Next Generation of FTTH on Hold Due to Mobile Broadband Rollout

  • FTTH
  • VDSL2
CAMPBELL, CA — The transition to the next generation of fiber-to-the-home technologies is being slowed by the rollout of mobile broadband, according to a new study by market research firm Infonetics Research.

“It’s become a challenge for operators to know how much to eventually invest in fixed broadband networks and services,” notes Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research. “On one hand, fixed broadband is among the most profitable services a provider can offer. On the other hand, the investment required to roll out or upgrade mobile networks is eating into their available capital.”

Heynen adds: “What our latest broadband access survey reveals is that the transition to next-generation fixed access technologies (10G EPON, XGPON1, variants of WDM-PON) will take longer than many in the industry had hoped. The fundamental drivers are there, but they aren’t pressing enough to force a wholesale shift in deployment timelines, and they don’t outweigh the higher costs of next-generation equipment.

"While most of the operators we interviewed plan to wait until next-generation pricing achieves parity with current-generation technologies before investing heavily, their current thinking about vendors and what will drive them to invest eventually should prove interesting to any player in this space.”

  • About 40 percent of the operators Infonetics surveyed said they planned to offer 100+ Mbps connections by 2015, but there isn’t a corresponding interest now in investing in the next-generation technologies that enable those speeds.

  • More than three-quarters (78 percent) of survey respondents have already deployed 2.5G GPON, and the proportion will grow to 87 percent by 2013.

  • Around 40 percent of service providers interviewed plan to deploy VDSL2 system-level vectoring.

  • Alcatel-Lucent was named as the top FTTH vendor by 70 percent of the operator respondents. Service providers gave the highest marks to FTTH vendors Alcatel-Lucent and Calix for technology innovation, product reliability and management software.

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