xDSL is currently the leading fixed broadband technology in Europe, accounting for 49.9% of total fixed broadband lines in 2019. However, Fiber will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.4% between 2019 and 2024 to become the leading fixed broadband technology by 2023, surpassing xDSL, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
In Europe, Russia has the highest share of fiber lines as a percentage of total broadband lines; amounting to 75% in 2019. However, Spain’s fiber market is expected to take the lead in Europe and outrank Russia by 2024, with an 86.5% share of total broadband lines.
In order to meet ever-growing consumer data demands and offer new digital products and services, European telcos are strongly investing in high-speed fiber broadband.
Lorenzo Solazzo, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, explains: “To accelerate coverage and reduce the costs of fiber deployment, European fixed telecom providers are joining forces through investments projects and network sharing agreements. For instance, Vodafone and Orange agreed in April 2019 to grant shared access of their future fiber networks to both operators in Spain.”
European telecom regulators and governments are also encouraging and incentivizing fiber deployment. For instance, the French regulator, ARCEP, announced a ‘fiber zone’ initiative in December 2018 to stimulate the migration from copper lines to fiber broadband.
The Italian government is planning to provide subsidies in a voucher scheme, of up to US$3,423 to small and medium enterprises, and up to US$5,705 to schools, when migrating fixed broadband to the fiber-optic network. Furthermore, the Italian government also incentivizes fiber deployment in less profitable areas.