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29 November 2018

Chinese set to dominate 1 Gbps broadband

At the current trajectory, China will dominate 1 Gbps broadband, giving a massive advantage to Chinese businesses. Around 57% of all 1 Gbps lines by 2023 will be installed in China.

This is according to a new report from Rethink TV, the Faultline Online Reporter forecasting unit, entitled “US left in China’s wake in the quest for Gigabit broadband – Forecast and Report to 2023”.

We spend a lot of our time talking about when the US will embrace 1 Gbps broadband and this report shows the US will amass 33.5 million 1 Gbps broadband lines by 2023, but this is a massive second place to China which will have over 193 million by that time.

Other well placed 1 Gbps broadband countries include Japan (19.4 million), France (14.8 million) and South Korea (9.5 million). Each of these will reach a far greater percentage of their citizens with 1 Gbps service than the US.

Gigabit broadband will accelerate faster than previous forecasts have imagined, growing tenfold over the next 5 years. After a two-year period of being high priced luxuries, 1 Gbps broadband will become commonplace and inexpensive.

The report finds that 1 Gbps broadband will go from 3% to 4% of homes in most countries to well above 30% on average, and in advanced countries such as France, Switzerland and South Korea, more than 50% of households will take 1 Gbps broadband by 2023.

China will improve its broadband monumentally, taking 1 Gbps subscribers from 4% of its 456 million households, to close over 42%, in a series of massive build-outs led by China Mobile.

And as fiber picks up momentum, the window of opportunity is closing for technologies such as Gfast, G.Now and MoCA Access as more buildings opt for fiber direct to the home or apartment. The one exception is DOCSIS 3.1, which is triggering US cable 1 Gbps installations.

The report shows that globally, over the next five years, 1 Gbps lines will rise to make up 31% of all broadband – around 340.5 million by 2023, while if you include fiber at slower speeds, this will be as high as 60% of all broadband.

While there is an argument that almost no-one currently really needs 1 Gbps quite yet, there have been 1 Gbps fiber services in a number of countries for a number of years, but without earning a wide uptake.

The emergence of 1 Gbps is being tied by operators to Gigabit class WiFi services, themselves just emerging, able to cope with real world workloads in excess of 1 Gbps.

Today, China is already substantially in the lead with 18.8 million 1 Gbps lines, with France on 4 million, Japan on 3.8 million, and the US on 3 million.