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4 January 2008


Fiber-to-the-Home to further expand reach in Asia-Pacific

Broadband access in the Asia-Pacific region has experienced significant growth in the past decade, as operators have upgraded their networks in anticipation of future demand for high-bandwidth services. However, different markets within the region are currently in very different stages of broadband growth, according to the new study ‘Fiber Optic Services for Residences in APAC Markets’ from ABI Research.

“While broadband adoption is increasing within APAC, growth is not homogeneous across all countries in the region,” says research analyst Serene Fong. “For instance, Hong Kong is one of the early adopters of FTTH [fiber-to-the-home] and has the largest FTTH household penetration, currently 21%. On the other hand, countries such as China and India are still struggling to encourage greater broadband usage.” For now, most FTTH activity is still in the more developed countries within the region: Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

Generally speaking, broadband penetration in the APAC region is still relatively low compared to the rest of the world. “Demand is largely determined by CPE [customer premise equipment] and infrastructure costs,” Fong believes. “Consumers are also looking out for sufficiently rich multimedia content to justify their subscriptions. But the irony is that carriers are also waiting to ride on economies of scale in order to offer more attractive and affordable packages.”

Fiber installation is a major investment that requires a very strong business case and definite objectives to be justifiable. “Uses of the Internet are multiplying at a rapid pace, including many bandwidth-hungry services,” says Fong. “There are compelling trends leading us to believe that IPTV and related content applications will drive demand for FTTH.”

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