Telcos predicted to spend $53.5B on fiber roll-outs in 2017

Staff writer
telecomasia.net
Between 2012 and 2017, fixed operators in developed economies are predicted to spend $53.5 billion on fiber network roll-outs, according to new research report.
 
The report from Analysys Mason also said of the economic regions covered (Central and Eastern Europe, developed Asia–Pacific, North America and Western Europe), the most spending is expected to occur in Western Europe, where operators will invest $25.9 billion during the next five years.
 
The report predicted that the amount that operators spend, and the rate of progress in extending the availability of superfast and ultrafast broadband to end users will vary enormously, raising questions about appropriate and efficient use of capital. About 82% of the predicted expenditure ($43.9 billion) will be on fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) rather than very-high-bitrate digital subscriber lines (VDSL) – the other main FTTx roll-out solution.
 
However, those countries where the major operators are focusing on FTTC and VDSL will generally have much higher availability of next-generation broadband in five years’ time. The report highlights the dangers of a pure FTTH approach at a time when cable and 4G mobile operators are able to upgrade more quickly than telcos. New enhanced DSL technologies such as vectoring and bonding will make it easier for operators to keep pace with cable competitors and one step ahead of any challenge from mobile operators to their core broadband businesses.
 
“Given the as yet untapped potential of copper over short distances, we wonder whether it is really sensible at this stage to take fibre right to people’s homes,” said Rupert Wood, author of the report and lead analyst for Analysys Mason.
 
The report also shows that take-up of next-generation access (NGA) appears to be gaining some momentum in Europe, following a slow start.

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