Cable's fixed broadband market not threatened by mobile, Strategy Analytics says

Mobile networks will not render fixed broadband services obsolete, says research company Strategy Analytics.

"The reality is, fixed broadband is continuing to grow in the U.S., and not being replaced by mobile broadband as some have reported," said Jason Blackwell, director of the service provider strategies service at Strategy Analytics. 

Blackwell later reached out to FierceCable to clarify that is speaking in the context of current 4G/LTE wireless networks and not future 5G iterations. 

"The cable operators are driving the growth with increased speeds and multiplay bundles,' he added. "During 2015, Comcast accounted for 44 percent of new subscribers and the companies forming the New Charter made up another 47 percent of new subscribers. The telco operators haven't been able to shake off the losses of DSL subscribers, but we expect to see increased fiber deployments in the coming quarters, which should help AT&T and Verizon return to growth."

In its latest report, "U.S. Cable Operators Driving Fixed Broadband Penetration Higher," Strategy Analytics said that MSOs added 3.3 million new broadband subscribers from April 2015 to March 2016. This helped drive up fixed broadband penetration in the U.S. to 80 percent. 

Cable now controls 62 percent of broadband subscriptions, with fiber holding flat at 23 percent and DSL falling to 15 percent, according to the research company.

Blackwell added that cable operators' investment in Wi-Fi will be a hedge against 5G competition.

"Wi-Fi will allow cable operators to more effectively compete for quad-play customers without the expense of creating and managing a mobile network," he said. "Combined with MVNO relationships, Wi-Fi can create a compelling service offer, making the cable companies more competitive with the traditional mobile operators."     

For more:
- read this Strategy Analytics press release

Related articles:
Madden: The collision of cable and mobile
Mallinson: Will fixed network operators disappear with 5G?

UPDATE: This story was updated on June 4 to include a clarification from the study author.

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