The rapid adoption of fibre broadband is slowing the adoption of mobile data in rich countries, new research from the OECD – a club of mostly wealthy nations – shows.
New OECD broadband statistics show that growth in mobile broadband subscriptions slowed from an average of 29% in the four years leading up to 2022, to only 17% in that year. The offset is largely due to growth in fibre subscriptions, which represent 38% of all fixed-line subscriptions across the OECD.
Although the choice between using fibre and mobile internet is not an either/or proposition, growth in fibre penetration – up to 80% in countries such as Japan and Iceland – changes the way consumers use the access technologies.
Mobile subscriptions are largely individualised, while fibre subscriptions can be shared by a family or a group of tenants. It also makes financial sense to funnel data intensive tasks like streaming and gaming through the cheaper and more reliable fibre subscription and to take a minimalistic approach to mobile data outside of the home.
Another reason for slowing growth in mobile data adoption is the maturity of the market, with subscription rates higher than 100% in some regions, including Estonia, Japan, Finland and the US.
For data-intensive tasks, 5G could compete with fixed broadband in terms of speed and reliability. But low penetrations rates – only 21% of mobile subscribers have access to 5G in 37 of the 38 OECD countries (the 38th hasn’t launched 5G) – make fibre a more practical choice for the foreseeable future.
The OECD, or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is an intergovernmental body with 38 member states whose purpose is to stimulate economic progress and world trade. Many of the world’s most developed economies are members of the OECD. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media