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Fixed broadband deployments seen to gradually pick-up as Western European markets relax COVID-19 measures

Strategic Highlights
Published: 2020-06-05

The Western European fixed broadband market sustained its positive trend in 1Q20 amidst the community lockdowns that halted some fixed broadband network deployments in most countries. The market's performance was still on a par with its development in the previous quarters, generally recording a steady growth in regional household penetration to around 85% this period. As expected, the demand for high-speed broadband services continued to push the overall fixed broadband subscriptions up by around 2% YoY, as the new social arrangements (i.e. work-from-home, remote learning) pushed further the household consumption of data services in the region.

During the period, InfoCom observed a marginal ARPU* increase for some operators partly as a result of the increasing shift of customers to fibre-based offers with higher contracted bandwidths. For instance, Proximus registered a slight QoQ growth (<1%) in its fixed broadband ARPU, coupled by around 1% QoQ growth in average revenue per convergent customer in light of the increasing share of FTTP (+23%) and convergent (i.e. Minimus, Epic Combo) subscribers. This was also the case for Telia Sweden which recorded a marginal fixed broadband ARPU growth (+0.5% QoQ), as the increasing take-up of fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) services managed to somehow curtail the faster churn in its xDSL base.

InfoCom expects the fixed broadband market to sustain its uptrend in the coming periods as broadband deployments (e.g. fibre and DOCSIS 3.0/3.1) resumes/ continues – particularly in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, and France. However, the pace of infrastructure deployments is expected to be somewhat slower as there are still some area restrictions (e.g. eir will continue its FTTH project but only in areas where it is relatively "safe" to do so). Faster deployment momentum is expected towards end-2020 if markets continued to further relax COVID-19 measures in the coming months.

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Published: 2020-06-05

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