FTTH market small, but growth is accelerating
FTTx deployments still reach a fairly small percentage of people worldwide, but are accelerating.
Information from a pair of new reports demonstrate that FTTx is growing most rapidly in Asia, but is expected to accelerate in the U.S. as Verizon begins to switch from BPON to GPON technology.
FTTH has passed 11.7 million homes in the U.S. as of the end of March, 10 million of which are considered marketable, according to the Fiber to the Home Council . Eight million of the 11.7 million total are offered TV service.
There are 2.9 million homes in the U.S. connecting to FTTH. Of those, 1.6 million get FTTH TV (report here ).
Of the 2.9 million homes that are connected via fiber, 770,000 were added in just the last six months.
Overall take rates average 28.8 percent. The FTTH Council calculates the take rate among non-RBOCs (essentially Tier 3 companies) is 51.9 percent (some are automatically at 100 percent). That suggests Verizon’s take rate is much lower, though still respectable. In terms of simple numbers, Verizon nonetheless has the vast majority of FTTH subscribers.
Tier 3 providers in the U.S. were the main proponents of FTTH until recently joined by Verizon ; among them, 5.8 percent of all homes in their areas are connected by FTTH. AT&T and Qwest are relying instead on FTTx variants that stop well short of the home; together with other Tier 2 carriers, just 0.6 percent of all connected homes in their areas are connected by FTTH.
That means geographical coverage of FTTH in the U.S. as a whole is highly uneven, the FTTH Council pointed out. Again, the FTTH Council measures only FTTH; it does not track FTTx in its stats.
On the data side, there are now 17,000 FTTH homes that could get 100 Mbps service.
The FTTH Council’s report was compiled by RVH Market Research & Consulting .
Globally, meanwhile, FTTx deployments grew by 1.6 million subscribers, or 11 percent, in 4Q07, up from the immediately prior quarter, according to Ovum .
Asia-Pacific continues to dominate FTTx deployments with 84 percent of all global installations. North America had 14 percent of all global deployments with Verizon leading the way, with it shifting new deployments from BPON to the four times higher speed GPON equipment. Europe has most of the balance.
Ovum said that despite several GPON announcements in the past year, shipments have been very low. Now that Verizon has begun installing, the momentum around GPON is expected to grow through 2008.
More Broadband Direct:
• Broadband Briefs for 4/09/08