FTTH Conference: 20% growth in fibre subs

At the FTTH Conference 2018, the latest figures of the FTTH Market Panorama prepared by IDATE for the FTTH Council Europe were released. The number of fibre to the home (FTTH) and fibre to the building (FTTB) subscribers in Europe increased by 20.4 per cent since September 2016 with more than 51.6 million FTTH/B subscribers in September 2017 for EU39. The take-up rate also soared to 34.8 per cent for EU39 from 29.9 per cent the previous year.

The significant increase in new subscribers from September 2016 to September 2017 was in Russia, which added 1,826,000 new FTTH/B subscribers. Spain also experienced a considerable growth with 1,612,371 new FTTH/B subscribers along with France which added 1,067,780 new subscribers.

The number of homes passed (homes connected with FTTH/B) in EU39 increased dramatically to reach more than 148 million representing a growth of 16 per cent compared to September 2016. To be noted also that take-up in EU28 reached 32.4 per cent.

The new market panorama shows that in the European region, private players (former incumbents and alternative operators) are deploying more FTTx networks (56 per cent of the total players) in comparison to other players such as public operators and power utilities. Another notable trend is the evolution of fibre technologies over the last year, which revealed a predominance of the FTTH architecture over FTTB (55 per cent vs 45 per cent by September 2017).
Also of interest is that more alternative operators are deploying FTTH/B, with a contribution of about 54 per cent of the total FTTH/B players.

Finally, a differentiation appears between the “total of homes passed” which are counted once, independently from the number of operators which cover them, and the “total of sockets deployed”, reflecting the total effort made by players to deploy their own fibre networks. The Market Panorama indicates that with more numerous players investing in their own infrastructure in the recent years, it is becoming more common that two or more players reach the same specific household. France and Spain are leaders in this field.

Commenting on the data, Ronan Kelly, President of the FTTH Council said: “the findings of the Market Panorama are quite telling, we are now all looking towards the same goal of a fibre rich Gigabit society. We obviously commend the front-runners for their impressive and continuous progress towards FTTH/B but we are also very encouraged by the new trend of operators in countries which do not typically demonstrate a strong appetite for fibre, starting to get involved more intensively in FTTH/B projects. The structure of the market is also changing with the apparition of new types of stakeholders with innovative business models fostering infrastructure competition and making new investments.”

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