Ultra-broadband markets growing; 52 million FTTH/B subscribers expected this year

JUNE 30, 2010 -- Ultra broadband continues to develop steadily in most parts of the world in terms of subscriber numbers and homes passed, according to IDATE consultants. The market grew to 41 million FTTH/B subscribers worldwide in 2009, and is expected to reach 52 million in 2010.

JUNE 30, 2010 -- Ultra broadband continues to develop steadily in most parts of the world in terms of subscriber numbers and homes passed, according to IDATE consultants. The market grew to 41 million FTTH/B subscribers worldwide in 2009, and is expected to reach 52 million in 2010.

“But beyond these figures that reflect the current situation, there have been several announcements from private operators and governments that have confirmed the interest in very high-speed access in most parts of the world,” says Roland Montagne, head of IDATE’s Telecom Business Unit.

According to IDATE senior consultant, Valérie Chaillou, “The FTTH market’s growth momentum carried on into the second half of 2009, pushing the global base to close to 41 million FTTH/B subscribers by year-end, which marks a more than 16% increase in six months.”

Over the next five years, this momentum is likely to translate into a significant increase in the number of homes passed: by the end of 2014, there will be close to 306 million homes passed for FTTH/B around the globe, of which more than half will still be located in Asia and 18% in Western Europe, reveals an IDATE consultant.

On the matter of subscribers, Eastern Europe, which has already pulled ahead of Western Europe, with 3.5 million FTTH/B customers compared to around 2 million in the west, is forecast to have an even bigger subscriber base than North America starting in 2012. Some countries in that part of the world, such as Lithuania, have a particularly dynamic market and, in addition to swift and vast rollouts, are managing to persuade the eligible households to subscribe to ultra high-speed access offers.

Elsewhere, and especially in Asia, marketing the services has become operators’ primary concern, since coverage rates have already reached the saturation point in the most advanced markets. HKBN in Hong Kong is the operator marketing the most competitively priced offer: 1 Gbps for 26 USD a month.

In 2014, 18 countries will have deployed optical fiber networks to more than 50% of homes, which is 10 more than at the end of 2009.

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