Worldwide FTTX Subs To Hit 897.8 Million In 2021

Created February 14, 2018
Jean-Luc Lemmens, Head of Telecom Unit at IDATENews and Business

According to the latest issue of its World FTTx database, IDATE/DigiWorld reckons the planet’s FTTH and FTTB subscriber population will hit 897.8 miilion in 2021, up from 585.9 million in mid-2017. “Growth perspectives remain still high when superfast technologies represented 48% of broadband access subscriptions in June 2017, nine points more than a year before,” notes Jean-Luc Lemmens, Head of Telecom Unit at IDATE

The database, which scrutinises this market across the globe, covering more than 70 countries and more than 150 key players, finds that FTTH/B has consolidated its position as the leader in the superfast broadband solution, far ahead of FTTx/DOCSIS3.0, followed by VDSL. In practice, FTTH/B represented 68% of FTTx subscriptions as of June 2017, and the prediction is that growth of FTTH/B subscriptions will continue until 2021, albeit not at the same pace year-on-year, and will naturally decrease as the markets mature.

Other takeaways from the IDATE research include:

FTTx networks have adopted a heterogeneous approach in different regions

There was no huge change in the geographical predominance of APAC in the FTTH/B market. FTTH/B is also the most widely deployed technology in MENA. This was the case in LATAM as well, but competition from VDSL technologies is growing in the region (especially Brazil).

FTTx/D3.0 is still dominant in North America and is, by and large, growing more rapidly than other technologies. There is considerable room for VDSL (and other copper-based technologies such as to grow in Europe where incumbents are still working to optimise their copper networks.

A strong growth evolution of FTTH/B subscriptions will continue to increase worldwide at an annual average rate of around 10% until 2021

The growth in the total number of FTTH/B subscribers will gradually decrease from 46% in 2016 to 8% in 2021: this is linked to the gradual maturity of the markets.

By 2021, the share of FTTH/B subscriptions will represent 39% of total broadband market worldwide (compared to 31% at end 2015).

FTTH/B is now deployed in all major regions in the world, at different levels: FTTH/B represents a great opportunity for countries where broadband is not yet widespread (LATAM, Africa and some countries in South East Asia).

FTTH Operators ranking: 5 Asian and 3 US players in the global Top 10

There are 5 Asian and 3 US players in the global Top 10. Then one player from Russia and one from Western Europe. Indeed, only one player from Western Europe enters the ranking thanks to its large-scale FTTN+VDSL rollouts (BT).

On the Asia side, China’s three telcos (China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom) top the FTTH/B rankings.


This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.