Pyramid Research: Progression of fiber upgrades unstoppable

JANUARY 7, 2009 -- Despite the difficult financial climate, the progression of fiber upgrades is now inevitable, according to a new report from Pyramid Research. Analysts say 98 million homes, or 6% of all households worldwide, are now passed by FTTH/FTTB networks.

JANUARY 7, 2009 -- Despite the difficult financial climate, the progression of fiber upgrades is now inevitable, according to a new report from Pyramid Research, "Fiber in the Last Mile: Best Practices, Adoption Trends, and the Impact of the Economic Downturn."

The deployments of FTTx networks in Asia-Pacific, North America, and Western Europe have now passed the stage of early adopters and are led by both telecom incumbents and competitive broadband network operators. As many as 98 million homes--6% of all households worldwide--are now passed by FTTB/FTTH networks globally, and another 74 million homes by VDSL2 networks, say Pyramid Research analysts.

Of the 98 million homes passed, 70% are located in Asia-Pacific, where NTT in Japan was among the first to pioneer large-scale FTTH upgrades in 2000. Europe and North America each account for 15% of the homes passed, and both have plenty of catching up to do in the next five years, reveals the report.

"We found that telcos' need for fiber to the home remains strong, especially in developed markets where deployments are driven by the maturity of the broadband markets and a proliferation of IP-based video, TV, and interactive applications," notes Ozgur Aytar, senior research manager at Pyramid Research and co-author of the report.

The report also found that with mobile operators now offering broadband at speeds and prices equivalent to entry-level ADSL subscriptions, telcos have little time to procrastinate. "After losing the voice game to mobile players in the early 2000s, fixed-line operators can hardly allow the same to happen with the broadband business, which has kept them afloat when voice revenue tanked,"
Aytar contends.


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