The continuing evolution of the internet, and the ever-increasing consumer demand for quality, capacity and speed, means broadband service providers and operators need to be continually looking for ways to improve the customer experience.
In this blog, we provide a roundup of the latest news, innovations and achievements in the provision of fixed and mobile broadband from around the world.
- The Global Fixed Broadband Market - Trends, Statistics and Progress report was published, highlighting the integral role of fixed broadband for global economy, society and the environment. The report explored the deployment of broadband around the world, it examined the impact of the internet on the economy and it discussed key considerations for issues around internet governance. The importance of infrastructure also formed a key focus, with innovations such as The Internet of Everything, M2M, Big Data and Smart Cities also predicted to offer exciting technological and societal developments.
- Broadband USA’s August newsletter led with an article on the increasing importance of broadband connectivity for U.S. Tourism, highlighting the vital role of broadband in enhancing the user experience for travelers, part-time residents, tourist communities and businesses. The article stressed the increasing demand for high-speed internet access from even the most remote of destinations, the need for owners of vacation properties to be able to work remotely and the potential for digital applications to further connect tourists to an area’s history, culture and activities.
- Speedtest’s new Global Index published their latest findings on the interactive ranking of world internet speeds based on data from 100 countries. The Global Index is an interactive ranking of world internet speeds which ranks each country for fixed and mobile download speeds, the comparative speed for each country and whether that ranking has increased or decreased. Topping the list for fixed broadband speed was Singapore at 154.38Mbps, with Venezuela coming in last at 3.20 Mbps. The U.S. upped its previous ranking for fixed broadband speed from 11th in the world (July 2016) to 9th in the world. Mobile download speeds in the U.S. increased by nearly 20% from July 2016 to July 2017, but the U.S. world ranking fell from 44th to 46th.
- Telecommunications research site Budd.com published a review of Mexico’s broadband and internet market, reporting the broadband sector is one of the highest growth areas in the country’s telecoms, with significant changes underway. The decision of the main cable TV providers (Megacable and Grupo Televisa) to broaden their bundled services offerings – to include cable TV, broadband and telephone – has seen their subscriber bases grow steadily in recent years. The report also suggests there is significant scope for further market development given the country’s broadband penetration is relatively low, while consumer prices remain high.
- Global government leaders, representatives of the UN and giants in the broadband industry convened in New York City for the annual fall meeting of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, with a call to action to address the risk of the digital divide for vulnerable populations. UN secretary-General Antonio Guterres commented “Technology is crucial in empowering people to participate in our digital future and in helping governments to better serve people. Broadband is a remarkable tool; now we must do more to ensure that all enjoy its benefits.”
- The European Commission published the updated findings of a study from IHS Markit and Point Topic, summarizing the current extent of broadband coverage across Europe and measuring how close the European Union (EU) is to reaching their Digital Agenda goals. Commenting on the report, Matthew Hare, CEO of Gigaclear said “The current state of broadband coverage across Europe just reinforces what we already know - that the UK needs further investment into its full fibre broadband infrastructure. (What is) needed is a national plan to ensure that everybody throughout the country has access to future-proofed connectivity that secures our digital economy.”
- The Broadband World Forum Awards took place at Meistersaal, Berlin in recognition of outstanding performance in the broadband marketplace. Among the winners were nBn Australia for Broadband Delivering Social Impact; Deutsche Telekom Huawei for the Best Smart Home Network award; Nokia for Achievement in Network Virtualization and Huawei for Achievement in Fixed-Mobile Convergence. The judges included Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum; Kamalini Ganguli, Senior Analyst for Ovum and Alzbeta Fellenbaum, Senior Analyst, Broadband, for IHS Markit.
- Online magazine Informitv reported that there were now close to 900 million fixed broadband connections worldwide, with an estimated 15.8 million fixed broadband connections added in the second quarter of 2017. China is the largest fixed broadband market with in excess of 320 million connections, with the U.S. the second largest user with approximately 105 million. The UK currently ranks 7th, with 25 million connections.
- In the UK, the regulator Ofcom announced that householders are to receive compensation for poor service from telecoms and broadband providers, to the tune of £8 per day if a fault is not fixed and £5 per day if their broadband or landline is not working on the day it was promised. An additional £25 compensation would be payable if an engineer misses an appointment. The agreement applies to consumers who have have contracts with Virgin Media, BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Zen Internet, with Plusnet and EE being expected to join the scheme at a later date.
So as 2017 draws to a close, what lies ahead in the sphere of fixed broadband worldwide for 2018?
Environmental sustainability is likely to remain high on the agenda, with increasing pressure on operators and manufacturers to implement innovative ways to minimize their environmental footprint through energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and conservation.
And with a forecast 925 million broadband subscriptions predicted worldwide by the end of 2018, the demand for network capacity will remain an ongoing priority, as increased competition and stringent network demands drive the need for an ever-improving broadband experience.