Fibre to drive 15% broadband growth by 2030

There will be 1.39 billion fixed broadband connections in the world by the end of the decade, but while some markets will be at full penetration, or thereabouts, there will be room for growth in others.

Mary Lennighan

June 18, 2024

3 Min Read

The data, which comes from Point Topic's analysis of the world's top 29 fixed broadband markets, shows that fixed broadband connections will grow by 15% from the end of last year to end-2030, driven by increases in full fibre.

Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) will be dominant in global broadband by 2030, accounting for 1.12 billion of all connections, an increase of 25% over the seven years of the forecast. But the extent to which it will feature naturally varies.

Full fibre leads the market in two out of five regions, Asia and Europe, and will become the dominant technology in the Americas by 2025, the analyst firm predicts. However, it notes that in Africa FTTP deployment is still in the very early stages and therefore copper will remain in the lead. Indeed, Point Topic puts FTTP penetration at 14% in Africa by end-2030, up from less than 5% at the end of last year, market growth driven by investments in Egypt and Algeria.

FTTP will not be the fastest growing fixed broadband technology over the period though. While legacy technologies like DSL and FTTX will witness hefty declines, the former by as much as 44%, and cable will likely remain roughly flat, fixed wireless access (FWA) is on the up.

FWA will register the strongest growth over the forecast period, with connections growing by a sizeable 61%, Point Topic predicts. Clearly, that's from a much lower base than other technologies: by the end of the decade there will still only be 16 million FWA connections across the major markets.

It is worth noting though that the analyst firm has only included FWA in its data in markets where the numbers are significant and where it was able to source reliable figures, namely Canada, the US and Italy. So presumably the total could end up slightly higher if 5G-based FWA takes off in other markets.

Meanwhile, the US operators are doing their best to fly the flag for FWA. T-Mobile US and Verizon are leading the charge, with 8.6 million connections between them as of March this year, and they are showing no signs of taking their feet off the gas; T-Mobile recently added a new FWA service offer to its portfolio aimed at customers who might need a back-up for unreliable fibre or cable connections.

The strength of the US cable business will also have an impact on the data, with cable penetration remaining higher than FTTP by 2030. As such, the figures for the Americas region as a whole show low FTTP penetration – relatively speaking – at just 51%.

China also throws the figures out of whack (see chart below), albeit for a different reason; Point Topic notes that it has had some difficulty reconciling government data on the total number of broadband lines and the number of homes and businesses in the country. Nonetheless, China will of course be a key market; it is world's largest broadband market today and will still be the largest by 2030.


In terms of penetration, China will be among the 16 markets with 90%-plus broadband penetration in seven years time. The potential for signing up new customers in those markets will shrink, leaving broadband providers with the task of converting existing customers to higher bandwidths and more advanced technologies for growth.

At the other end of the scale, there is still headroom though. India, for example, will have the lowest percentage of premises with a fixed broadband connection by 2030 at 33%, up from just 11% last year.

"There is significant growth to come in the 'youthful' markets with low fixed broadband penetration, with plenty of consumers in India, Indonesia and other fast-growing economies hungry for the advantages offered by fixed broadband and full fibre in particular," Point Topic predicts.

In this context, 'hungry' is good news for the telcos.

About the Author(s)

Mary Lennighan

Mary has been following developments in the telecoms industry for more than 20 years. She is currently a freelance journalist, having stepped down as editor of Total Telecom in late 2017; her career history also includes three years at CIT Publications (now part of Telegeography) and a stint at Reuters. Mary's key area of focus is on the business of telecoms, looking at operator strategy and financial performance, as well as regulatory developments, spectrum allocation and the like. She holds a Bachelor's degree in modern languages and an MA in Italian language and literature.

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