APAC Fiber Deployment Surge Tempered by LTE Adoption

  • Pyramid Research
LONDON — Asia Pacific is by far the largest region for the adoption of fiber to the home and fiber to the building (FTTH/B) services driven by government involvement in the deployment of fiber optic networks. The region now comprising 68 percent of the world’s FTTH/B lines in 2014, according to a new report from Pyramid Research, which provides analysis of the global communications industry. The report, "FTTH/B Deployments in Asia Pacific: Keys to Enhancing Service Availability, Proposition and Uptake," shows that most of the fiber subscriptions are concentrated in developed Asia. In Hong Kong, Japan and Korea FTTH/B accounts for more than 60 percent of broadband subscriptions.

Fiber Deployments Surging Across Region
FTTH/B network deployments are mushrooming across the APAC region; Singapore and Taiwan are nearing completion of nationwide fiber networks, while network deployment is underway in Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam. China alone plans to have 200 million fibre-passed homes by the end of 2015. “The majority of Internet accounts in Asia will be fibre-optic within the next five years, largely due to government involvement and regulation reducing financial risks for service providers," said Malcolm Rogers, analyst at Pyramid Research. "This will encourage the spread of high speed broadband networks and a competitive marketplace in Asia Pacific.”

Introduction of (LTE) Networks has Slowed Fiber Adoption
Increasing availability of LTE (long term evolution) networks has adversely impacted demand and investment in FTTH/B networks in the region in recent years. Operators in Japan and South Korea had to respond with aggressive price declines of as much as 30 percent and fixed-mobile bundles when their fiber net additions declined significantly upon the introduction of LTE services. In China, the 2015 target for homes passed was revised down by 50 million, and China Telecom rolled out a promotional offering of a free one-year fiber access service for customers who sign up for a two-year contract for LTE subscription to entice customers onto the fibre network. “While LTE can effectively compete with fiber broadband for connectivity services in certain segments such as youth and low-income customers, there are significant opportunities for fiber elsewhere such as payTV services, enterprise/cloud applications and wireless backhaul,” says Rogers.

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