Fiber-based broadband to make up 19% of global wireline broadband by end of 2013, says ABI

Fiber-based broadband, whether delivered over an all Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) or hybrid copper/fiber Fiber to the Node (FTTN) network, is set to rise to 19 percent of global wireline broadband by the end of this year, says a new ABI Research report.

Jake Saunders, VP and practice director for ABI Research, said "there is a marked shift in consumer adoption from DSL to fiber-optic as operators continue to extend the reach of their fiber-optic infrastructure."

Growth of fiber-based broadband, notes the research firm, is happening in both developed and emerging markets. China, for example, has forecast that DSL broadband adoption will decline as the country's two main telcos, China Telecom and China Unicom, deploy FTTP networks.

During the first quarter, total DSL subscriptions declined by 3 million, while fiber-based subscriptions rose from 32.9 million to 37.6 million. Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst for ABI, expects "globally 25.6 million fiber-optic broadband subscribers will be added to eclipse 124 million subscribers in YE-2013."

In areas where service providers can't make a business case to deploy FTTP, a growing number of service providers including AT&T (NYSE: T), Deutsche Telekom (DTE.DE), Telecom Italia and BT (NYSE: BT) are testing vectoring VDSL2, which can theoretically deliver up to 100 Mbps over the existing copper network.

One of the most highly anticipated deployments of VDSL2 and vectoring will take place at Deutsche Telekom, which announced earlier this month that it would spend €6 billion ($7.9 billion) to build out a FTTC network to expand download speeds on its copper lines from 50 to 100 Mbps.

Meanwhile, the advent of promises to deliver up to 1 Gbps over existing copper over very short distances. Earlier this year, Telekom Austria's A1 subsidiary conducted a field trial of technology with their DSLAM vendor Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).

For more:
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Special Report: The 10 hottest wireline technologies in 2013

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