Broadband wireline network operators (telcos and MSOs/cablecos) have cutback on CAPEX with decreased spending for network equipment. In its latest earnings call, Calix warned that broadband operator spending might not increase until 2025, when BEAD subsidies have been allocated. However, fiber vendor Corning and others suggested spending might increase earlier than that.
Calix specializes in providing optical network access equipment to smaller broadband service providers and has seen significant revenue growth in recent years, but near-term growth will be challenged. Calix management’s guidance was that the 2024 fiscal year will be soft for its business. Despite that softness, the company still believes that it has years of growth ahead for itself starting in 2025 due to BEAD regulatory stimulus that should prove beneficial for the enterprise.
2023 Deutsche Telekom (DT) Highlights:
- Fiber offensive: more than 2.5 million new fiber connections made possible in 2023, reaching a total of more than ten million fiber households in 2024
- 5G front-runner: 5G population coverage of 96%, 5G Standalone also for private customers in 2024
- State-of-the-art technologies: Artificial intelligence supports fiber and mobile rollout
- EURO 2024: Deutsche Telekom connects all stadiums, fan zones & team quarters, data gift for all mobile customers
DT Network Day photo courtesy of Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom announced that it has successfully enabled more than 2.5 million new fiber connections this year, thereby realizing its fiber plant expansion target. The company invested EUR 2.5 billion in fiber expansion, expanding coverage in almost 3,500 towns and municipalities. According to the announcement, the company projects a total investment of EUR 30 billion in the fiber optic rollout by 2030.
Its Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network is set to reach eight million households by the end of the year, with plans to extend this to ten million fiber optic connections by 2024.
In mobile, Deutsche Telekom currently provides 5G coverage to 96 percent of the population, serving 80 million people through a network of over 80,000 5G antennas, including 10,000 in the 3.5 GHz band spread across more than 800 cities and municipalities. The network delivers download speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
The company aims to achieve 99 percent 5G coverage for the German population by 2025 and plans to launch 5G Standalone (SA) core network for private customers in 2024. DT indicates that 10,000 antennas are compatible with 5G SA in the 3.6 GHz band, covering more than 800 cities and municipalities. This is up from 9,700 antennas in August 2023.
Deutsche Telekom’s business customers are already using 5G SA technology with functions such as network slicing. For example, for live TV transmission of media or in 5G campus networks for industry and research. “In the coming year, 5G SA should then offer all customers real added value,” DT said.
Meanwhile, rival operators Telefónica Deutschland (O2 Germany) and Vodafone Germany already offer standalone 5G services.
DT began the deployment of its open radio access network (O-RAN) in Germany in December, in collaboration with Nokia and Fujitsu. The first O-RAN commercial deployment will be in Neubrandenburg. Nokia and Fujitsu are supplying the necessary technology components.
“Open RAN increases the choice of manufacturers and therefore our flexibility. The open access network enables more automation. And makes our networks even more resilient. This benefits the people that our mobile network connects,” says Claudia Nemat.
The German telco expects to have 3,000 O-RAN compatible antennas by the end of 2026.
Deutsche Telekom also says it’s using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in network expansion and mobile communications. AI aids in analyzing and evaluating cell usage and capacity utilization, with the ongoing development of a large language model for telco-specific applications in collaboration with SK Telekom. Additionally, AI contributes to enhanced network security through automated pattern recognition, according to the company.
In partnership with FirstLight Fiber, Bell Canada announced new, unique wavelength data routes this week with speeds up to 400G b/sec with triple redundancy between Secaucus, NJ, Toronto, and Montreal, Canada. These data routes, enabling triversity, are expected to be available in Q1 of 2024.
According to the statement, Bell launched 400G wavelength technology in April 2021, delivering increased speeds and the capacity required for large cloud and data centre providers. The technology is said to offer reliable, secure fibre-optic networks for the transport of voice, data, and video.
Additionally, Bell noted that, as Secaucus, NJ is a major data centre hub experiencing growth and increased customer demand, this development will support the company in enhancing network resilience. This improvement addresses the needs of customers requiring connectivity between Canada and the US.
The new routes will terminate at Equinix’s data centre campus in Secaucus, facilitating traffic flow into the U.S. and strengthening the networks for Bell customers.
The introduction of new routes brings triversity to Secaucus, offering alternative connections without the need to pass through New York City for two key routes.
The first route originates in Toronto, directly connecting to Secaucus. The second route from Montreal to Secaucus travels via Albany, creating a diverse pathway. The third route, also from Montreal to Secaucus through the Maritimes, passes through Manhattan.
These routes not only enhance accessibility to Secaucus but also contribute to triversity in New York City. Alongside the existing routes to New York City, these new connections with diverse paths include Toronto to Secaucus to NYC, Montreal to NYC via Albany, and Montreal to NYC via the Maritimes.
Bell Canada said these new routes will fortify its extensive footprint, enabling faster and more reliable data transport between major hubs in Secaucus, Toronto, and Montreal.
“With continued growth in data demand, – particularly because of cloud technology and AI delivered by leading telecom networks like Bell Canada – we are excited to fortify Bell’s extensive footprint further with these new routes, which will enable faster and more reliable data transport between the major hubs in Secaucus, Toronto, and Montréal.”
– Ivan Mihaljevic, SVP, Bell Wholesale
“Given the vast amount of bandwidth we expect AI will require, coupled with the criticality of network resilience, we are delighted to work with Bell Canada to offer these unique routes that provide bandwidth up to 400G, diversely routed between Canada and the United States.”
– Patrick Coughlin, Chief Development Officer for FirstLight.
Bell is Canada’s largest communications company,1 providing advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet, media, and business communication services throughout the country. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.
Through Bell for Better, we are investing to create a better today and a better tomorrow by supporting the social and economic prosperity of our communities. This includes the Bell Let’s Talk initiative, which promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research, and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
1 Based on total revenue and total combined customer connections.
FirstLight, headquartered in Albany, New York, provides fibre-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud, unified communications, and managed services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic connecting more than 15,000 locations in service with more than 125,000 locations serviceable by our more than 25,000-route mile network. FirstLight offers a robust suite of advanced telecommunications products featuring a comprehensive portfolio of high bandwidth connectivity solutions including Ethernet, wavelength and dark fibre services as well as dedicated Internet access solutions, data center, cloud and voice services. FirstLight’s clientele includes national cellular providers and wireline carriers and many leading enterprises, spanning high tech manufacturing and research, hospitals and healthcare, banking and financial, secondary education, colleges and universities, and local and state governments FirstLight was named a Top Workplace USA in 2022 and 2023.
Charter’s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) network expansion and operational enhancement initiatives, this collaboration will see the deployment of nearly all of Precision OT’s active and passive portfolio of solutions; to include 10G DWDM tunable optics, 100G and 400G optics, Bluetooth® DWDM tuning modules, passive connectivity solutions and more. Precision OT didn’t announce the financial terms of the agreement.to upgrade the latter’s optical network. In alignment with
Charter plans to upgrade about 85% of its HFC plant using a distributed architecture paired with a virtual cable modem termination system (vCMTS) and “high-split’ upgrades that dedicate more spectrum to the DOCSIS upstream. About 50% of Charter’s HFC plant will be upgraded to 1.2GHz of capacity and 35% will upgrade to 1.8GHz and a full deployment of DOCSIS 4.0. The remaining 15% of Charter’s footprint will be moved to 1.2GHz with a high-split but forgo DAA and a vCMTS.
Greg Mott, SVP Field Operations Engineering at Charter Communications said of the partnership, saying: “The team at Precision OT has a clear understanding of Charter’s broadband network evolution — cost, scale, and speed — and their mix of solutions will help us deliver on our commitments across our 41-state service area.”
With a global footprint, Precision OT currently serves a diverse range of customers across various industries worldwide. Among its clientele are leading broadband service providers in North America, Europe, Latin America, and beyond. This partnership further solidifies Precision OT’s reputation as a trusted partner and solutions provider in the telecommunications and optical technology sectors.
“We are pleased that Charter Communications has chosen Precision OT as a trusted technology partner to deploy cutting-edge optical networking solutions,” said Keith Habberfield, SVP of Sales & Marketing at Precision OT. “Optics and their components are the integration point that enables networks to communicate. We provide a suite of solutions that work in all of Charter’s identified use-cases; this drives measurable operational simplicity and speeds deployments for their project.”
About Charter Communications:
Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) is a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 32 million customers in 41 states through its Spectrum brand. Over an advanced communications network, the Company offers a full range of state-of-the-art residential and business services including Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile and Voice.
For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise® provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions. Spectrum Reach® delivers tailored advertising and production for the modern media landscape. The Company also distributes award-winning news coverage and sports programming to its customers through Spectrum Networks. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com.
About Precision OT:
Precision OT is a systems integration company focused on end-to-end optical networking solutions, network design services and cutting-edge product development advancements. Backed by our extensive experience and robust R&D efforts, we play an integral role in enabling next-generation optical networks worldwide. For more information, visit www.precisionot.com.
Charter Communications selects Nokia AirScale to support 5G connectivity for Spectrum Mobile™ customers
Nokia today announced it has set two new world records in submarine optical transmission, both of which will shape the next generation of optical networking equipment.
The first sets a new optical speed record for transoceanic distances. Nokia Bell Labs researchers were able to demonstrate an 800-Gbps data rate at a distance of 7865 km using a single wavelength of light. That distance is two times greater than what current state-of-the-art equipment can transmit at the same capacity and is approximately the geographical distance between Seattle and Tokyo. Nokia Bell Labs achieved this milestone at its optical research testbed in Paris-Saclay, France.
The second record was achieved by both Nokia Bell Labs and Nokia subsidiary Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), establishing a net throughput of 41 Tbps over 291 km via a C-band unrepeated transmission system. C-band unrepeated systems are commonly used to connect islands and offshore platforms to each other and the mainland proper. The previous record for these kinds of systems is 35 Tbps over the same distance. Nokia Bell Labs and ASN broke the record at ASN’s research testbed facility, also in Paris-Saclay.
Nokia Bell Labs and ASN presented the scientific findings behind both records on the 4th and 5th of October at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC), held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Making lasers that blink faster:
Nokia Bell Labs and Alcatel Submarine Networks were able to achieve both world records through the innovation of higher-baud-rate technologies. “Baud” measures the number of times per second that an optical laser switches on and off, or “blinks”. Higher baud rates mean higher data throughput and will allow future optical systems to transmit the same capacities per wavelength over far greater distances. In the case of transoceanic systems, these increased baud rates will double the distance at which we could transmit the same amount of capacity, allowing us to efficiently bridge cities on opposite sides of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In the case of C-band unrepeated systems, higher baud would allow service providers connecting islands or off-shore platforms to achieve higher capacities with fewer transceivers and without the addition of new frequency bands.
The research behind these two records will have significant impact on the next generation of submarine optical transmission systems. While future deployments of submarine fiber will take advantage of new fiber technologies like multimode and multicore, the existing undersea fiber networks can take advantage of next-generation higher-baud-rate transceivers to boost their performance and increase their long-term viability.
Sylvain Almonacil, Research Engineer at Nokia Bell Labs, said: “With these higher baud rates, we can directly link most of the world’s continents with 800 Gbps of capacity over individual wavelengths. Previously, these distances were inconceivable for that capacity. Furthermore, we’re not resting on our achievement. This world record is the next step toward next-generation Terabit-per-second submarine transmissions over individual wavelengths.”
Hans Bissessur, Unrepeated Systems Group leader at ASN, said: “These research advances show that that we can achieve better performance over the existing fiber infrastructure. Whether these optical systems are crisscrossing the world or linking the islands of an archipelago, we can extend their lifespans.”
According to TeleGeography, there were an estimated 1.4 million km of submarine cables in service globally at the start of 2023 and that number is rapidly increasing.
Recent highlights include Orange and ASN agreeing in July to construct the new Medusa cable system between multiple locations in North Africa and Southern Europe. In late September, Telecom Egypt agreed to extend Medusa all the way to the Red Sea.
On a slightly smaller scale, early last month, Telecom Italia Sparkle began offering commercial services on a stretch of the Blue cable system, linking Palermo with Genoa to Milan. It is part of the larger Blue and Raman system, being built in partnership with Google. Once completed, the Blue part will connect various locations on the Med – including Greece and Israel in addition to Italy – while the Raman part will connect Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and eventually India.
Resources and additional information:
Derek Kelly, Lumos’ VP of market development, went as far as to say that “fiber is always the answer,” and suggested cable alternatives will not stand the test of time. Kelly claimed that as $42.5 billion is set to roll out through the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program, relying on investments in fiber will provide stability over the next 15 years.
“I think we’ve all seen DSL and fixed wireless projects get funded over the last couple of years. And then what happens? Those areas ultimately become blocked from future funding until the definitions change. And then they become available for another grant. And we see public dollars going on top of previous public dollars.” Kelly said. He noted Lumos defines “unserved being no cable, underserved means they’re stuck with cable. And then there’s everyone else that has life-changing fiber. So we don’t care about speeds at this point.”
While acknowledging the need for funding in areas without even cable access, he noted another large-scale program after the BEAD initiative is unlikely. “Cable modems aren’t going to keep up with these definitions forever. Their lobbyists aren’t going to be able to convince people forever just make sure that they just barely can meet the definition of unserved,” he said. “We have communities that don’t have access to fiber. The FCC and NTIA may consider them as served today. And I agree the funding should go to areas that don’t even have cable yet, but the time is coming, where cable is going to be what’s unserved or underserved.”
Fiber execs mostly targeted cable’s “Achilles heel,” which is its lacking symmetric speed capabilities (upstream and downstream).
AT&T Fiber’s EVP Chris Sambar told a large keynote audience, “Don’t ask cable about symmetrical speeds, they don’t even know what that means.” In an earlier blog post, he wrote, “Fiber is superior technology for things like uploading large files and increased bandwidth. It delivers an amazing experience, with multi-gig speeds and equally fast up- and downlinks. It’s also critical for powering technologies like 5G (backhaul) and edge computing (fiber access for ultra low latency). And with a far superior upgradeable capacity to handle soaring demand for high-quality bandwidth well into the future.”
However, Jay Lee, CTO of ATX Networks said that cable operators are “right in the throes” of upgrading their networks to get to full DOCSIS 3.1, and that high-split type of architecture will allow them to achieve competitive speeds in the upstream. “Their downstream is probably two gigabits per second now and there’s a line of sight to be more than that,” he said. “Is it 10 Gig PON? No. But it’s still in that gig threshold that I think is as important from a consumer standpoint,” he added.
The next plan phase for cable is to move up to DOCSIS 4.0, which starts to get toward multi-gigabit upstream and five-plus in the downstream, sometimes upwards of 10 in the downstream. Lee noted that plenty of cable companies are doing “lots” of their own fiber buildouts. “Some of the statements made on cable were like ‘they can’t do anything about it’ and certainly they can. DOCSIS 3.1 high-split is just the start.”
Jeff Heynen, VP at Dell’Oro Group echoed Lee’s comments, noting that current DOCSIS 3.1 mid-split can deliver 2 Gbps downstream and up to 200 Mbps upstream, which is what Comcast is offering today. Charter and Cox’s high-split offerings can go even further, delivering 2 Gbps downstream and up to 1 Gbps upstream.
A recent interoperability test conducted by Cable Labs showed that DOCSIS 4.0 modems paired with CCAP and vCMTS platforms in high-split configurations could deliver up to 8.6 Gbps downstream and 1.5 Gbps upstream. Cable operators have claimed DOCSIS 4.0 modems should become available later this year, with volumes in 2024. Those downstream speeds would give cable “very comparable service tiers to most fiber providers,” Heynen said. “And this is before the outside plant is upgraded to DOCSIS 4.0, which will be capable of delivering up to 10 Gbps down and 6 Gbps up.” However, other analysts have hinted that DOCSIS 4.0 rollouts will take longer than cable companies are saying.
Nokia has become the first telecom company to announce the manufacturing of fiber-optic broadband network electronics products and optical modules in the U.S. for use in the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.
Using thin strands of glass to transmit data with light, fiber-optic networks have become the backbone of today’s digital economy and are used to connect everything to fast, reliable gigabit data services. Seventy percent of fiber broadband lines in North America are powered by Nokia. Now, partnering with Sanmina Corporation, Nokia will manufacture in the U.S. several fiber-optic broadband products at Sanmina’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located in Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha County, Wisconsin, bringing up to 200 new jobs to the state.
By manufacturing fiber-optic technology in the U.S., Nokia will be able to supply its products and services to critical projects like BEAD that are focused on narrowing the digital divide, helping to further contribute to the nation’s economic growth and job creation. Having access to technology that is built in the U.S. is an important requirement for states and infrastructure players seeking to participate in BEAD and the $42.45bn of available funding allocated for broadband rollouts to unserved and underserved communities.
Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO of Nokia, said: “At Nokia, we create technology that helps the world act together. We are committed to connecting people and communities. However, many Americans still lack adequate connectivity, leaving them at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing work, education and healthcare. Programs like BEAD can change this. By bringing the manufacturing of our fiber-optic broadband access products to the U.S., BEAD participants will be able to work with us to bridge the digital divide. We look forward to bringing more Americans online.”
Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, said: “President Biden and I are delivering on our promise to strengthen our economy by investing in working people, expanding domestic manufacturing, empowering small business owners, and rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure—today’s announcement is a direct result of this work. Our investments in broadband infrastructure are creating jobs in Wisconsin and across the nation, and increasing access to reliable, high-speed internet so everyone in America has the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century.”
U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, said: “President Biden promised to bring high-speed internet to every corner of America, and to do it with American workers and American-made equipment. This announcement is proof that he’s delivering on that promise. When we invest in American manufacturing and American jobs, there’s no limit to what we can achieve. Thanks to the President’s leadership, we’re going to connect everyone in America and create a strong and equitable economy that’s built for the future.”
Jure Sola, Chairman and CEO of Sanmina, said: “Sanmina has been manufacturing in the U.S. for more than forty years and we are excited to partner with Nokia to support their efforts to build robust and resilient high-tech fiber broadband networks that will connect people and societies. By continuing to invest in domestic manufacturing, Nokia and Sanmina will be able to help create a sustainable future for the industry, one that drives job growth and ensures the fiber products produced embody the quality and excellence associated with American manufacturing.”
Nokia fiber-optic broadband products manufactured in the U.S. will include:
- Optical Line Termination card for a modular Access Node
- A small form factor OLT
- OLT optical modules
- An “outdoor-hardened” Optical Network Terminal (ONT)
Resources and additional information
- Seven out of ten fiber broadband connections in North America are made through Nokia equipment.
- Nokia is the top supplier of fiber-optic broadband technology for service providers in the U.S.
- Nokia is the number one vendor for XGS-PON technology globally and in the U.S. market. XGS-PON can deliver up to 10 Gbps (Gigabits-per-second) broadband speeds to end-users. With 10 Gbps, you can download a 4K movie in less than 30 seconds or stream around 1,700 movies simultaneously.
- Nokia was the first to deploy 1, 10 and 25 Gigabit fiber-optic broadband networks in the U.S. with the Electric Power Board (EPB) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- Website: More about funding opportunities and Nokia broadband solutions
- Infograph: Why Fiber Broadband is Essential
- Article: U.S. Broadband Infrastructure Funding explained
- Video: Explaining the limitless speeds for fiber broadband
August 16, 2023 Addendum:
Nokia announced today its partnership with Fabrinet to become the first telecom vendor to manufacture fiber broadband optical modules in the U.S. for use in the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.
Starting in 2024, Nokia’s next generation, multi-rate optical modules for Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) will be produced at Fabrinet’s state-of-the- art manufacturing facility located in Santa Clara, California, bringing high-tech innovation and additional jobs to the country.
This news builds on Nokia’s recent announcement that they will produce fiber-optic broadband network electronic products in Kenosha, Wisconsin – expanding Nokia’s list of products and solutions for networks rollouts using BEAD or other funding to help bridge the digital divide.
Adtran today announced that Openreach, the UK’s largest wholesale broadband network, has deployed its FSP 3000 open optical transport technology to enable its new Optical Spectrum Access 100G Single enterprise service.
Openreach’s new product offers a dedicated fiber link that empowers more UK businesses to harness point-to-point 100Gbit/s data transport. The solution also brings efficiency benefits that reduce capital and operational expenditure. The latest collaboration builds on more than a decade of successful partnership between Adtran and Openreach.
“Corporate cloud applications and other data-intensive tasks such as data center backhaul are fueling a growing demand for bandwidth. Adtran’s scalable optical technology enables us to offer a managed, high-speed service that satisfies that demand at a highly competitive price point,” said Simon Williams, head of optical products at Openreach.
“With no filters or amplifiers required, our Optical Spectrum Access 100G Single service offers secure and always-on optical services that can transport enormous amounts of data. We’re also making dedicated, uncomplicated and customizable access available in a slimmed-down package that’s even easier to manage.”
Adtran’s FSP 3000 technology is helping Openreach deliver managed 100G connectivity to UK businesses. (Photo: Business Wire)
Openreach’s Optical Spectrum Access 100G Single offers a choice of point-to-point Ethernet links at 100Gbit/s or 10 separate channels at 10Gbit/s. Built on Adtran’s scalable, open FSP 3000 optical transport technology, the service empowers Openreach to meet the growing demand for data-intensive cloud-based applications. Engineered for operational simplicity, Adtran’s compact and highly efficient FSP 3000 platform offers a dedicated fiber link ensuring low latency, consistent service quality and unparalleled network reliability for Openreach’s customers.
“Our FSP 3000 technology gives Openreach a powerful optical transport solution that efficiently delivers high-bandwidth services for enterprise customers. Using the Optical Spectrum Access 100G Single service, businesses can now smoothly manage substantial data transfers, even during peak operational hours,” commented Stuart Broome, GM of EMEA sales at Adtran. “We have a great track record of partnering with Openreach to advance digital transformation across the UK. It’s a relationship based on trust and a shared dedication to deliver for customers. Together, we’re providing extra capacity and value for more businesses.”
ADTRAN Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTN and FSE: QH9) is the parent company of Adtran, Inc., a leading global provider of open, disaggregated networking and communications solutions that enable voice, data, video and internet communications across any network infrastructure. From the cloud edge to the subscriber edge, Adtran empowers communications service providers around the world to manage and scale services that connect people, places and things. Adtran solutions are used by service providers, private enterprises, government organizations and millions of individual users worldwide. ADTRAN Holdings, Inc. is also the largest shareholder of Adtran Networks SE, formerly ADVA Optical Networking SE. Find more at Adtran, LinkedIn and Twitter.
BT’s CEO: Openreach Fiber Network is an “unstoppable machine” reaching 9.6M UK premises now; 25M by end of 2026
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 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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
FTTx (mainly VDSL) share stood at 6.7%. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Altice USA’s Optimum is the latest provider to trot out a symmetrical 8-gig fiber tier, which Altice said is now available to more than 1.7 million residents and businesses across the company’s fiber footprint. By year end, Optimum 8 Gig Fiber will be available to nearly 3 million passings and will expand as the Company’s fiber network build continues.
This launch represents the largest deployment of 8 Gig internet speeds in the country and cements Optimum as the nation’s largest 8 Gig internet provider, delivering the fastest Fiber Internet available in its serviceable footprint that is four times faster than Verizon, 60% faster than Frontier, and 32 times faster than T-Mobile 5G Home Internet.
“After launching 2 and 5 Gig symmetrical Fiber Internet speeds last year, Optimum is pleased to have invested even further in our network and infrastructure to bring next level 8 Gig symmetrical internet speeds to our fiber footprint,” said Leroy Williams, Chief Growth Officer, Optimum. “Optimum is now the nation’s largest 8 Gig Fiber Internet provider, and availability will continue to increase as we deploy fiber to more homes and businesses as we solidify our position as the connectivity provider of choice across all the communities we serve. We look forward to bringing these reliable and faster speeds, along with an enhanced customer experience, to meet our customers’ growing data needs today and into the future.”
Backed by Optimum’s 100% Fiber Internet network with 99.9% network reliability, Optimum’s 8 Gig Fiber Internet offers 8 Gig symmetrical upload and download speeds to support the most data-intensive applications such as AR/VR, gaming, graphic design, and video production, all while providing increased bandwidth that can simultaneously connect 100+ devices to the internet at once. The service is delivered directly into the home via the Optimum Fiber Gateway to enable fast, reliable WiFi in the home or business, with extenders available for extra coverage.
“Optimum’s Fiber is deployed using XGS-PON, an advanced technology that enables multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds and that is superior to the legacy GPON standard used by many other fiber providers,” said Pragash Pillai, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Optimum. “As we continue to bring faster, more reliable service to customers through this state-of-the-art technology, the strength of Optimum’s Fiber network goes unmatched.”
Optimum continues to be a leader in the deployment of multi-gigabit internet speeds across the nation, having launched 2 and 5 Gig internet service across its fiber footprint in the New York tri-state area last year, and now adding an additional 8 Gig speed tier to more homes and businesses on its 100% Fiber Internet Network.
An Altice rep told Fierce the 8-gig offering is currently live in all markets where multi-gig speeds are available, which is “predominantly” in the New York tri-state area. Consumers can check the Optimum website to see if they’re eligible for the service. “In addition to multi-gig, up to 1 gig speeds are available in more than 90% of the Optimum footprint,” the rep told Fierce.
8-gig speeds come after Altice last year released 2-gig and 5-gig tiers across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Altice said “nearly 3 million passings” will have access to 8-gig fiber by year-end, and that number will increase as Altice ramps up its fiber expansion.
For more information on Optimum’s multi-gig speed tiers and other fiber offerings, prospective customers can visit Optimum.com/8Gig. Existing customers can call 1.866.347.4784 to upgrade.
Optimum is a brand of Altice USA, one of the largest broadband communications and video services providers in the United States, delivering broadband, video, and mobile services to nearly 5 million residential and business customers across 21 states. The company operates a4, an advanced advertising and data business, which provides audience-based, multiscreen advertising solutions to local, regional and national businesses and advertising clients. Altice USA also offers hyper-local, national, international and business news through its News 12, Cheddar News and i24NEWS networks.
Other 8-gig Network Providers:
Windstream’s Kinetic has also gotten into the 8-gig game, as a spokesperson recently told Fierce it will make 8-gig speeds available to 400,000 households across its 18-state footprint. Others that have rolled out 8-gig tiers include C Spire, Google Fiber, Lumen Technologies and TDS Telecom. Google Fiber is particularly stepping up its speeds, as it’s seeking testers for its nascent 20-gig product.