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Europe Dubbed Fiber-to-the-Home 'Hotspot'

Photonics.com
Feb 2006
OYSTER BAY, N.Y., Feb. 6, 2006 -- Announcements that Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Paris, France plan to deploy pilot fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks were followed by a similar declaration last week by France Telecom. Deutsche Telekom said last year it is making FTTH plans, and several initiatives are under consideration in Spain.
"FTTH has been seen as a big draw in North America and Japan," said Michael Arden, principal analyst of broadband and multimedia research at ABI Research, a New York-based market research firm. "Now, with the Europeans talking about connecting hundreds of thousands -- perhaps millions -- of homes, Europe is becoming a hotspot."
Arden said Europe has experienced widespread growth of IPTV (Internet protocol television) and "telco TV" growth: "It is taking off there far faster than in North America, and it is offering more sophisticated services than in Asia," he said.
He said a number of large equipment makers have recently "thrown their hats in the FTTH ring."
For example, he said, "Siemens brought out a PON (passive optical network) solution during 2005, because it was getting involved with IPTV and wanted to be able to address it from end to end. Nortel, Fujitsu and Siemens are examples of large vendors who recognize that they have to provide more than just one piece of equipment; they must have an overall package."
ABI said all participants in the FTTH are potentially threatened by further technical improvements in DSL, which currently dominates in Europe; the company said smaller operators and smaller vendors have typically set the pace in fiber network deployment.
But now that Verizon, NTT, France Telecom and other large telcos around the world are getting involved, their existing equipment suppliers -- including the big vendors named above -- will in the longer term have the better market position," ABI said.
For more information, visit: www.abiresearch.com


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