According to statistics from survey service Buddecomm, Lithuania still takes the leading place for fibre adoption within Europe. Sitting at a subscriber rate of 74.6% compared to the next-best Sweden with 68.9%, Lithuania finds itself as third in the world. With higher subscription rates only in South Korea (81.7%) and Japan (79%), Lithuania’s investment has put it at the forefront of ultra-fast internet. With implications over many major sectors, such investment has significant implications for the 2020s and beyond.
Business Safety and Growth
The effect that the digital world has had on business is immense, completely reshaping paradigms that have existed for decades, or much longer. In general terms, digital shifts brought with them vastly improved convenience and efficiency, but just as important are contributions that the online world has made to safety.
Primarily seen in data-backups, the significant quantity of data that needs to be pushed for constant server-backups can be problematic with older ADSL solutions. Fibre, with the capacity for much greater speeds, can mitigate this issue substantially, making daily and even hourly backups of important systems a non-issue. This can protect businesses in case of emergency and ensures high levels of reliability for stock and tax reasons.
With 2020 consolidating the value that distance education can generate, it’s important that technology leverages this potential to the utmost effect. According to current projections, the worldwide e-learning market is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025, with more predicted further in the future. Studies in the United States have already shown the measurable value of this path. In one of these, a study of 2,500 companies found that those who used comprehensive training programs generate more than 200% higher revenue per employee, alongside higher profit margins in general.
As a two-way street, the upload and download requirements of everyone on education streaming platforms can push older connections to their limits. This goes doubly so when working with larger data files, where speed is a must. Greater fibre availability is a boon to all sides of this education equation, especially given expected future growth.
Fibre isn’t just about the direct connections, as it also serves as grounding points for 4G and 5G mobile systems. As noted by telecommunications group Bite, Lithuania is looking to phase out their 3G connections by 2025, and their 2G systems by 2028. In its place, the faster connection technologies will become standard, with all the advantages that these greater speeds imply.
5G is an especially interesting part of this, given how it will never become a total replacement for 4G. Due to limitations on range, 5G will essentially act as a booster in denser areas. This would overcome 4G’s limitations of speed and simultaneous connections which hold the older generation back. Only possible with fibre backing, 5G allowing better accessibility and speed could prove a literal life-saver for some.
Individual Accessibility and Use
While most Lithuanians now have access to fibre connections from home, not all will yet benefit from switching their existing plans to ultra-fast alternatives. Much of this is owed to the pricing of ADSL and fibre plans, where fibre is slightly more expensive, yet much faster than older options. Since many users don’t take full advantage of even ADSL, more speed isn’t yet a necessity.
For a common example of regular internet use, consider browsing and light interactive entertainment experiences like what online casinos offer. Whether reading casino reviews to compare bonuses like free spins and deposit matches, traversing the available websites, or even playing the most demanding games, bandwidth is not an issue. In fact, such typical online uses will usually not even take 10% of a person’s total bandwidth.
Even more bandwidth-heavy uses like HD video streaming on YouTube or Hulu don’t yet push ADSL to its peak. The one confounding factor in this comes from how bandwidth is shared over multiple users. One house with a 50 Mbps connection might not stream HD reliably to five simultaneous users, for example, which is where fibre might begin to prove necessary.
Ahead of the Curve
The faster fibre spreads and the more the infrastructure grows, the cheaper fibre plans will become. For this reason, it’s only natural that ADSL providers will have to cut their costs if they wish to stay competitive. Otherwise, many users could simply change their existing ADSL plans to much faster fibre alternatives.
Until this occurs somewhere towards the mid-2020s, fibre and the 5G that it allows is much more of an option, rather than a necessity, for most users. In essence, this is the first time in history where collective internet speed supply has finally exceeded demand. At this threshold, the limiting factor has become websites, not users, and the unbreakable limits of latency as restricted by the speed of light.
What this means is that the next few years could be home to some of the most profound changes to the way apps and internet browsing operate. With former limits behind us, and modern potential greater than ever before, the sky is now the limit, and Lithuania will be there to see whatever comes next.