A recent report from The Diffusion Group (TDG-Dallas, TX) predicts that the number of Asian FTTH users will grow eightfold in the next five years, from 5 million in 2005 to more than 40 million in 2010. The group says that by 2010, FTTH will account for more than 25% of all Asian residential broadband subscriptions.
According to the report, a number of factors have made FTTH a compelling proposition for Asian operators and governments. First is the demand for more powerful Internet connections among Asian consumers. The report contends that “Asians are the most bandwidth-hungry consumers in the world,” noting that the continent’s young urban professionals, in particular, have come to view residential fiber connectivity as a status symbol.
The second factor is urban population density; the report sees the most affluent and Internet-dependent Asians congregating in dense urban areas composed of apartments or other multidwelling units (MDUs). According to TDG, such user density makes FTTH deployment more economical and thus more attractive to operators.
Finally, and surprisingly, the report says a third factor driving the interest of Asian operators in FTTH is a lack of network “headroom.”
“This may sound crazy to European or North American operators offering 1 to 10 Mbits/sec,” offers Frank Marum, senior analyst with TDG and coauthor of the report. “However, many Asian operators are concerned that emerging usage models will require between 60 to 80 Mbits/sec of consistent throughput. When you start to pipe a wide variety of bandwidth-intensive, two-way services over a broadband connection, the headroom of a 30-Mbit/sec connection can vaporize quickly.”
For more about the report, “The FTTH Market in Asia: Analysis & Forecasts,” visit www.tdgresearch.com.