Broadband expansion: The vectoring gap has been overcome

Total investment in the German telecommunications sector rose by six percent to 9 billion euros last year. This is the result of a market analysis presented by the German Broadband Communication Association (Breko) on Wednesday. The annual market analysis of the association is based on a survey among 183 German telecommunications providers.

The competitors of Telekom with 4.6 billion euros have for the first time since 2015 again invested more than the former monopolist (4.4 billion euros). The Breko says that the "vectoring gap" has been overcome, as the Federal Network Agency's 2016 regulatory decision to prioritize vectoring technology in certain network areas has slowed down the investment appetite of its competitors in recent years.

Broadband expansion: The "Vectoring gap" is overcome

For 2018, the Breko analysis shows an average monthly data volume of 128 GB per fixed line, which is an increase of over 30 percent compared to the previous year. The association expects the traffic in the following years with strong growth rates, from 372 GB in 2022 to 825 GB per year in 2025.

According to the Breko study, the landline connection remains the workhorse of the customer, which handles most of the traffic. Only about 1 percent of the monthly traffic of customers is via mobile. For the network operators, this is good news: "Thus a substitution of the fixed network by mobile radio is not recognizable," account the authors of the study to the industry expert Jens Böcker.

Broadband expansion: The "Vectoring gap" is overcome

After all, according to the study nearly 34 million households have connections of at least 50 MBit / s, of which approximately two-thirds can choose from several providers and technology. However, the continued strong growth in bandwidth demand from business and residential customers is not necessarily reflected in the supply of direct fiber access (FTTH / FTTB) – and the expansion of cable networks is also stagnating.

According to market analysis, there were around 5 million direct fiber-optic connections in Germany in 2018 (up 11 percent on the previous year), of which only a fifth offer Telekom. 70 percent of the connections are with Breko members who handle 80 percent of the FTTH expansion without subsidies. "The business models for the self-economic expansion have been found," Breko President Norbert Westfal is pleased.

Broadband expansion: The "Vectoring gap" is overcome

By 2022, however, the association expects a significant increase to a total of 17 million available fiber optic connections. In the future, cooperation between suppliers will become more and more important. "Cooperations prevent economics-minded duplication and accelerate the widespread fiber-optic expansion in Germany," says study author Böcker.

The fact that state pampering is not the panacea for the country's broadband deficiencies is something the Breko emphasizes again and again. "Before we start thinking about closing down so-called gray spots with another funding program, the 'white spots' should first be closed – especially against the background of extremely scarce civil engineering capacities," warns Breko CEO Stephan Albers. "Money alone does not build fiber optic networks."


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