75% of the growth was in Asia, mostly China. It's the slowest quarter in several years, as many people are now going wireless-only for data. The world total is 1.1 billion, which doesn't include cellular 4G. Point Topic, a highly respected source, reports a continued shift from DSL to FTTH, led by China. Nearly all of China's 400 million connections are now FTTH.
FTTH was up 19% on the year; all copper, down 7%. The growth in fiber astounded me, but I have confirmed the expansion at about 20% from several sources. China is almost done, but France and Spain are going quickly. England, Germany, and Italy are now joining in. I believe the 50M planned by Reliance Jio in India will mostly be FTTH, not just to the basement.
As you see in the chart at left, Asia and Latin America are about 65% of connections. India, which has less than 35M landlines, has well over 400 million 4G connections. 4G and the better 3G are fast enough for HD TV and should be included in broadband in my opinion. Including all wireless, about three-quarters of Internet connections are in the Global South. The gap is widening.
Point Topic sees these main trends in Q3
- Between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019 the number of copper lines fell by 6.6 per cent, while FTTH connections increased by 18.6 per cent and FTTx/VDSL by 7.1 per cent.
- Wireless (mostly FWA) and satellite saw a healthy growth of 26 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively. Cable connections grew by modest 2 per cent.
- China continued to be the largest fibre growth market, with 66 per cent of global FTTH net adds (11m net additions).
- Belgium, Thailand, Argentina, Philippines, Chile and South Africa among others saw significant FTTH quarterly growth rates in double digits.