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Fiber will continue to dominate APAC fixed communication services market through 2028, forecasts GlobalData

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Fixed communications service

Fixed communications service revenue in Asia-Pacific (APAC) is set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1% from $368 billion in 2023 to $386.9 billion in 2028, supported by the growing fixed broadband service adoption, particularly in the emerging markets of the region, forecasts GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

An analysis of GlobalData’s APAC Fixed Communications Forecast Pack (Q4 2023) reveals that APAC is a moderately developed region in terms of fixed broadband adoption, with fixed broadband account penetration of population reaching 21.1% at year-end 2023.

By 2028, fixed broadband account penetration in the region is expected to reach 23.3%, mainly driven by the ongoing broadband network expansions and service adoption in emerging countries like India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, where governments are infusing investments in fixed broadband network infrastructure development plans.

In Thailand, for instance, the “Village Broadband Internet” (Net Pracharat) provides free broadband internet to about 74,987 villages reaching over 10.48 million of the country’s rural population as of January 2024. The project aims to increase the digital economy from 12% to 30% of GDP by 2027.

Developed Asian countries such as in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, on the other hand, already have relatively high broadband penetration thanks to the national broadband network (NBN) projects.

APAC access lines

Kantipudi Pradeepthi, Telecom Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The growth in the APAC fixed broadband services market will be led by fiber broadband segment. Fiber-optic access lines will account for a share of about 63% of the total fixed access lines in the developed APAC region by 2028 while its share in the total fixed lines in the emerging APAC markets will be relatively high at 91%.”

Rising demand for high-speed internet services and competitively priced fiber broadband plans from operators with benefits like unlimited internet and access to major subscription video on demand (SVoD) platforms will drive the fiber broadband service adoption in the region.

Pradeepthi adds: “Operators such as Reliance Jio India, Spark New Zealand, Telstra Australia increase the attractiveness of fiber plans by bundling them with value-added services such as SVoD and pay-TV. In India, for instance, Reliance Jio’s basic broadband plan starts from 399/month that offers unlimited data @ 30 mbps speed, while its popular 999/month plan offers unlimited data @ 150 mbps with access to 15 OTT platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Disney + Hot Star, VooT Select, Zee5, and SonyLIV.”

China has about 98% of its broadband subscriptions on fiber optic lines as of 2023, making it one of the major fiber broadband markets in the region. China’s Telecom regulator MIIT announced that about 110 cities in the country have been connected with gigabit fiber networks as of February 2023, up from 81 cities in 2022.

Similarly, FTTH/B will account for almost 100% of the broadband lines in Singapore by 2028. This is backed by the aggressive approach and investments by the NetLink NBN Trust in fiber broadband network expansions.

Voice telephony penetration of population in APAC, on the other hand, will remain stagnant at around 10% throughout the forecast period. While circuit switched telephony lines will decline at a CAGR of 5.8% over the forecast period, packet switched telephony lines will grow at a CAGR of 3.6%, as various fiber roll-out programs across APAC encourage consumers to switch to VoIP.

Pradeepthi concludes: “Despite the increase in the overall voice telephony access lines in the region, fixed voice revenue will continue to decline over the forecast period on account of the increasing mobile voice and OTT voice usage.”

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