Global Broadband Subscribers Q2 2022
Fixed broadband subscriber growth slowing down, Q2 2022 figures suggest
Summary of key findings
By the end of Q2 2022, the number of global fixed broadband connections grew by 1.34% and stood at 1.32bn. The growth rates varied across different markets, with 13 countries reporting a decline in fixed broadband subscriptions. We recorded the churn mainly in the emerging markets, where mobile networks are the dominant platform for accessing the internet.
Main trends in Q2 2022:
The global fixed broadband subscriber growth was lowest in the last six quarters as the world faces economic slowdown.
Fixed broadband subscriber numbers fell in 10% of the 129 countries covered in this report.
The share of FTTH in the total fixed broadband subscriptions continued to increase and stood at 59.1%. Superfast and ultrafast cable broadband connections followed with a 16.8% share, while ADSL fell to 9.6%.
In 12 months between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022, the number of copper lines fell by 9.5%, while FTTH connections increased by 13.1%.
China added 12 million fibre broadband subscriptions in Q2 2022, with Brazil, India and France adding almost 1 million each.
Global and regional trends
In Q2 2022, the quarterly fixed broadband subscriber growth rate stood at 1.34%, with the number of connections reaching 1.32 bn (Figures 1 and 2). The growth was lowest in the last six quarters. It is slowing down partly due to the global economic downturn and market saturation in some countries.
The largest regional broadband market of East Asia has maintained the biggest share of net additions of fixed broadband subscribers – it stood at 71.1% in Q2 2022, up from 68.2% in Q1 2022 (Figure 3). As ever, this is mainly due to China’s market size and almost 12m fixed broadband subscribers added there in Q2 2022. Asia Other also increased their share of net adds from 11.3% to 15.5%, thanks to high quarterly adds in such large markets as India, Thailand and Vietnam, among others.
Once again, we recorded negative net adds in Eastern Europe due to the significant quarterly fall in fixed broadband subscribers in Ukraine. In Q2 2022, North America’s net adds market share fell to 1.8% compared to 4.4% in Q1 2022, mainly due to significantly slower growth in the United States.
East Asia has retained the largest regional market share of fixed broadband connections at 48.7% (Figure 4). Compared to Q1 2022, North America, Eastern Europe, Europe Other and Oceania saw their market shares decline while they increased for Africa, East Asia and Asia Other, though in all regions the changes were smaller than one percentage point.
In Q2 2022, the quarterly growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers was slower than in Q1 2022 in all regions except for Asia Other, where it went up by 0.03% (Figures 5 and 6). The most noticeable slowdown in growth (-0.8%) was in America Other.
Africa continues to have the lowest fixed broadband penetration among population at 4%. It has, however, recorded the highest quarterly growth of 2.7%. The developing markets of East Asia and Asia Other were the next fastest growing regions, with the latter having the second lowest population penetration at 5% (Figures 7 and 8).
All the largest twenty broadband markets saw fixed broadband subscriber growth this quarter, but in thirteen of them it was slower than in the first quarter of 2022. Compared to the previous quarter, the Q2 2022 growth was significantly slower (by 1% or more) in Argentina, Brazil, United Kingdom and Russia, as consumers are reigning in their spending amidst the energy crisis and war in Ukraine.
Between Q1 2022 and Q2 2021, the share of FTTH connections in the total fixed broadband subscriptions continued to grow – it went up by 0.8% and stood at 59%. Both cable and copper-based (ADSL) broadband connections saw their market shares shrink further. In Q2 2021, they held 16.8% and 9.6% shares respectively. VDSL saw subscriber numbers grow further in seventeen countries (including the large VDSL markets of Greece, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy, for example), while their numbers fell in another seventeen markets as consumers migrated to fibre.
With fibre being a dominant technology, we looked at the growth of FTTH/B in the markets with at least 0.5m fibre broadband connections. The highest fibre subscriber growth rates in Q2 2022 were in the developing markets of India and Argentina, with the UK a close third. A mixture of mature and youthful markets from Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa also recorded healthy quarterly growth in fibre broadband connections.
In terms of FTTH/B broadband net additions in Q2 2022, China led with 12 million, while Brazil, India and France added almost a million of fibre broadband subscriptions. Spain and Argentina joined the top ten league this quarter.
Globally, in 12 months between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022, the number of copper lines fell by 9.4%, while FTTH connections increased by 13.1% (Figure 12). Satellite broadband connections recorded a 5% growth, reflecting the fact that this technology enable users to access broadband where wired networks are difficult to deploy or maintain. One such recent example is the provision of Starlink satellite terminals to institutions and military in Ukraine, where fixed broadband infrastructure is being damaged by the ongoing conflict.
Wireless connection saw a 0.7% drop this quarter, mainly to mass exodus of FWA subscribers in the Philippines as consumers chose other platforms such as fibre and 5G.
Top broadband countries
The top ten countries by fixed broadband subscribers remain largely unchanged (Figure 13). China has more than half a billion fixed broadband subscribers, having added almost 12 million in Q2 2022. Also, the country has exceeded 0.9 billion 5G subscribers, with the service being used by 65% of the population. The growth of 5G connections in the country is however slowing down, along with the marked slowdown in their GDP growth.
 It is possible there will be restatements in the coming quarter/s and single period data should be viewed in that light.  Not including FTTB which had at least a 4% share. It is currently included in FTTx (see the next footnote).  Some of our FTTx figures include FTTB/FTTH as it is not always possible to identify the technology split in some operators’ FTTx figures.
The data used in this report is taken from Point Topic’s Global Broadband Statistics service that allows customers to analyse the datasets covering fixed broadband subscribers in more than 130 countries at country, operator and technology level.
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