OTT video demand drives Euro telcos to fibre | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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Western Europe’s broadband markets are approaching saturation on copper lines and operators are increasingly competing on speeds and strengthening the case to commit to fibre says a research note from Kagan, S&P Global Market Intelligence.

broadband 21Aug2018

Of the 16 major markets in Western Europe, only Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Portugal and Spain host broadband markets with fibre controlling more than a fifth of broadband homes. Sweden was considerably far ahead of other nations with 60.7% of its broadband market on fibre, while Spain was at 46.8%, Norway 42.3%, Portugal 38.6%, Finland 33.2% and Denmark 22.5%. With the exception side from France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, all other markets' fibre share of broadband homes lag significantly at 5% or lower.

The research warned that progress on fibre has been slow due to high rollout costs, the lack of effective regulation, lower broadband penetration rates relative to the current state of play and the arrival of DSL-boosting technologies such as very-high-bit-rate DSL and more recently, G.fast. While G.fast can plug the gap on current cable speeds with 350 Mbps offers, Kagan believes that this new edge will not hold for long given cable's rollout of gigabit-speed-enabling DOCSIS 3.1 technology.

That said the analyst accepted that the push for fibre still comes at a high cost, requiring a longer-term outlook on making a return on investment. Yet the shift to fibre was being made more attractive by the financial case for doing so with last-mile build costs now coming down to an average of €600 per premise.

Over-the-top video is a key use case for adopting fibre and Kagan predicts that OTT video usage will continue to grow, as its integration into multichannel, hybrid free-to-air and connected TV/smart TV platforms deepens. Kagan noted that most platforms in Western Europe now integrate OTT services, Netflix in particular.

Commenting on the findings Mohammed Hamza, senior analyst at Kagan, S&P Global Market Intelligence said: “After years of fibre inactivity across much of Western Europe, renewed efforts are emerging that will help plug the gap between the fibre haves and have-nots...The growing popularity of high-bandwidth services, namely over-the-top video streaming, 4K/Ultra HD video, video gaming and calling, augmented and virtual video as well as live sports will further pressure operators to act.”