating business environment in some countries have posed serious challenges to ZTE‘s operations in overseas markets. She stressed that the company had established a sound system of management as well as risk identification and control to deal with potential risks.

On November 225, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to ban U.S. sales of new Chinese telecommunications equipment and devices produced by Huawei and ZTE—as well as to restrict the use of other Chinese-made video surveillance equipment—over national security concerns.  The Chinese companies have denied the allegations.

According to a report by German market intelligence platform Statista, the global ICT market is expected to reach $6 trillion in 2023, up from $5.5 trillion last year.  China would rank third in global market share with over 11%, following the United States and European Union (EU).


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Leichtman Research Group: U.S. added 840,000 broadband subs in 2Q-2023

Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers and fixed wireless services in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – acquired about 840,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2Q 2023, compared to a pro forma gain of about 700,000 subscribers in 2Q 2022.

These top broadband providers now account for over 112.9 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 76.2 million broadband subscribers, top wireline phone companies having about 30.7 million subscribers, and top fixed wireless services having about 5.9 million subscribers.

Findings for the quarter include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 2Q 2023 were 120% of those in 2Q 2022
  • The top cable companies added about 10,000 subscribers in 2Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 60,000 in 2Q 2022
  • The top wireline phone companies lost about 60,000 total broadband subscribers in 2Q 2023 – similar to about 60,000 net losses in 2Q 2022
    • Wireline Telcos had about 450,000 net adds via fiber in 2Q 2023, and about 510,000 non-fiber net losses
  • Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 890,000 subscribers in 2Q 2023 – compared to 815,000 net adds in 2Q 2022

“Top broadband providers added about 840,000 subscribers in 2Q 2023, led by another strong quarter from fixed wireless,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.  “Fixed wireless services have acquired over 800,000 net adds in each of the past five quarters, accounting for about 4.45 million net adds in that period.”

Broadband Providers Subscribers at end of 2Q 2023 Net Adds in 2Q 2023
Cable Companies
Comcast 32,305,000 (19,000)
Charter 30,586,000 77,000
Altice 4,576,100 (36,600)
Cable One 1,057,900 (5,100)
Breezeline* 680,785 (6,734)
Other major private companies** 7,035,000 0
Total Top Cable 76,240,785 9,566
Wireline Phone Companies
AT&T 15,304,000 (41,000)
Verizon 7,562,000 34,000
Lumen 2,909,000 (72,000)
Frontier 2,865,000 2,000
Windstream^ 1,175,000 0
TDS 523,600 8,200
Consolidated 376,829 6,967
Total Top Wireline Phone 30,715,429 (61,833)
Fixed Wireless Services
T-Mobile 3,678,000 509,000
Verizon* 2,260,000 384,000
Total Top Fixed Wireless 5,938,000 893,000
Total Top Broadband 112,894,214 840,733
Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) specializes in research and analysis on broadband, media and entertainment industries. LRG combines ongoing consumer surveys with industry tracking and analysis, to provide companies with a richer understanding of current market conditions, and the potential impact and adoption of new products and services. For more information about LRG, please call (603) 397-5400 or visit


Dell’Oro: Broadband Equipment Spending to exceed $120B from 2022 to 2027

Dell’Oro Group predicts the broadband equipment market will surpass $120 billion in cumulative spending between 2022 and 2027. The market research firm says sales of PON equipment for fiber-to-the-home deployments, cable broadband access equipment, and fixed wireless CPE will show a 0.2% Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2022 to 2027.  Service providers continue to expand their fiber and DOCSIS 3.1/4.0 networks, while also increasing the reliability and sustainability of their broadband access networks.

“After three consecutive years of tremendous broadband network expansions and upgrades, 2023 is expected to show a return to normalized levels of spending,” said Jeff Heynen, Vice President of Broadband Access and Home Networking research at Dell’Oro Group. “After 2023, spending is expected to increase through 2026 and 2027, driven by 25 Gbps and 50 Gbps PON, Fixed Wireless CPE, as well as DAA and DOCSIS 4.0 deployments.”

Labor markets are “still being challenged” and a number of fiber based network operators (AT&T, Altice USA, Frontier) have reduced their expansion plans and homes passed targets. “To close out 2022 we did see a significant uptake in equipment purchases, and what happened there was supply chains appeased. A lot of orders that had been on the books for a long time have been fulfilled.”

Network equipment vendors are working through that inventory they had built up while taking on “additional equipment purchases.

Additional highlights from the Broadband Access & Home Networking 5-Year July 2023 Forecast Report:

  • PON equipment revenue is expected to grow from $11.8 B in 2022 to $13.3 B in 2027, driven largely by XGS-PON deployments in North America, EMEA, and CALA.
  • Revenue for Cable Distributed Access Equipment (Virtual CCAP, Remote PHY Devices, Remote MACPHY Devices, and Remote OLTs) is expected to reach $1.6 B by 2027, as operators ramp their DOCSIS 4.0 and fiber deployments.
  • Revenue for Fixed Wireless CPE is expected to reach $2.7 B by 2027, led by shipments of 5G sub-6GHz and 5G Millimeter Wave units.
  • Revenue for Residential Wi-Fi Routers will surpass $5.2 B in 2027, owing to massive shipments of Wi-Fi 7 units.
Heynen thinks the 2023 slowdown will be “more acute” in North America than in other regions, given the subsidized broadband growth over the last few years. Not only is the industry seeing “the tail end of some of the RDOF [Rural Digital Opportunity Fund] projects,” but the process for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program is just beginning.

“Which isn’t going to float to manufacturers until you know, late 2024, really into 2025,” he said. “I think in the interim, XGS-PON in the European market is certainly going to catch up. We’re also seeing considerable growth in XGS-PON deployments now in China.”

In Dell’Oro’s five-year forecast published in January, Heynen expected fixed wireless subscriber growth, particularly in North America, would “start to moderate” beginning in 2024, due to factors like “capacity issues and fiber expansion.”

Heynen has increased his revenue predictions for the fixed wireless CPE market – which he previously tipped would hit $2.2 billion in five years – and now predicts subscriber growth to continue into 2025.

“Part of that is because of the net reduction in homes passed for fiber,” he said. “In the meantime, fixed wireless will be able to cover more ground while the operators who are building out fiber kind of extend their overall deployment plans.”

Further, operators like T-Mobile and Verizon “are seeing fixed wireless as a way to secure broadband subscribers away from cable operators. The U.S. market is really dynamic in terms of how services can be marketed.”

About the Report:

The Dell’Oro Group Broadband Access & Home Networking 5-Year Forecast Report provides a complete overview of the Broadband Access market with tables covering manufacturers’ revenue, average selling prices, and port/unit shipments for PON, Cable, Fixed Wireless, and DSL equipment. Covered equipment includes Converged Cable Access Platforms (CCAP), Distributed Access Architectures (DAA), DSL Access Multiplexers (DSLAMs), PON Optical Line Terminals (OLTs), Customer Premises Equipment ([CPE] for Cable, DSL, PON, Fixed Wireless), along with Residential WLAN Equipment, including Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 Gateways and Routers. For more information about the report, please contact [email protected].

About Dell’Oro Group:

Dell’Oro Group is a market research firm that specializes in strategic competitive analysis in the telecommunications, security, enterprise networks, data center infrastructure markets.  Our firm provides in-depth quantitative data and qualitative analysis to facilitate critical, fact-based business decisions.  For more information, contact Dell’Oro Group at +1.650.622.9400 or visit


Despite 2023 Slowdown, Cumulative Broadband Equipment Spending Expected to Exceed $120 B Between 2022 and 2027, According to Dell’Oro Group

Dell’Oro: XGS, 25G, and Early 50G PON Rollouts to Fuel Broadband Spending

Dell’Oro: Bright Future for Campus Network As A Service (NaaS) and Public Cloud Managed LAN

Dell’Oro: FWA revenues on track to advance 35% in 2022 led by North America

Dell’Oro: PONs boost Broadband Access; Total Telecom & Enterprise Network Equipment Markets

Dell’Oro: U.S. suppliers ~20% of global telecom equipment market; struggling in RAN business

Futuriom and Dell’Oro weigh in on SD-WAN and SASE market: single vendor solutions prevail


Point Topic Comprehensive Report: Global Fixed Broadband Connections at 1.377B as of Q1-2023

Global fixed broadband connections reached 1.377 billion as of Q1-2023, up by 83 million from a year earlier and reflecting an annual growth rate of 1.59%, according to Point Topic.

There was a decline in fixed broadband subscriptions in 18 countries[1] which mainly include emerging markets, as well as some saturated markets such as Singapore. However, while there were fluctuations in growth rates across regions and markets, the overall trend indicates a steady expansion of global broadband connectivity.


  • Among global regions, Africa, East Asia and America Other saw the fastest growth in broadband connections (2.9%, 2.2% and 1.8%), not least due to healthy increases in broadband subscribers in the vast markets of Egypt, Brazil and China.

  • The share of FTTH/B in the total fixed broadband subscriptions continued to increase and stood at 66.7%. Broadband connections based on other technologies saw their market shares shrink further, with an exception of satellite and wireless (mainly FWA).

  • VDSL subscriber numbers grew in ten countries, while they dropped in at least 22 markets as consumers migrated to FTTH/B.

  • The highest FTTH/B broadband subscriber growth rates in Q1 2023 were in Algeria, Peru and UK.

At 21.6 million, the quarterly net adds were close to the figure we recorded a year ago, though the growth rate (1.59%) was slower, compared to 1.77% in Q1 2022, with global inflation and economic instability having an impact.

Table 1. Global broadband subscribers and quarterly growth rates.
Source – Point Topic.

East Asia continued to dominate in Q1 2023, maintaining its position as the largest market with a 49.6% share of global fixed broadband subscribers. This substantial market share is primarily driven by China with its vast population.

In Q1 2023, broadband subscriber base grew faster in China, Hong Kong and Korea, compared to Q4 2022. As a result, the region’s net adds share globally went up from 63.2% to 68.8%. Asia Other accounted for 10.8% of the global broadband market, similarly to the previous quarter, though the region’s net adds share went down from 12.8% to 9.4%.

Table 2. Share of fixed broadband subscribers and trends in net adds by region. Source – Point Topic

Europe’s market shares remained rather consistent, though Eastern Europe saw their net adds share decline from 3.4% to 0.5%, as a result of slower growth in almost all markets and the decline in broadband subscribers in Russia having an especially significant impact due to its market size.

Similarly, Americas maintained relatively stable market shares of 10.3% and 8.1% respectively, while America – Other’s net adds share increased from 7.8% to 9%, driven by higher growth in such sizeable markets as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile, to name a few.

Figure 2. Share of net adds of fixed broadband subscribers by region. Source – Point Topic.

Next Point Topic looks at fixed broadband penetration among population, comparing it to growth rates across the regions.

Africa and Asia Other continue to have relatively low fixed broadband penetration rates among their populations. In Q1 2023, this metric in Africa stood at 4.6%, while Asia Other reached 5.6%. These figures indicate the potential for future expansion in these regions. Not surprisingly, Africa also recorded the highest quarterly growth rate of 2.9%.

The markets of East Asia and America Other followed closely with growth rates of 2.2% and 1.8% respectively, despite East Asia already having the highest population penetration at 41.9%. This reflects a widespread adoption of fixed broadband services in East Asia, while America Other showcases steady growth in a region with significant potential, where broadband penetration is among the lowest, at 17.2%.

Eastern Europe displayed a modest growth rate of 0.2% with a population penetration of 24.8%. Some markets in this region still have a lot of headspace when it comes to broadband adoption but the growth was sluggish, likely due to economic pressures. Other European regions showed a slightly higher growth rate, with Europe Other at 0.5%, coupled with the second highest population penetration of 39.4%. These figures indicate a mature market with limited growth opportunities.

Figure 3. Penetration and quarterly growth by region (Bubble size represents the size of the market).   Source – Point Topic.
Oceania saw a negative growth rate of -0.3% while the population penetration there stood at 32.2%. The negative growth this quarter was caused by fast decline in copper and some churn in cable broadband connections, while new fibre connections did not fully compensate for this drop.  The latest data reveals diverse trends in fixed broadband subscriber growth across regions. Africa and Asia Other exhibit potential for expansion with their low penetration rates and high quarterly growth rates. East Asia demonstrates strong adoption of fixed broadband services despite already high population penetration, while the developed European markets face limited growth opportunities due to their mature nature.

Among the largest twenty broadband markets all but one saw fixed broadband subscribers grow in Q1 2023, although in ten of them the growth was slower than in the Q4 2022. There was a slight drop in broadband subscribers in Russia which is under international sanctions.

Table 3. Changes in quarterly growth in fixed broadband subscribers in the largest 20 markets.  Source: Point Topic.

The less saturated broadband markets of India, Egypt, Brazil and Mexico recorded the highest quarterly growth rates in Q1 2023, all higher than 2%. China recorded an above 2% growth as well. At the other end of the spectrum, the mature markets of Germany, France, Japan, UK, and Italy saw modest growth rates at below 0.5%. At the same time, Italy was among the countries that saw one of the largest improvements in growth rates, from -0.44% in Q4 2022 to 0.04% in Q1 2023, as its GDP growth also went from negative to positive in that period[2]. Mexico, China and Brazil recorded the largest improvements in their growth rates, at +1.14.%, +0.52% and +0.41% respectively.

Between Q4 2022 and Q1 2023, the share of FTTH/B connections in the total fixed broadband subscriptions went up by 0.7% and stood at 66.7%. Broadband connections based on other technologies saw their market shares shrink further, with an exception of satellite and wireless (mainly FWA), which remained stable.

Table 4. Changes in broadband technology market shares. Source – Point Topic.

FTTx (mainly VDSL) share stood at 6.7%[3]. VDSL subscriber numbers grew in ten countries (including modest quarterly increase in the large VDSL markets of Turkey, Czech Republic, Greece and Germany, for example), while they fell in 22 other markets as consumers migrated to FTTH/B.

Table 5. Top 15 markets by FTTH/B growth rates (countries with at least 0.5m fibre broadband subscribers).   Source: Point Topic.
Editor’s Note:  We don’t know why India appears twice in Table 5?
As fibre broadband continues to establish its dominance, we examined the growth of FTTH/B in markets with at least 0.5 million fibre broadband connections. In Q1 2023, Algeria led the list with a 32.1% growth rate. Peru followed with 14.3%, while the United Kingdom also showcased considerable growth of 11.6%, as the country benefitted from a rapid rollout of fibre networks by multiple operators.

It remains to be seen whether consumers will continue to gravitate toward fibre broadband offerings, particularly as global economies face potential slowdown and inflationary pressures.

In terms of FTTH/B broadband net additions in Q1 2023, China continued to maintain a significant lead with 13.5 million while Brazil added 1.4 million. Mexico is back in the top ten league, having pushed out Argentina this quarter.

Table 6. Top ten markets by FTTH/B broadband subscriber net additions. Source: Point Topic.
Between Q1 2022 and Q1 2023, the global landscape of broadband technologies witnessed significant shifts. The number of copper lines experienced further decline of 9.6%, while FTTH/B connections saw growth of 11.2% (Figure 4), as consumers continued to show preference for more advanced options and transition away from older and slower technologies. Cable broadband exhibited modest growth at 0.5%, maintaining relevance in certain markets.

Satellite broadband also saw a modest growth of 1.3% while wireless broadband demonstrated continued relevance with a respectable growth rate of 4.9%. These trends can be attributed to the demand for connectivity in remote or underserved areas where traditional broadband infrastructure is not feasible.

Figure 4. Annual growth in subscriber numbers by technology.
Source – Point Topic.

The diverse growth rates among different broadband technologies highlight the dynamic nature of the industry as consumers seek more reliable and high-speed connections. The significant increase in FTTH/B connections and the growth of satellite and wireless broadband underline the ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide and ensure connectivity for all.

The top ten countries by fixed broadband subscribers remained unchanged (Figure 5). As of Q1 2023, China exceeded 0.6 billion fixed broadband subscribers, having added 14.6 million in the quarter. Also, the country is approaching 1.2 billion 5G subscribers, with the service now being used by 84% of the population.

Figure 5. Country ranking by fixed broadband subscribers. Source – Point Topic.

Overall, the latest fixed broadband subscriber data reveals a clear trend towards advanced, high-speed broadband solutions like FTTH/B, while older technologies such as copper-based broadband (ADSL and VDSL) are experiencing a decline, suggesting that the broadband landscape is continuously evolving to meet the growing demand for faster and more reliable connectivity.


Point Topic: Global Broadband Tariff Benchmark Report- 2Q-2022

Point Topic: Global fixed broadband connections up 1.7% in 1Q-2022, FTTH at 58% market share


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