Ovum: DSL's heart still beats loudly

Fiber to the Home (FTTH) may be the last mile network's ultimate endgame, but with the likes of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) demonstrating 300 Mbps and, more recently, Huawei's 700 Mbps DSL feat illustrates that DSL's days are far from numbered.

Echoing a similar sentiment put forth by Analysys Mason, Ovum Research argues that DSL will continue to grow in conjunction with ongoing new Fiber to the X (FTTX) deployments.

Although DSL port shipments will decline from 82 million in 2009, in 2015 the research firm forecasts that 63 million DSL ports will continue to be shipped globally. Ovum's Q2 2010 broadband access market share spreadsheet illustrated that quarterly global DSL revenues will be $848 million-a number that does not include DSL CPE-slightly above the FTTB/FTTH segment revenues of $796 million.

Even though it's true that DSL subscriber growth has declined in various regions, and DSL subscribers are migrating to FTTH/FTTB, there are a good number of service providers such as AT&T, BT and Qwest that are deploying hybrid fiber/copper last mile deployments with VDSL2.

"Ovum believes the DSL equipment market will not wither away anytime soon," said Kamalini Ganguly, analyst, Ovum. "While it is certainly true that DSL subscriber growth is slowing in many countries and that DSL subscribers, in places such as Japan and Korea, are being replaced by FTTH/FTTB subscribers, DSL equipment will still be used in many hybrid fiber-copper architectures."

Ovum, however, stops short of suggesting that FTTH isn't going to grow. While DSL will continue to be the near-term broadband strategy by many service providers that have not been able to prove out the economics for FTTH yet, Ovum forecasts that by 2015 FTTH/FTTB subscribers will surpass both cable and DSL, while FTTH revenues will surpass DSL by 2012.

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Analysys Mason: Copper, not FTTH, is the best near-term broadband strategy
Huawei achieves 700 Mbps DSL feat
Alcatel-Lucent squeezes 300 Mbps out of existing copper
Ericsson tests vectorized VDSL2