Inspired--or alarmed--by the rate at which telecom operators in many global markets are deploying fiber-to-the-home networks, an increasing number of cable operators are doing the same, according to a recent study from ABI Research. Selected operators in specific markets are starting to build fiber extensions to their core networks, allowing them to offer more interactive services and get around the limits of coaxial networks.
"On-demand environments for cable TV networks are not particularly robust compared to what the telecom operators can roll out," says Michael Arden, principal broadband analyst at ABI Research. "Looking to the future, some cable companies see fiber as a means to offer advanced video services that they are hard-pressed to provide today."
Cable operators in the U.S. and parts of Canada, Western Europe, Japan and a few other regions have core networks that are fiber-rich already. Extending the network to the home is a logical progression, adds Arden, but one that makes the best economic sense in new developments under construction where they would be constructing a coaxial network anyway, rather than in trying to retrofit older neighborhoods.
It is also, by and large, smaller operators, with fewer homes to reach, that are choosing this path. Recent examples include City Cable Shunan, a Japanese cable TV operator in the Yamaguchi prefecture that is building its "FTTU" (fiber to the user) network using Alcatel equipment; Cable One, the tenth largest cable operator in the United States, that is deploying fiber in Albuquerque, New Mexico using Wave7 products; and Cable Bahamas.
ABI Research's study, "The Worldwide FTTH Market, and IPTV: How IP Video Will Drive BPON, EPON, GPON and Active Ethernet Deployments" (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/market_research/FTTX) analyzes the trends driving deployment of passive and active Ethernet in the last mile. Of paramount importance to the business model for deploying bandwidth-intensive FTTH technology is the provisioning of IPTV services. ABI Research's analysis probes the link between video and FTTH deployments, the growth in FTTH subscribers, cost analysis of deploying FTTH, the impact of carrier-grade Ethernet technology on FTTH, and the market value of FTTH equipment sales.
This study forms part of three ABI Research Services: IP Networking: www.abiresearch.com/products/service/IP_Networking_Research_Service
, Home Networking: www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Home_Networking_Research_Service
and Digital Media Distribution and Management: http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Digital_Media_Research_Service
(Due to certain characters contained in this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field).