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European FTTH connections grow as citynets thrive
|16 мая 2008|
20 million European homes will have a fibre connection by 2015 and citynets will be instrumental in driving this growth, according to French cable manufacturer Nexans.
The comments came at a press event held by the company in Stockholm recently, where Stokab, a citynet owned by the City of Stockholm, is connecting buildings at a rapid rate.
Sweden is Europe's leading FTTH market, with around 650,000 of Europe's 1.3 million FTTH-connected households as of mid-2007. Italy accounted for the bulk of the remainder with well over half a million, while no other country had broken the 100,000 barrier.
According to IDATE, "there are going to be 20 million homes connected by 2015," said Veronique Stappers, corporate manager, telecom infrastructures, at Nexans. We reached roughly the same figure, she added. "This forecast is pretty robust."
By that date FTTH and VDSL will account for 27% of Western Europe's broadband base, split 2:1 in favour of FTTH, said Stappers.
At present, many of Europe's largest telecoms network operators are dragging their heels on fibre rollout, for the most part concerned about how they will be able to generate a return on the required investment.
This provides a strong opportunity for citynets and utility companies to play a part.
In Sweden the market is more balanced. TeliaSonera has invested in fibre and owns 50% of the country's dark fibre infrastructure through its recently separated out Telia Skanova Access business. The other 50% is in the hands of citynets, according to Christer Larsson, sales manager FTTx in Sweden for Nexans.
"The citynets are taking a leading role... it's not the ILEC Telia, although they are there as well," he said.
Since 1994, Stokab has laid 1 million fibre kilometres in its Stockholm networks, having deployed 4,500km of fibre-optic cable, each with around 200 fibres, explained Stokab representative Ake Sundin.
The network, which cost €200 million, is close to 80% completion in central Stockholm, Sundin said. "The target is to be present in all [apartment] blocks," he added.
"We think that we are opening [up] the value system," said Sundin, noting that the Stokab model makes it possible for new players to come to market with very little initial investment, as the fibre-optic cable has already been installed by one company.
And it is not just alternative operators – such as Telenor, TDC and Tele2, which "are all customers in Stokab's dark fibre network," said Larsson – and potential newcomers that can benefit from the system.
Stokab also sells dark fibre to TeliaSonera.
"Telia is a customer to most of [Stokab's networks]," said Larsson.
Indeed, there are two players with their own cable, "but they are not using them any longer," as they are too expensive to maintain, Sundin added.
And expansion is on the cards.
In April the mayor of Stockholm tasked Stokab with connecting a further 300,000 households by 2012, a project that would result in 90% of households having a fibre connection.
"The investment is €200 per flat," said Larsson, explaining that this is a long-term investment that will not pay back immediately. "The city has guaranteed a loan," to cover the initial outlay, he added.
Of course, installing the fibre in a building does not guarantee the residents will choose to connect services, but Stokab is optimistic on its chances of success.
"We can't force them, [but] we think the market will drive this," said Sundin.
Источник: Total Telecom