Research Round-up October 2023
Broadband Coverage in Europe; Global Broadband Subscribers Forecasts and Models; Ultrafast UK: Gigabit connectivity leading to shake-up of telecoms sector; Point Topic’s Datasets Now Available on Snowflake; UK telecoms sector updates; ISP news; government and Ofcom updates
Point Topic’s key publications of the month:
Ultrafast UK: Gigabit connectivity leading to shake-up of telecoms sector, Part I – the infrastructure builders
A report from UK Plus
This report provides an update to our October 2022 publication, Gigabit-capable UK: transformation through regulation and reform. It covers the latest announcements and activities of the country’s three largest broadband players, Openreach, Virgin Media O2, and CityFibre, and looks at developments and progress made by several independent infrastructure providers.
Openreach continued its FTTP deployment at pace and at the close of Q3 2023 had passed 11.5m (including 3.7m in hard-to-reach areas) premises; demand for its FTTP services was up 34% year-on-year with a total of 3.5m connections at the close of June 2023. (Figure 1)
nexfibre passed 500k premises on 3 October 2023 toward its aim to cover up to 7m homes in the UK by 2027. (Figure 2)
CityFibre’s (CF’s) nationwide full fibre network reached 3m premises in August, with more than 2.7m ready for service to ISPs; we estimate CF to have around 350k connections at the close of Q3 2023.
At the end of Q2 2023, the overall FTTP network coverage was just over 16.3m premises (51%), up from 12.2m (38%) year-on-year.
Netomnia (resells via YouFibre) passed 500k premises building at a run rate of c.50k premises per month, aiming to hit 1m in early 2024; YouFibre reached 50k subscribers milestone.
Hyperoptic announced it had passed 1.4m premises (mostly MDUs) hitting the 300k connections milestone, representing a healthy 21.4% take-up rate to its full fibre services.
Gigaclear passed 500k homes and businesses - with 430k ready for service (RFS) and secured an equity investment from Equitix worth up to £420m.
Our latest report on fixed broadband availability in the UK, tracking the progress between the end of March 2023 and the end of June 2023 shows AltNets are pushing ahead with their ﬁbre rollouts. As an increasing number of AltNets are exceeding 100K ﬁbre premises passed, we are now focusing on this cohort. The report is based on the ThinkPoint broadband availability dataset which includes 1.7m postcodes. (Figure 3)
Broadband Coverage in Europe
Point Topic helped kick off the study 13 years ago and has been involved ever since. Working with Omdia and the EC has been an excellent experience and the quality of the output is testament to the work and commitment from all parties.
Broadband Coverage in Europe is designed to monitor the progress of EU Member States towards the gigabit coverage and 5G coverage targets as set out in the Digital Decade Policy programme. The collected data reflects the situation at the end of June 2022 compared to the situation at the end of June 2021.
Some headlines include:
At the end of June 2022, 73.4% of EU homes were passed by either FTTP or cable DOCSIS 3.1 networks, i.e. those technologies currently capable of supporting gigabit speeds.
Rural overall FTTP & DOCSIS 3.1 coverage reached 45.1% of rural households, growing by 8.1 percentage points in the twelve months to mid-2022.
FTTP availability, identified by the European Commission as one of the Digital Decade KPIs, continued to grow at an increasing rate compared to previous years, rising by 6.6 percentage points to pass over half (56.5%) of EU homes at the end of June 2022.
Progress has been made across all technologies and markets. We can see that FTTP passed 50% EU-wide availability but other fixed gigabit technologies have stalled.
Rural areas as ever lag the revenue-rich towns and cities and will rely on central subsidies to achieve full gigabit coverage.
With FTTP the preferred solution for new deployments there are large areas of Europe to be addressed.
More in-depth analysis to follow and keep an eye out for more from our sister company Expert Intelligence.
Read the report here.
Point Topic’s Datasets Now Available on Snowflake
We're excited to announce that we've recently collaborated with Snowflake, making a selection of our datasets available on their platform.
Engaging with Snowflake over the past months has been both insightful and productive. Our choice to leverage Snowflake's cloud-native infrastructure is a reflection of its growing importance in the data world.
Some key details include:
Point Topic's data on broadband subscription rates, technological adoption trends, market share analysis, and predictive growth figures are now housed on Snowflake.
Users have the opportunity to merge these datasets with their own, providing richer, more complete insights.
With Snowflake’s performance-driven infrastructure, you can expect timely access to our data without any major hitches.
The pay-as-you-use model from Snowflake makes it cost-effective for users to pull and analyze data based on their unique needs.
Stay tuned for more detailed insights on how to make the most of Point Topic datasets on Snowflake, and also datasets from our sister company, Expert Intelligence. Also, click below you can create a 30-day free trial account on Snowflake to view our dataset samples free of charge.
BT Group News
2 October – Openreach announced its ETH028/23 briefing to inform CPs of price changes to Cablelink External 24F/48F and Internal Variant 1 12F/24F pricing. Openreach is announced a £50 reduction to Cablelink External 24F and 48F connection charges and a £60 reduction to Cablelink Internal Variant 1 12F and 24F connection charges. Price reductions will take effect from 01 November 2023.
3 October – BT Group launched a new testbed to develop and trial immersive experiences in the areas of work, home, health and entertainment.
Inviting technology partners and customers to collaborate, the testbed brings together enabling technologies with the power of EE’s 5G network and private 5G networks. It will explore how new capabilities such as network exposure functions, cloud-rendering and enhanced localisation best work with 5G networks to support the growth of mixed reality use cases.
2 October – Openreach announced its GEN062/23 briefing to inform CPs of price changes to Project Services items.
Openreach is announcing price changes to Project Services items. These changes include the increase of the Delivery Manager working hours hourly rate from £102.78 to £115.00 and the withdrawal of the Senior Delivery Manager offering and rates.
The price increase and withdrawal will be effective from 3/1/2024.
12 October – Openreach released its GEN063/23 notification of Tranche 10, 37 FTTP priority exchanges, stop sell implementation 9 November 2023 with realignment of 11 notified exchanges.
12 October – Openreach published its GEN064/23 notification of product stop sells, Tranche 14 in 28 FTTP exchange locations bringing the total of notified exchanges to 874 including the Salisbury trial site.
12 October – BT launched the UK’s first Drone SIM to unlock the true potential of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOs) drone operation across the UK. Designed to function at altitude using the EE network, Drone SIM offers unlimited data plans and continuous connectivity in the sky. Drone SIM is built to endure vibration, temperature and humidity extremes, supporting all-season drone use.
16 October – BT Group, together with Nokia and MediaTek, announced that they had successfully completed trials of 5G Reduced Capability (RedCap) technology with RedCap devices. The trial, which took place at BT Group’s Adastral Park site, utilized Nokia’s AirScale RAN portfolio, EE’s 5G Standalone (SA) network and MediaTek’s RedCap testing platform. RedCap is a technology introduced in 3GPP Release 17 that brings 5G to devices that do not require its full capabilities.
17 October – BT announced a brand-new international network, enabling business customers to innovate at pace. The new network connects the multiple clouds businesses use for their applications and data with users, such as customers and employees, and will allow them to take advantage of the new wave of digital automation and AI.
Global Fabric, as the new network will be known, represents a generational shift in technology, based on a network-as-a-service (NaaS) technical and commercial model.
17 October – Openreach announced that it has started deployment in Scarborough, where its FTTP network in North Yorkshire now reaches around 115k homes and businesses and a local investment of around £34.5m.
Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) News
18 October – Full-fibre broadband with average top speeds of 1,130Mbps now available to more than 24,000 additional homes and businesses in Wakefield.
24 October – Full-fibre broadband with average top speeds of 1,130Mbps now available to more than 24,000 additional homes and businesses in Coleraine.
26 October – Full-fibre broadband with average top speeds of 1,130 Mbps is now available to more than 20,000 additional homes and businesses in Sheffield.
31 October – Virgin Media O2 announced Full-fibre broadband with average top speeds of 1,130 Mbps is now available to more than 5,000 additional homes and businesses in Doncaster for the first-time, following nexfibre investment.
CityFibre (CF) News
19 October – CF launched a new ‘True Gig’ 1.2 Gbps wholesale broadband product to enable its ISP partners to advertise full 1Gbps speed services across a footprint reaching over 3 million premises nationwide.
Independent Operators (AltNets) News
2 October – nexfibre appoints a new CEO - announcement of Rajiv Datta as the new CEO of nexfibre, who are backed by Infravia Capital, Telefonica and Liberty Global, they revealed the company has 500,000 premises passed, and these are noted as Ready for Service. This excludes the 175,000 premises passed that are being acquired by the purchase of Upp.
5 October – Ogi announced that it will pass 5,000 premises in Tenby.
If you are a subscriber to UK Plus, sign-in here to access our UK Plus content where you can view our updated Q3 2023 profiles of the UK’s leading internet service providers, as well as our annual overview of the country’s broadband market.
Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about UK Plus or particular publications.