No, It’s Not the Latest Pokémon Go —
Gigabit Internet is now available to 301 million people across 49 countries, according to the latest data collected by the Gigabit Monitor. The volume of gigabit Internet deployments has increased by 38% since May 2017. This means that 4.2% of the global population now has gigabit Internet available to them.
Notably, the number of people with access to gigabit LTE has surged to 74 million, based on large-scale deployments across a number of countries, including the US, South Korea, and China, over the past few quarters. These deployments have turned gigabit LTE into the second most widely available form of gigabit Internet, after fiber. Globally, fiber has increased its share of gigabit deployments to 90.4%, however this includes a large volume of micro scale deployments, predominantly in the US, where populations as small as 300 people are being served with gigabit Internet.
Interestingly, the number of hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) deployments each quarter is also now tracking closely with fiber rollouts, whereas fiber deployments outpaced HFC up until 2016.
The US remains the country with gigabit Internet available to the largest number of people, with gigabit access now available to over 64 million people. Following the US are South Korea with access for 46.9 million, Spain with 30.1 million, China with 20.7 million, and Canada with 15.7 million. However, in terms of the percentage of population coverage, Singapore has the greatest gigabit coverage, with gigabit Internet available to 95% of its population. Singapore is followed by South Korea with 93%, Moldova with 90%, Qatar with 78%, and Spain and Portugal tying at 65%.
Since the beginning of 2017, gigabit Internet has been introduced in 9 countries for the first time. The new gigabit countries are Australia, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Malta, Monaco, Oman, and Russia.
It is fascinating to see how public and private companies, and even governments, are pushing for gigabit Internet to become an economic enabler for their customers, citizens or their own businesses.
Beyond the top-line figures, the major story that we are seeing is how the shape of gigabit Internet provision is changing. For the first time, gigabit LTE has now become a significant force in gigabit provision, as 74 million people around the globe have access to it. But whether it is fiber, HFC, LTE, or 5G, in the near future, the onus is on service providers to ensure that the hoped-for speeds and experience match consumer expectations, which requires a robust discipline of network monitoring, testing and troubleshooting.
The Gigabit Monitor is a web-based tool intended to showcase the state-of-play of gigabit Internet provision across the world, based on publicly available data. This living database is updated regularly, based on deployment announcements and feedback from users. The site was launched in 2016, and tracks gigabit deployments since 2004. Its dynamically updated infographics show the current state of gigabit Internet provision in all 49 countries where it is available. Each country’s gigabit Internet profile displays the estimated population coverage, global ranking, gigabit launches over time and a listing of local gigabit providers. The Gigabit Monitor is available at visit http://gigabitmonitor.com/.
Sameh Yamany is Chief Technology Officer, VIAVI Solutions. He has authored several patents, and more than 50 journals, conference publications, and book chapters in artificial intelligence, telecommunications, and systems engineering.
Live data can be accessed on the Gigabit Monitor site which is owned by VIAVI (NASDAQ: VIAV). VIAVI is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions to communications service providers, enterprises, network equipment manufacturers, civil, government, military and avionics customers, supported by a worldwide channel community including VIAVI Velocity Partners. For more information, visit http://gigabitmonitor.com/. For more information, please visit https://www.viavisolutions.com. Follow Viavi on Twitter: @ViaviSolutions.