The European broadband market continues to develop solidly despite the ongoing economic turmoil. The market during the next two to three years will be characterised by the migration to higher-data services and from copper-based networks to FttH. Although growth will remain steady, in part fostered by government economic stimulus funding, regulatory measures to encourage competition, and consumer socio-economic dependence on faster connectivity, in some markets the adoption of FttH and high-capacity broadband may be slowed due to the absence of a ‘killer’ app which would warrant the additional cost involved for subscribers. Nevertheless, the collective growth in household data use, together with emerging high-end services and applications which will require FttH or upgraded DOCSIS3.0 technologies, will ensure the steady migration from DSL.
The main growth driver in coming years will be fibre, complemented by mobile broadband in the wireless broadband sector. The two are closely linked insofar as mobile broadband, largely based on LTE technology, requires that most traffic – generated in the home or office environment – is offloaded onto fibre backhaul. Most countries have developed programmes for FttH-based national networks, and some including Denmark and Finland are looking to provide widespread FttH-based 1Gb/s services by 2020.
Cable networks have also seen considerable subscriber growth as a result of operator investment in DOSCSIS3.0, which is now commonly providing up to 200Mb/s though some trials are pushing this to 400Mb/s. Consolidation within the market in key countries such as the Netherlands and Germany have provided the main cablecos with the scale to invest in broadband infrastructure and so deliver a more sophisticated range of bundled services.
Europe’s broadband market remains the largest in the world, with some 500 million subscribers. A number of Member States lead the world in terms of broadband penetration. By mid-2012 a number of EU countries had achieved full broadband coverage (Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, the UK among them), though in some instances there remain areas where broadband is unavailable in practice other than by satellite or mobile broadband alternatives.
Broadband development has also been stimulated by regulatory strategies to promote NGA networks in the region. As such, a range of measures have been introduced to ensure facilities-bases access, with regimes initially focussing on DSL networks before interest switched to fibre-based networks.
For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: European Fixed Broadband, Internet Market and Forecasts
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