We would like to welcome you to the first edition of Lightwave Europe, which we hope will guide your business in Europe’s fast-changing telecom landscape. Traditional and nontraditional players in Europe are developing networks in response to new market conditions brought about by a surge in IP traffic, new services, and regulatory changes. We have been covering these developments in Lightwave and other PennWell publications; however, we saw the need for a magazine dedicated to the European fibre-optics market. Lightwave Europe will follow the success of our other regionally focused magazines-Lightwave Russia and Lightwave China.
Lightwave Europe will examine emerging opportunities of interest to a European audience-especially FTTX, but also metro/regional applications, developments in the submarine and terrestrial backbone markets, and coverage of overall market and technology trends.
FTTH is beginning to take off in Europe, but the region still has a long way to go to catch up with Asia and North America. Recent announcements by the French alternative carrier, Free, and a surge in municipal projects in northern Europe could accelerate FTTH growth. At the same time, complete deregulation next year of the EU countries’ electric utilities is driving the need for very sophisticated communication networks to manage new core utility businesses and the broadband needs of utilities that have entered the broadband access market.
Despite the growing global economy and borders becoming invisible in many parts of the world, markets in regions as homogeneous as western Europe are evolving differently and at different paces for diverse reasons. Over the past 2 years, some of the world’s leading trade associations, including the FTTH Council and the United Telecom Council, have helped Europeans set up similar associations to promote their industries and to lobby in Brussels. We aim to provide you a better understanding of these markets through a local presence and on-the-scene reporting.
Just how fast incumbents enter the FTTH market will depend on decisions in Brussels, where, for now, the Commission is putting pressure on incumbents to make new fibre access networks available to alternative carriers. A surge in FTTH competition from companies such as Free could force incumbents to make concessions. How this bodes for fibre-optic technology and service vendors will be an important theme in Lightwave Europe.