FTTH in APAC: near critical mass of positive results

Daryl Inniss /Ovum
17 Jun 2010
00:00
OvumAs the Asia-Pacific region has the largest number of subscribers on a FTTH/B based network, and the conference host country leads the world in FTTH household penetration, the setting was perfect to review progress and highlight future directions.
Chul Jeung Hwang, the Director General of Korea Communications Commission cited the familiar adage “(FTTH) is a first pay, later return method,” in his opening keynote speech. But the telecom market has been anxiously awaiting “the return”. At this years annual meeting near critical mass of positive financial results were on display. Here are some examples:
NTT reported its FTTH ARPU increased 16% from 2006 to 2009
Broadband ARPUs were reported to be up 30% when compared to DSL. But interestingly FTTH users consume 5 to 10 times as much access capacity as does DSL users
NTT boasts increased revenue from IPTV viewers at the tune of $10 million (€8.1 million) per month
Profitability was cited for Hong Kong Broadband Networks and Lyse Tele in Norway based on their FTTx operations.
These advances come from cost reduction in fiber deployment, home installations, materials, and cost sharing with homes passed and subscribers. NTT reported reduction for a single house from $3400 in FY2004 to $1500 in FY2009. Similar cost reduction rates were cited for Verizon and tier 2 carriers in the North Americas.
While we note these positive indicators, we are still awaiting the tipping point which makes FTTH the compelling access technology.
South Korea and Japan have double digit household penetration rates and Ovum projects them to be close to saturation by 2013 thereby representing a unique situation as the first countries to reach this level.
Their focal point shifts to ensuring high connectivity and low, technology agnostic, access barriers to services. Kuei Tai Choi’s Korea U-City presentation illustrated the vision in South Korea and NTT in Japan is launching LTE and expanding its NGN network to support more users at higher bandwidths.

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