Fiber broadband operators around the word have settled on 1 Gbps or greater as a standard offering, with 60% of wireline service providers across 178 geographies now offering that speed, according to Omdia’s latest survey completed earlier this year. The research firm reviewed 760 wireline operator customer-facing websites to determine the aghast residential broadband offering commercially available.
“In North America, we surveyed 160 operators and found that 88% offer one gig or faster,” said Jaimie Lenderman, a Principal Analyst and Research Manager at Omdia responsible for the Broadband Access Intelligence Service. “This number is up from 78% in 2019. We believe the pandemic played a large role in this as well as the availability of next generation solutions.”
Four factors that drove the current standard to 1 Gbps include consumer demand for higher-quality broadband services, operator technology upgrades, service provider marketing strategies and subscriber perception, and investment from the public and private sectors. Omdia expects 67 million North American subscribers will take 500 Mbps of faster speeds as the average broadband subscriber’s awareness has evolved in the past year, understanding that both downstream and upstream speeds are important.
On the operator side, a combination of next-generation broadband vendor solutions, rapid expansion of PON networks, and 10G PON adoption is driving the shifts and will continue to drive speeds higher. “We forecast that OLT port shipments will reach 3 million [per year] by 2027 and 98% of OLT ports shipped will be 10 Gig or higher capability,” said Lenderman. “Operators are installing 10 Gig OLTs at the customer premises today because the pricing between 10 Gig PON and previous generations has declined to less than the cost of a truck roll. An operator can eliminate the cost of a truck roll in the future by 10 Gig now and in turn be able to turn up those next generation broadband speeds a little more easily for the subscriber.”
Service providers are worried that if they don’t offer gig services today, when a competitive service arrives offering the same speed there’s a risk for sudden churn, especially if the subscriber perceives the competitive offering as superior. The flood of public and private investment money is making many last miles “less cost prohibitive,” said Lenderman, resulting in service providers expanding both FTTH rollouts as well as new service offerings.
Listen to more from Omdia’s Jaimie Lenderman in the Fiber for Breakfast podcast to hear how the world is at 1 Gbps now and moving to 10 Gbps within a decade.