Think Mobile Broadband is Replacing Cable? It’s Not

Right now there is concern rising throughout the cable industry that wireless broadband is slowly replacing fixed broadband. In many locations, for instance, wireless broadband speeds are steadily increasing, and the belief is that, as we approach the 5G era, these services will replace the need for cable services.

Is this something you should worry about as a cable operator? Keep the issue on your radar, but it may not be as worrisome as it seems.

As explained in a recent CED article, a new study from Strategy Analytics shows that cable operators added 3.3 million new subscribers between April 2015 and March 2016. In doing so, cable operators increased total fixed broadband household penetration to about 80 percent.

What’s more, cable’s market share for broadband subscriptions increased to over 62 percent. Fiber, by comparison, remained at 23 percent and DSL fell to 15 percent. According to the director of service provider strategies at Strategy Analytics, Jason Blackwell, this growth is being driven by multiplay bundles and increased network speeds.

This begs the question: What can we expect to see from cable operators moving forward? According to Strategy Analytics, look for more Wi-Fi deployments.

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

What’s your take on the competition between mobile and fixed broadband? We want to hear from you!