Week In Research: New EU members raise total FTTX numbers; ICT transforming in South Africa

Europe broadband penetration increases: Slovenia and Slovakia are among new entrants to the European Union whose existing broadband penetration is making a marked difference in total Fiber to the X (FTTX) numbers across the continent. The FTTH Council says the total number of Fiber to the Home (FTTH) and Fiber to the Business (FTTB) subscribers climbed 22 percent in the last six months for a total of 4.5 million. Over 26 million homes in the EU are passed by FTTH/B connections. Sweden tops the number of subscribers per country, followed by France, Italy, Lithuania and Norway. Story.

ICT transforms: As South Africa continues its investment in ICT--like almost every other nation on the African continent--the nature of ICT itself is in a state of transformation that is blurring historical distinctions between technology, communications and broadcasting, says a new Research and Markets report. "The separation between fixed-line and mobile services is no longer clear, and voice and data communication are converging, along with video, towards triple-play services." News release.

Optical components get competitive: In-house network equipment manufacturers like Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Huawei will dominate the 40G and 100G optical transceiver market, says Infonetics Research. "Network equipment manufacturers ... are supplying an increasing share of 40G long reach ports and will ship most of the 100G ports through 2014, posing a competitive challenge to component suppliers in the market. The reality of this market requires that optical component vendors measure twice and cut once when making investments in this area or face a negative ROI," notes Andrew Schmitt, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for optical networking. News release.

Infonetics 40G/100G market

Retransmission wars may alienate consumers: The antics between broadcasters and cable operators--particularly the weeks-long epic battle between Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) for retransmission rights to Fox sports networks--may drive consumers to cut the cord and move to over-the-top video services like Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), a Strategy Analytics report says. Even though they can receive up to 120 channels through traditional cable service, many viewers ranked "free networks" including ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX among their "must-have" channels, rather than any of the pay-TV channels. News release.