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Fixed broadband reaches 1bn



The markets and technologies which will drive continued rapid broadband growth over the next decade have today been revealed by Broadband Forum and Point Topic in a new report which predicts there will be 1.2 billion fixed broadband subscribers by 2025.

Following the announcement last October that there are now one billion global fixed broadband subscribers, this report is Point Topic’s first worldwide broadband subscribers forecast providing the details behind that milestone, addressing the period between Q3 2018 and Q4 2025.

According to the research, the current trends of booming deep-fibre deployment and accelerating broadband penetration in developing markets will be the engine of broadband growth through 2025. The forecast states that some variant of fibre –Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH), Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) or Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB) – will be used by 59% of fixed broadband subscribers globally by 2025. The report also examines the impact of superfast 5G, predicting that fixed mobile convergence will mean that the next one billion subscribers could blend wireless and fixed subscriptions.

“With 5G on the horizon and new Internet of Things devices and Over the Top services increasingly becoming a part of subscribers’ everyday lives, this new analysis looks at how the fixed broadband market and the technologies within it are evolving to meet this demand,” said Oliver Johnson, CEO at Point Topic. “As we look towards the next billion broadband subscriptions, fixed lines will continue to play a significant role. We expect to see more convergence between fixed and mobile lines as consumers look for a seamless, high-quality connectivity experience that is available anywhere, anytime.”

Overall, 89% of the predicted 1.2 billion subscribers in 2025 will come from the current top 30 broadband markets, defined in Point Topic’s Q2 2018 report. Fixed broadband adoption in these top 30 markets is expected to grow by 22% between 2018 and 2025, with developing economies in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico likely to see the highest growth in this period. Global adoption, including the rest of the world, is forecast to grow by 24%.

Between 2018 and 2025, fiber-based connections (FTTH/P/B) are expected to grow by 51% and FTTC/VDSL by 28%. In the same period, ADSL-based connections are forecast to drop by 39%.  At the same time it is expected that pricing dependent growth in the satellite market and alternative offerings like TV White Space will extend the global broadband footprint.

Whereas broadband-capable device proliferation and connectivity, catalysed by key enablers such as Broadband Forum’s TR-069 protocol, paved the way to surpassing one billion deployments worldwide last October, emerging drivers such as 5G, meshed Wi-Fi, and new advanced services will be key to continued growth. Broadband Forum is well ahead of this curve, already preparing operators’ networks for the next billion connections. Ongoing projects include work with 3GPP to develop a converged 5G networkBroadband Quality Experience Delivered (Broadband QED) initiative, and User ServicesPlatform (USP) which enables operators to manage connected home devices.

Additionally, Broadband Forum has published new standards for the modularization of the Dynamic Bandwidth Assignment (DBA) function in optical access systems and the industry’s first Wi-Fi performance test standard. Its equipment conformance and interoperability certification testing is also ongoing, with this work being critical as networks scale toaccommodate more than a billion subscribers.

“Following the significant achievement of one billion broadband subscribers worldwide, the global broadband market is continuing to evolve and find new ways to grow in both scale and quality,” said Geoff Burke, CMO of Broadband Forum. “As 5G enters the picture, the fixed network will not only provide the backbone for the 5G services, but new services created from wireless-wireline convergence will also continue to drive fixed broadband proliferation and adoption.Broadband Forum is on the forefront of this transformation, championing the initiatives that will continue to improve the broadband experiences of the future.”

For more information about Broadband Forum’s work, visit:

To see the full Point Topic Report, please see:

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TikTok looks for SA talent

The fast-rising short-video platform has launched a #PickMe campaign to discover local stars.



TikTok, which claims to be the world’s leading destination for short-form videos, launches its first PickMe campaign, an effort to discover creative talents and provide a stage to express themselves in South Africa. Starting March 1, TikTok kicked off a month-long search through participants’ 15-second videos under hashtag #PickMe.

TikTok says it is committed to investing in South Africa and discovering the local talents. The PickMe campaign is supported by its local partners like Huawei, MTV Base and Digify Africa.

Local stars, including comedian and singer Lasizwe and singer Nadia Jaftha, have joined the campaign and called for users to show their talents on TikTok.

There are 5 categories of video shooting in the campaign, namely dance, acting, comedy, singing and cosmetics. Participants need to shoot a 15-second video using TikTok using #PickMe and tag @tiktok_africa to participate in the challenge. The finalists will be selected based on their video performance. The most popular and talented participants will have the chance to win prizes like Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphones, a day at MTV Base, and a once-off-presenter opportunity and attendance at an intensive video production workshop delivered by Digify Africa.

“TikTok has definitely evolved into something that everyone loves and uses. It’s given creators a space to create more unique content and also help the creator gain a whole new kind of fan base, ” says Preven Reddy, Imbewu The Seed TV-star and Megazone radio host who is also a TikTok user.

Says TikTok video creator Mihlali Nxanga: “As a young South African working towards being in the entertainment industry, TikTok has given me the platform to grow my following tremendously. Within 6 months, my fan base has grown by a whopping 90 000, and not only from South Africa, but the whole world. For me, TikTok is not just a content platform, it is a global community.”

The campaign will wrap up on March 31. The list of the finalist will be announced in the app and on official Instagram @tiktok_southafrica. For more information, please visit the TikTok app.

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Rugby fan experience transformed by digital platform



The South African Rugby Federation has embraced digitalisation as a key enabler of its strategic aspirations. It has worked with Accenture to transform fan engagement for Springbok supporters with the launch of a digital fan platform.

“Digital technology and social media have transformed how modern fans watch, support and engage with their favourite teams,” says SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux. “To maintain our relevance amid this new market dynamic, and grow our fan base, we’ve acknowledged the vital need to digitally transform our organisation.”

Wayne Hull, managing director for Accenture Digital in Africa, says: “SA Rugby’s ambition to pivot to a more fan-centric strategy requires digital design, content, platforms and insights because modern consumers, including loyal Springbok supporters, engage predominantly via mobile digital channels and expect hyper-personalised experiences.”

Accenture Digital’s development process started with quantitative and qualitative research, which informed the user experience (UX) design guidelines and content strategy for the digital fan engagement platform.

“To know what fans want, we needed to understand the fans themselves,” says Hull. “The Accenture Digital team mined the research data and identified multiple fan ‘personas’, which all have different content consumption, platform functionality and engagement preferences.”

The platform development team focused on three critical elements to meet these requirements – the customer experience (CX), the engagement engine and cloud-based deployment.

“To deliver a memorable and engaging CX, Accenture Digital leveraged leading digital experience software,” says Hull. “The result is a fully integrated and responsive platform that creates seamless, personalised digital fan experiences across SA Rugby’s content, commerce and digital marketing initiatives in a manner that makes fans feel recognised and connected to the players and the game.”

The new platform will serve as the first point of call for any rugby fan who wants to get their data fix with exclusive statistics, analytics and insights. The platform’s content style will include more visual elements – videos and images – with more concise articles that are easier to digest, in accordance with evolving content consumption preferences on mobile screens. This will complement long-form thought leadership and insight pieces. 

In addition, fans will enjoy exclusive access to player-related content, such as behind-the-scenes footage and game and training performance stats. SA Rugby will also benefit from the ability to track comments and mentions via the Sitecore analytics platform Accenture Digital implemented, to respond and engage in the conversations Springbok fans are having on social media about the game, the teams or the players.

To do this, SA Rugby required a consolidated view of the customer. However, data resided in disparate sites across ticketing providers and SA Rugby’s e-commerce and online magazine databases. This information will be consolidated into the CRM system, with multiple integration points available to leverage this data.

The CRM system’s functionality will help to reveal insights such as fan communication preferences and their likes and dislikes, which will place hyper-relevance at the core of SA Rugby’s fan experience and engagement strategy.

 The final element in the platform development was cloud deployment, which allows fans to access the platform from any device that has an internet connection. The platform is hosted within the Microsoft Azure environment, which is stable, secure and fully redundant. It gives SA Rugby the flexibility to manage the platform themselves, with the option to integrate or scale additional functionality down the line.

Based on the outcome, Hull believes that Accenture Digital has successfully reimagined, built and delivered a world-class, modern and mobile-friendly digital fan platform that creates a fun, immersive and engaging experience for fans.

“It’s a major step towards helping SA Rugby realise its ambition to become a fan-centric, forward-looking and nimble organisation, and we look forward to building and developing the platform further with the team as their digital fan engagement requirements evolve,” says Hull

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