Provider and rollout strategies on the German fibre market (No. 513) © Photo Credit: PRI -

Provider and rollout strategies on the German fibre market (No. 513)

WIK publishes the results of a survey among fibre optic companies

The aim of the survey was to generate more in-depth insights into the companies that are expanding FTTB/H connections on the German broadband market. Information was collected on the fibre optic companies, their strategic orientation, the underlying business models, their roll-out strategies, the technologies used, and the retail and wholesale business.

As part of the research program, WIK conducted a large-scale online survey in summer 2023 among the players involved in FTTB/H expansion in Germany. 41 companies participated in that survey.

The group of participants reflects the diversity and heterogeneity of the market. The municipal utilities segment is the most strongly represented in the survey. The larger market participants are also very well covered in relation to the number of providers in the market. Overall, the participating companies represent a relevant part of the German FTTB/H market.

One thing that the companies that took part in the survey have in common is that the majority of them are investing heavily in FTTB/H expansion in Germany, measured in terms of their turnover. In many cases, the investments made exceed the annual turnover generated by several times.

With regard to the expansion and technology strategy, the participants can be divided into two contrasting groups in particular: One group is expanding exclusively using future-proof and technology-neutral PtP construction methods. The second group favours the more cost-effective PtMP construction method in conjunction with the use of GPON technology. In view of the comments from the market, it is surprising that the number of participants who rely only on PtP topologies is slightly higher than the number of companies that only use PtMP.

It is positive to note that the majority of participants are expanding FTTH wherever possible and a relevant proportion are also laying fibre optic cables to all buildings in single-family homes.

With regard to the retail business, many participants still consider products with download bandwidths of less than 100 Mbit/s to be relevant. No disruptive development in the demand for very high bandwidths is expected in the next three years either.

The wholesale business remains underdeveloped. Only around half of the companies that took part in the survey grant interested third parties wholesale access. Of those that offer wholesale products, almost half have no or only one wholesale customer.