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Fixed broadband subscriber growth slowing down

By the end of Q2 2022, the number of global fixed broadband connections grew by 1.34% and stood at 1.32bn. The growth rates varied across different markets, with 13 countries reporting a decline in fixed broadband subscriptions[1]. We recorded the churn mainly in the emerging markets, where mobile networks are the dominant platform for accessing the internet.

Main trends in Q2 2022:

  • The global fixed broadband subscriber growth was lowest in the last six quarters as the world faces economic slowdown.
  • Fixed broadband subscriber numbers fell in 10% of the 129 countries covered in this report.
  • The share of FTTH in the total fixed broadband subscriptions continued to increase and stood at 59.1%. Superfast and ultrafast cable broadband connections followed with a 16.8% share, while ADSL fell to 9.6%.
  • In 12 months between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022, the number of copper lines fell by 9.5%, while FTTH connections increased by 13.1%.
  • China added 12 million fibre broadband subscriptions in Q2 2022, with Brazil, India and France adding almost 1 million each.

Global and regional trends

 Figure 2. Global broadband subscribers and quarterly growth rates. Source – Point Topic.

In Q2 2022, the quarterly fixed broadband subscriber growth rate stood at 1.34%, with the number of connections reaching 1.32 bn (Figures 1 and 2). The growth was lowest in the last six quarters. It is slowing down partly due to the global economic downturn and market saturation in some countries.

The largest regional broadband market of East Asia has maintained the biggest share of net additions of fixed broadband subscribers – it stood at 71.1% in Q2 2022, up from 68.2% in Q1 2022 (Figure 3). As ever, this is mainly due to China’s market size and almost 12m fixed broadband subscribers added there in Q2 2022. Asia Other also increased their share of net adds from 11.3% to 15.5%, thanks to high quarterly adds in such large markets as India, Thailand and Vietnam, among others.

Once again, we recorded negative net adds in Eastern Europe due to the significant quarterly fall in fixed broadband subscribers in Ukraine. In Q2 2022, North America’s net adds market share fell to 1.8% compared to 4.4% in Q1 2022, mainly due to significantly slower growth in the United States.

Figure 3. Share of net adds of fixed broadband subscribers by region. Source – Point Topic.

East Asia has retained the largest regional market share of fixed broadband connections at 48.7% (Figure 4). Compared to Q1 2022, North America, Eastern Europe, Europe Other and Oceania saw their market shares decline while they increased for Africa, East Asia and Asia Other, though in all regions the changes were smaller than one percentage point.

Figure 4. Share of fixed broadband subscribers by region. Source – Point Topic.

In Q2 2022, the quarterly growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers was slower than in Q1 2022 in all regions except for Asia Other, where it went up by 0.03% (Figures 5 and 6). The most noticeable slowdown in growth (-0.8%) was in America Other.

Figure 5. Quarterly growth in fixed broadband subscribers by region. Source: Point Topic.

 Figure 6. Fixed broadband subscriptions: quarterly growth compared. Source: Point Topic.

Africa continues to have the lowest fixed broadband penetration among population at 4%. It has, however, recorded the highest quarterly growth of 2.7%. The developing markets of East Asia and Asia Other were the next fastest growing regions, with the latter having the second lowest population penetration at 5% (Figures 7 and 8).

Figure 7. Penetration and quarterly growth by region (size of bubble represents subscriber volume). Source – Point Topic.

Figure 8. Regional growth vs population penetration. Source – Point Topic.

All the largest twenty broadband markets saw fixed broadband subscriber growth this quarter, but in thirteen of them it was slower than in the first quarter of 2022. Compared to the previous quarter, the Q2 2022 growth was significantly slower (by 1% or more) in Argentina, Brazil, United Kingdom and Russia, as consumers are reigning in their spending amidst the energy crisis and war in Ukraine.

Figure 9. Changes in quarterly growth in fixed broadband subscribers in the largest 20 markets. Source: Point Topic.

CT Bureau

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