Fast internet: surprising how the market is developing


These days, 24 million households in Germany can already request a connection with a data rate of 1 Gbit / s in the downstream. Renowned telecommunications expert Prof. Dr. Torsten J. Gerpott. They come from a gigabit market study that you prepared for the VATM industry association.

But even if gigabit is often associated with fiber optics, this is not the case in Germany. Because only 4.75 million of these connections go back to actual fiber optic connections, where the fiber optic cable was laid at least in the building. After all: in six months, this number has increased by 14.7 percent (610,000) despite the coronavirus. Most of the lines go back to broadband cable networks, especially from Vodafone. Unitymedia and Kabel Deutschland send their regards, even if these brands no longer exist.

Only some of the lines are used

However, clients are only actively using a fraction of these connections. Just over 6 million of all gigabit connections are active, according to Gerpott. That’s about a quarter of the connections. However, customers have not necessarily booked gigabit lines here. In the cable network, this participation is 22.8 percent. The proportion of real fiber optic connections is significantly higher (34.7 percent).

What is noticeable in Telekom’s gigabit connections market is that not only the number of theoretical connections is very small, 1.77 million. The number of actively used lines is also very low, only 305,000. The situation is different for Telekom’s competitors who are investing in fiber optic cables. 45.1 percent of possible gigabit connections are reserved here.

By the way: while some Internet users in Germany are still waiting to finally use the 50 Mbit / s that the federal government once promised for 2018, another part of the customers is oversupplied. According to Gerpott documents, around 2.61 million households in Germany can choose whether to reserve a real fiber optic connection or use cables via DOCSIS 3.1. 2.14 million customers can only use fiber optic networks, 16.64 million only a cable network.

Price drop per gigabit

In recent months, there has also been a massive drop in the prices of gigabit lines. A year ago, the monthly costs of gigabits for fiber optics used to exceed 100 euros. Even wired gigabit was often only available in the high double digit range. Costs have been greatly reduced.

Vodafone has probably opened the proverbial Pandorra box when the gigabit connection was offered for just under 40 euros in the campaign. This has resulted in Telekom price cuts. It is true that Telekom charges almost 80 euros for its FTTH lines, almost double what Vodafone currently charges. But it also offers more upstream and is less prone to network congestion.

But also at 1 & 1, price reductions have recently been observed. 1 & 1 groups the lines of various local providers such as in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, RKOM in eastern Bavaria, such as Regensburg and Deggendorf and comingolstadt in Ingolstadt. A connection with 1,000 Mbit / s downstream and 200 Mbit / s upstream now costs just under 40 euros a month for ten months, then 70 euros.

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