PON deployments drove up broadband access market to $11.5B in 2014, says Dell'Oro

The ongoing deployment of PON, particularly GPON, for fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) services has helped drive up the total broadband access market segment to $11.5 billion in 2014, according to a new Dell'Oro Group report.

China may have traditionally been the dominant country in terms of expanding the availability of PON-based, but Alam Tamboli, senior analyst at Dell'Oro Group, said that they have more recently "begun to see strong growth in the EMEA and North American regions."

Although North American service providers like AT&T (NYSE: T), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) and a host of smaller telcos and cable operators are rolling out PON-based FTTP networks, Tamboli said that they still are much smaller in scale than what's seen in China.  

"In North America, we have started to see a pickup in PON spending as many service providers have begun to offer Gigabit networks," Tamboli said. "These deployments remain relatively small compared to China for now, however."

Besides the regional trend, service providers are now shifting their spending patterns from buying optical line terminals (OLTs) that reside in the central office (CO) to optical network terminals (ONTs), which sit at or on a customer premises.

"While service providers in China continue to invest heavily in their broadband access networks, we have observed an interesting relative shift in spending from optical line terminals (OLTs, the equipment that sits in central offices) to optical network terminals (ONTs, the equipment that often sits at or near customer premises)," Tamboli said. "We believe this signifies a transition from the PON infrastructure build-out stage, to achieving return on investment, as more customers make use of the high-capacity services that the fiber allows."

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