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Research: FTTH finding home in developed countries

By Donna Donnowitz
May 10, 2012
While there have been some promising FTTH deployments taking shape in developing nations around the world, it appears that most of the FTTH revenue raked in by network solutions providers will continue to come from more established economies. This news comes from the latest market forecast supplied by researchers from Analysys Mason, suggesting that FTTH will consistently triumph over alternatives like VDSL in the coming years.

According to Broadcast Engineering, which obtained an advanced copy of the Analysys Mason projections, $44 billion worth of investment will be allocated toward FTTH projects in developed economies between now and 2017. What's more, this substantial spending will represent more than 80 percent of all anticipated fiber rollouts in that time.

Western Europe looks ready to lead the charge in this arena, according to Analysys Mason's projections, accounting for nearly $26 billion in FTTH investment during the next five years. Next-generation access seems to be gaining momentum on the whole across the continent, with a number of European telcos suggesting that they may soon see adoption rates of 25 percent or greater in the covered areas.

Analysys Mason did provide a few caveats to temper this optimism, however. There is a lingering suspicion among telcos that all-out investment in FTTH could put them in an adverse position, allowing cable, TV and 4G mobile network operators to undercut them with a faster rate of innovation.

"Given the as yet untapped potential of copper over short distances, we wonder whether it is really sensible at this stage to take fiber right to people's homes," Analysys Mason lead analyst Rupert Wood told Broadcast Engineering.

Nevertheless, some point solutions like vectoring and bonding have shown early promise for telcos trying to upgrade networks at a comparable pace to their cable competitors. FTTH also seems to have acquired some friends in high places as of late and has garnered a series of important public sector endorsements.

In Canada, for example, the nation's burgeoning FTTH market has been fueled in large part by an ambitious government stimulus package triggered at the depth of economic recession in 2009. According to CircleID columnist Henry Lancaster, the initiative was particularly helpful in getting broadband coverage for rural areas, with the government shouldering up to 50 percent of the costs incurred by telcos. An emerging focus on health IT initiatives and smart grid innovations are also expected to keep the momentum rolling.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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