By the end of Q3 2022, the number of global fixed broadband connections grew by 1.87% and stood at 1.34bn. We recorded a decline in fixed broadband subscriptions in eleven countries which mainly include emerging markets, as well as a handful of mature markets of well developed countries.
Other main trends in Q3 2022:
Global fixed broadband subscriber growth was highest in the last four quarters but slower than in Q3 2021.
Out of all regions, Asia Other saw the fastest growth in broadband connections (2.6%), mainly due to low broadband penetration and healthy increases in broadband subscribers in India, Nepal, Malaysia and UAE.
The share of FTTH and FTTB in the total fixed broadband subscriptions continued to increase and stood at 65%. Superfast and ultrafast cable broadband connections followed with a 17% share, while ADSL fell to 9%.
The highest fibre broadband subscriber growth rates in Q3 2022 were in India, Brazil, France and Mexico.
Global and regional trends
In Q3 2022, global fixed broadband subscribers grew by 1.87%, with the number of connections reaching 1.34 bn (Figures 1 and 2). The growth was highest in the last four quarters but lower than in Q3 2021, as the world grapples with the economic recession.
The largest regional broadband market of East Asia has maintained the lion share of net additions of fixed broadband subscribers – it stood at 65.5% in Q3 2022, mainly due to China’s market size and more than 15m fixed broadband subscribers added there. However, East Asia saw their share of net adds decrease from 70.2% in Q2 2022 (Figure 3). Asia Other also saw their share of net adds fall from 16.7% in Q2 2022 to 15% in Q3 2022, as did most of the other regions as a result of Europe recording higher net adds in most markets this quarter.
Differently from Q2 2022, this quarter we recorded positive net adds in Eastern Europe due to the smaller drop in fixed broadband subscribers in Ukraine, with the country managing to maintain their broadband infrastructure functioning using power backups and continuously restoring it after damages caused by shelling.
East Asia has retained the largest regional market share of fixed broadband connections at 49%, followed by Asia-Other and North America with 11% each (Figure 4). Compared to Q2 2022, East Asia increased its market share the most (+ 0.3%), while North America, Eastern Europe and Europe Other saw their market shares decline, though in all regions the changes were smaller than one percentage point.
In Q3 2022, the quarterly growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers was higher than in Q2 2022 in all regions (Figure 5), as it is typical for the third quarter of a year. The most prominent increase in growth (2%) was in Eastern Europe. In Q3 2022, Asia Other saw the fastest growth (2.6%), mainly due to low broadband penetration and healthy increases in broadband subscribers in such large markets as India, Nepal, Malaysia and UAE.
Africa and Asia Other continue to have the lowest fixed broadband penetration among population at 4.4% and 5.5% respectively. Not surprisingly, the two regions recorded high quarterly growth of more than 2%. So did the markets of East Asia and America Other, despite the former having the highest population penetration at 40.3% (Figures 6 and 7).
All the largest twenty broadband markets saw fixed broadband subscribers grow in Q3 2022, but in six of them the growth was slower than in the second quarter of 2022. This was the case in Vietnam, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Japan, Iran and Thailand.
Between Q2 2022 and Q3 2021, the share of FTTH connections in the total fixed broadband subscriptions went up by 0.7% and stood at 61.4%. FTTB accounted for another 4% of the global total. Cable and ADSL broadband connections saw their market shares shrink further to 17% and 9.4% respectively. VDSL subscriber numbers grew in fifteen countries (including the large VDSL markets of Tunisia, Turkey, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy, for example), while they fell in at least nineteen other markets as consumers migrated to fibre.
With fibre being a dominant technology, we looked at the growth of FTTH/B in the markets with at least 0.5m fibre broadband connections. The highest fibre broadband subscriber growth rates in Q3 2022 were in India, Brazil, France and Mexico. Overall, a mixture of mature and youthful markets from Asia, Europe and Americas recorded healthy quarterly growth in fibre broadband connections. However, the growth was generally slower than in Q2 2022, as recession started to bite and consumers were more reluctant to switch to more advanced broadband plans, slowing down fibre broadband adoption. (See our recent analysis piece on the topic).
In terms of FTTH/B broadband net additions in Q3 2022, China continued to maintain a huge lead with 15 million while Brazil added almost 1.5 million. Spain and Argentina got pushed out of the top ten league by Germany and Mexico this quarter.
Globally, in 12 months between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022, the number of copper lines fell by 9.8%, while FTTH connections increased by 12.3% (Figure 11). Satellite broadband connections recorded a 4% growth, as this technology is increasingly deployed to enable users to access broadband where fast wired networks are difficult to deploy. For example, in the UK Starlink satellite broadband is being trialled in the remote areas of Northern England and Wales.
Wireless connections grew very little this quarter, mainly due to further significant decline in traditional FWA subscribers in the Philippines as consumers chose other platforms such as fibre and 5G.
Top broadband countries
The top ten countries by fixed broadband subscribers remained unchanged (Figure 12). As of Q3 2022, China started approaching 0.6 billion fixed broadband subscribers, having added 15.5 million in the quarter. Also, the country has exceeded one billion 5G subscribers, with the service being used by 71% of the population.