According to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), the demand for Internet connections with higher bandwidths continued in the Corona year 2021. By December, the number of fiber optic connections actually booked had risen to a forecast 2.6 million. That is around 600,000 more than the stock at the end of 2020. At 1.7 million, around two thirds of them are fiber optics to the home (FTTH), the rest are house connections (FTTB).
This emerges from the annual report 2021 of the Federal Network Agency published on Friday. The number of customers who can in principle book FTTH or FTTB has increased to 8.9 million by December. This corresponds to an increase of 2.2 million compared to the previous year. According to the VATM industry association, a good 10 million fiber optic connections (FTTH/FTTB) are available by mid-year – growth of 20 percent.
7 percent fiberglass
According to the BNetzA, the proportion of active FTTH/FTTB connections in the total booked broadband connections in fixed networks rose from 5.5 percent in 2020 to 7.1 percent by the end of 2021. For the coming years, the regulator expects, in unison with industry experts, that this proportion will increase significantly.
The so-called take-up rate, i.e. the proportion of active fiber optic connections to the supplied or directly accessible customers, was around 29 percent in December. The VATM assumes a booking quota of 39.5 percent for the challengers of Deutsche Telekom. At EUR 11 billion, investments in the telecommunications market exceeded those of the previous year by almost two percent. The companies mainly invested in new broadband network infrastructures.
The data volume in the fixed network has increased from 76 billion gigabytes in 2020 to around 100 billion gigabytes, which corresponds to an average data consumption of around 226 gigabytes per month and customer. The mobile networks also continued to make rapid progress. While the data volume at the end of 2020 was almost 4 billion gigabytes, it was almost 5.5 billion at the end of 2021 (up 37 percent). 95 percent of the data traffic was realized via LTE.
The volume of calls processed via the fixed network was again quite high in 2021 at around 102 billion minutes. However, it no longer reached the level of the first pandemic year 2020, when it was 104 billion minutes. Around 163 billion outgoing call minutes were made via the mobile networks in Germany (2020: 155 billion). Converted, this results in an average of 127 call minutes per month per SIM card.
In Germany, 7.8 billion text messages were sent last year, 0.8 billion more than in 2020. The BNetzA cites the two-factor authentication, which often takes place via this channel, as a reason for the increase, with which consumers can identify themselves in addition to the normal password for online services. The sending of SMS reached its peak in 2012 with 59.8 billion short messages. Subsequently, many consumers switched to WhatsApp & Co.
Hunger for data among prosecutors
The thirst for data, for example among prosecutors, has also increased significantly: in 2021, the regulatory authority answered a total of 24.14 million requests for inventory data via the automated information procedure (AAV). That is around 6.35 million or 36 percent more than in 2020. On average, this results in 66,137 successful inquiries per day.
The AAV enables authorized bodies such as the police, federal and state security authorities and emergency call centers to automatically query subscriber data such as name, address or telephone number from the telecommunications companies around the clock via the Federal Network Agency’s systems. According to the BNetzA, “technical optimization” means that the disputed information is “possible very quickly, if necessary within a few seconds”.
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