MARCH 5, 2007 -- According to Dittberner's (search for Dittberner) recent "Broadband Shipment Analysis," FTTH shipments grew 41% quarter-over-quarter in 4Q06 and were up 58% in all of 2006 to a record 4.6 million optical network terminal (ONT) and optical line terminal (OLT) ports.
After flat growth in the second and third quarters, the jump in 4Q06 was due to the change in the mixture of detached homes and apartments in the dominant Japanese market, reveals the report. This changing mixture will cause some "lumpiness" in the FTTH shipments for the foreseeable future, say analysts, although the general trend is upwards.
The FTTH market is still dominated by domestic Japanese suppliers of GEPON equipment. Japan has 4.8 million FTTH subscribers, which is about four times more than the next largest market, the U.S. So even though the U.S.'s largest FTTH supplier, Tellabs, saw shipments grow by 27% in 2006, it kept pace with neither the Japanese nor the overall market.Â The top five suppliers actually increased their market share from 91.6% to 91.9% in 2006.
Dittberner predicts changes to this scenario in 2007. Korea has launched a large FTTH initiative, and Siemens' GEPON shipments in 4Q06 reflected the start of this build out. In 4Q06, Siemens shipped a large number of GPON OLTs, and Alcatel-Lucent announced a GPON initiative with France Telecom. In addition, Verizon will add 1 million FTTH subscribers in 2007, mostly with GPON, but this should boost Tellabs' shipments as well as those of Alcatel-Lucent, Verizon's chosen GPON supplier.
Dittberner believes that these new FTTH initiatives, coupled with the existing Japanese build out, will see the market grow to 6.8 million ports in 2007.Â The Japanese suppliers' market share will be reduced to 55% of the FTTH ports shipped in 2007, down from 82% in 2006. BPON shipments will decline sharply as a percentage of the overall market, while GPON will become significant and will continue to grow in the coming years as major service providers in Europe and North America launch more GPON FTTH initiatives. Siemens, (whose merger with Nokia is pending), Alcatel-Lucent, and Ericsson, (who recently acquired Entrisphere) are poised to be the biggest beneficiaries of this new growth in FTTH, says the report.
For more information about Dittberner's Broadband Study, visit www.dittberner.com.