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Telecoms facing difficult FTTP climate

By Donna Donnawitz
July 11, 2012
Fiber to the premises, which encompasses fiber to the home or building, is becoming more difficult for many telecom companies to deploy because pricing issues are making legacy technologies more attractive to a significant number of consumers, a recent ABI Research study found.

According to ABI Research, FTTP is still a popular and technically-superior technology, with optical bandwidth capabilities often 10-times greater than those of advanced DSL networks. However, the primary demand for FTTH infrastructure is to support video streaming and similar solutions in the home. State-of-the-art DSL systems can meet this need and do so at a price point that is more feasible for consumers dealing with challenging economic times.

Furthermore, the study found that upgrading infrastructure to support advanced DSL functionality is often much less expensive than it is to support FTTP, making the technology an attractive option for telecoms who can monetize the network much more easily. Adarsh Krishnan, senior analyst of TV and video at ABI Research, explained that many advanced economies, particularly in Western Europe, are dealing with economic uncertainties that are making it more difficult for telecoms to make major investments in FTTP infrastructure.

Sam Rosen, practice director of TV and video at ABI Research, said that the economic circumstances limiting end-user adoption are creating an environment in which government support is critical to support large-scale FTTP projects.

"Strong government initiatives to develop fiber infrastructure have in most cases been a necessary prerequisite to fund FTTH or FTTB deployments. These incentives have been strongest in Western Europe and Asia-Pacific," said Rosen.

The study found that FTTH and FTTB revenues climbed to $29.6 billion in 2011, but the current market climate indicates that many telecoms may soon invest in more advanced DSL services.

According to ABI Research, the current big trend in telecom service provisions is to deliver triple-play bundles that feature television, phone and internet in a single bundle. Advanced DSL solutions can handle most triple-play solution requirements, making the technology a prominent option in many instances.

While state-of-the-art DSL systems may be popular as a short-term solution to deal with pricing issues during uncertain economic times, most experts agree that the future of networks is optical. While consumer bandwidth demands have not yet risen to the point that fiber-optic cabling systems are necessary, they are climbing toward the point that fiber will be critical to support bandwidth and performance requirements, especially in light of increased mobile use in corporate and consumer settings.

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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