9.5 million FTTH/B subscribers in Europe

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 21-02-2014

Research institute Idate has seen a new impetus from some FTTH/B incumbents with a significant impact on coverage growth as Europe reported a solid 33% increase in the number of FTTH/B subscribers in 2013.

FTTH/B coverage also continues to progress quickly in Europe with a growth of 22% in the period.

“There were more than 9.5 million FTTH/B subscribers in the EU-35 at end 2013, and nearly 41 million homes passed,” Valérie Chaillou, head of research, telecoms business unit writes on Idate’s blog.

She also predicts the worldwide very high speed broadband market will grow 95% within the five next years to reach €182 billion in 2017.

Last year, several countries showed a real dynamism both in terms of coverage and take-up rates, with Switzerland leading the panorama with 70% of FTTH/B subscribers at the end of 2013 being new subscribers.

The country is followed by much larger markets such as Turkey, Spain and Poland (where, respectively, 46%, 39% and 32% of FTTH/B subscribers are new 2013 subscribers).

Scandinavian countries, sometimes already considered as mature, are still leading the European market. The Danish FTTH/B market for instance grew by 30% in 2013 in terms of number of subscribers and this growth is mostly due to the dynamism of the Waoo! joint venture created by 15 utilities.

On other markets, FTTH/B subscriptions also increased significantly. In the total, 16 countries present a 30% or more growth in terms of subscribers in 2013, among which France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and even Germany and the UK.

“In terms of players involved in FTTH/B projects, alternative carriers are still leading the way, representing 45% of the total homes passed in EU35 at the end of 2013, and nearly 68% considering EU39, including Russia and Ukraine,” Chaillou adds.

She points out the dynamism of Vodafone which significantly increased its coverage in both Portugal and Spain.

Some rollouts are also interesting in France in the context of the national programme for superfast broadband, but most of them are still in the very beginning of the process. They represent some 450,000 homes passed at the end of 2013.

Incumbents remain important players in all European countries and some considerably accelerated their 2013 rollouts, Idate remarks. They represent 43.1% of HP in EU35 at end 2013, up 5% compared to 2012.

After Telefonica in Spain, with 1.3 million new homes passed between December 2012 and December 2013, Orange in France (+849,000 HP) is one of them along with Turk Telekom in Turkey (+500,000 HP), KPN/Reggefiber in the Netherlands (+385,000 HP) and TeliaSonera in Sweden (+350,000 HP).