Broadband internet refers to internet access that connects the user to high-speed internet, as opposed to the original dial-up access. There are different ways to be connected to broadband, for example: coaxial cable, optical fiber, radio, or twisted pair. Fixed-broadband has a variety of technologies available to connect to the internet. In 2015, the most prominent one in Europe was ADSL.
In Europe, it is estimated that there are approximately 189.8 million broadband internet subscribers, which is an increase of over 65 million subscribers since 2008. Of course, this varies from one country to another. The share of households with broadband internet in Europe (EU 28) stood at 83 percent in 2016, with Luxembourg coming in first place (92 percent) and Bulgaria coming in last (63 percent). This penetration rate includes mobile broadband as well as fixed-line broadband. Mobile broadband includes 2G, 3G and 4G. Each one marks a new generation of mobile broadband with improved download and upload speeds. The 4G adoption throughout Western Europe has been somewhat slow, but it is predicted that Sweden will be the front-runner in 2019 with an adoption rate of 74 percent. Mobile broadband internet connections in Spain reached a total of 1.7 million in January 2017.
Some broadband internet providers such as Vodafone and Orange operate in multiple regions. However, most countries seem to have a different operator leading the market. For example; Deutsche Telekom was in the lead in Germany with a market share of 41.3 percent; Orange was the leader on the French market in 2015 with a market share of 39.9 percent; and in Spain, Movistar had the most connections with a total of 5.89 million in January 2017.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) in Europe has been grown and gained a total of 2.2 euros since 2008. This correlates with the improvement of mobile download speed in the EU. Switzerland has the fastest average connection speed of 31.1 Mbit/s, while the Czech Republic is at the bottom of the list with 7.7 Mbit/s.
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