Average revenue per unit (ARPU) declined but total revenue for the global fixed broadband services market rose to $188 billion in 2012, a 7% year-to-year increase, ABI Research reports. Looking ahead to 2018, ABI forecasts fixed broadband revenue will grow to reach $251 billion globally.

Global revenue for fiber-optic broadband services posted its best year-to-year growth rate – 24% – in 2012, while DSL and cable broadband service revenues rose 2% and 6%, respectively. ABI research analysts forecast the former will post higher growth rates than other fixed broadband platforms over the course of the forecast period. Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) revenue should reach $81.6 billion in 2018, according to ABI’s Broadband Database, accounting for nearly 1/3 of global broadband service revenue.

Global broadband ARPU continued to decline across all platforms last year, a trend ABI expects will continue “as the majority of operators are trying to offer lower prices to capture a larger market share,” Jake Saunders, ABI VP and practice director of core forecasting, stated. “In some countries, like Japan and South Korea, increasing competition from LTE services is expected to pressure fixed broadband operators to offer lower service pricing in the long-term.”

Fixed broadband service market revenue in the U.S. rose to $43 billion in 2012 from $41 billion in 2011. Fiber-optic broadband represents just 7% of total U.S. broadband revenue, a percentage ABI forecasts will grow substantially in coming years.

Verizon, the principal FTTH provider in the U.S. saw its broadband revenue rise 3.1% in 2012, a result driven by higher adoption of FiOS, its FTTH service. “As more consumers tend to get super-fast broadband which supports online video gaming and HD video services, FTTH adoption will continue to grow. ABI Research forecasts that United States FTTH revenue will reach $4 billion at the end of 2013,” research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn elaborated.