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March 01, 2006

Dittberner Study Reports on DSL and FTTH Market Growth

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Senior Editor

During 2005, DSL port shipments enjoyed a healthy growth spurt, beating out Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) in all markets except Japan. That’s according to Dittberner’s latest Broadband Study.
Updated quarterly, the Study is an ongoing market research service that tracks the performance and potential of BBxDSL and BBFTTX vendors.
Dittberner reports that, during 2005, the number of FTTH ports shipped worldwide grew by 17 percent in the fourth quarter alone, reaching 2.5 million ports by year’s end.
Also during 2005, the worldwide market for DSL port shipments grew 30 percent, to 74.3 million.
Dittberner credits carrier network upgrades—for offering higher speed services like IPTV—with the strong DSL port market growth.
“The upgrade cycle is evident in the increasing percentage of port shipments that are ADSL2+,” Dittberner said in a press release. “ADSL2+ grew to 23% of port shipments in 4Q05, up from 21% in 3Q05.”
Market leaders for DSL were Alcatel (29.8 percent) Huawei (16.8 percent), Siemens (7.2 percent), Lucent (7.1 percent), ZTE (6.4 percent) and ECI (5.4 percent).
In the FTTH space, the following companies dominated: Mitsubishi (38 percent), Sumitomo (21 percent), Hitachi (13 percent), Tellabs (8 percent) and UTStarcom (7 percent).
Ditteberner notes that “Japan’s FTTH deployments surpassed DSL, the only market in the world in which this trend occurred. Japan added 2.2 Million FTTH subscribers in 2005, making up 80% of the entire FTTH market.”
Outside of Japan, the only supplier with significant sales “was Tellabs, the primary FTTH supplier to Verizon,” Dittberner said in a press release about the report. “GePON was the technology of choice, making up 66% of the ports shipped. The remainder of the ports shipped was almost all BPON technology.”
A likely reason for FTTH growth in Japan is that country’s governmental endorsement of the technology, Dittberner says: “FTTH penetration in Japan is now growing at a rate of 3 Million subscribers per year. It is the goal of the government to continue at this pace eventually reaching 30 Million homes.”
Meanwhile, in Europe, FTTH market activity seems to be picking up again after stalling for a year, Dittberner says.
“Amsterdam and Paris are launching FTTH projects aiming for citywide coverage in about 5 years,” Dittberner noted in a press release. “In North America, Verizon (News - Alert) continues its build-out, planning to add over 420,000 FTTH subscribers per year.”
Looking to the future, Dittberner predicts that the FTTH market “will double to over 4 Million ports next year with healthy growth in subsequent years. This is a wonderful long term market opportunity and another chance for those equipment suppliers who missed the DSL boom.”
The study concludes that “FTTH shipments are growing due to the competitive pressure on wireline telephone companies and increasing loss of revenue to Cable TV companies and other VOIP service providers. While the higher than DSL’s initial cost has been the only barrier to broader FTTH deployment, these too are rapidly declining.”
Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page.

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