The Federal Network Agency has presented its current annual report, in which the Bonn regulatory authority also provides figures on the status of fiber optic expansion in Germany. A total of 13.1 billion euros have been invested by the companies in the German telecommunications market, an increase of 1.6 billion euros compared to the previous year. The focus was on fiber optic expansion in the fixed network and on 5G expansion in mobile communications.
FTTH accounts for 71 percent of active fiber optic connections
By the end of 2022, the Federal Network Agency will have 3.4 million active fiber optic connections via the access variants FTTH (fiber to home) and FTTB (fiber to building). Compared to the end of 2021, this is around 800,000 more active fiber optic connections. According to the authority, FTTH accounted for 2.4 million connections (71 percent), around 1.0 million of the connections (29 percent) were implemented via FTTB.
Fiber optic availability is increasing: FTTH/B for 13.1 million end customers
According to the Federal Network Agency, around 13.1 million end customers in Germany were technically available or reachable with fiber optics (homes passed) at the end of 2022. That is 4.2 million more available fiber optic connections than in 2021. However, available does not mean that customers can also be connected directly. Some fiber optic lines only run past the customer’s house, but the building itself is not yet connected. The proportion of active FTTH/FTTB connections in all active broadband connections in Germany rose from 7.1 percent in 2021 to 9.1 percent at the end of last year. The regulatory authority sees the high supply of existing fiber optics as one reason for the comparatively low spread of fiber optics VDSL-Connectors and with Cable internet. For the coming years, however, the Federal Network Agency expects a significant increase in the proportion of fiber optic connections.
Data volume in the fixed network and mobile communications continues to increase
Both in the fixed network and in the cellular network the data volume has increased further. A total of 121 billion gigabytes (GB) of data were transmitted in fixed networks in 2022. According to the authority, the data volume used has increased by around 20 billion GB per year since 2019.
In the mobile networks, the data volume climbed from 5.457 million GB in 2021 by 23 percent to 6.714 million at the end of 2022. At 94 percent, most of the data traffic found over LTE-nets instead. Call minutes via fixed networks fell to around 80 billion in 2022 after the end of the pandemic. For comparison: In the first pandemic year 2020, the volume of calls via fixed networks rose to around 104 billion call minutes.
Voice telephony in the fixed network is declining – many calls via messenger and video conferencing services
Around 159 billion outgoing call minutes were made via mobile networks in Germany in 2022. Converted per SIM card, this corresponds to around 126 minutes per month. In concrete terms, almost twice as many call minutes were used via mobile devices than via the fixed network. The network agency gives as reasons, among other things, improved voice quality and network coverage. Attractive flat rates would also have contributed to this.
For the first time, the Federal Network Agency also published data on the use of messenger and video conference services. According to this, German users made at least 121 billion voice telephony minutes and 143 billion video telephony minutes via such services in 2022. That is significantly more than the telephony volume in the classic fixed network.