The FTTH Update & IPTV Numbers

Mark Sue, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets has put together a great overview of the state of the fiber to the home market, and has thrown in a nice update on the IPTV deployments as well. In his estimate, there are about 6 million fiber-connected homes worldwide, up 140% from last year, and a majority are in Japan. James Enck, who is in town for VoN explained that is because NTT has adopted a scorch earth philosophy and is using fiber to snuff out pesky upstarts like Softbank.
Most of the other deployments, however are in the early stages. In China, China Telecom and China Netcom are conducting FTTH trials while in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Broadband, a company I have written about in the past is passing through nearly 1/3 of total homes with fiber. Only telcos in the Scandinavian countries, as well as the Netherlands and Magnet Networks in Ireland are building-out large FTTH networks. Instead, we are seeing a lot more action from the municipalities which are sinking fiber in the ground.

Back in North America, things are only getting started. Verizon is building-out an all fiber network. AT&T will use a combination of FTTN for overbuilds and FTTP for new builds, while BellSouth is building-out an FTTC network. Bell Canada is deploying a FTTN network and supplementing it with VDSL and ADSL2+ over the last 3,000 feet. Still, like Europe, North American action is around smaller telecoms, and munis, which are being aggressive in rolling out Fiber networks.
Since I have written about Asian IPTV numbers before, I am not going to go over that. Sue has sent me an update on the European IPTV deployments – which stand at about one million, and will grow to 4 million by 2008. Believe it or not, this damn IPTV thing is going to take a lot longer than people realize.

France Telecom has over 210,000 subscribers and Neuf has over 100,000 subscribers. In Italy, FastWeb currently has the largest subscriber base in Europe with ~350,000 subscribers.
In Germany, DT is looking to have preliminary IPTV services up and running for the World Cup. In the UK, Video Networks already provides IPTV services to ~20,000 subscribers, while BT’s video launch will be available in the fall 2006.
Elsewhere in Europe, Telefonica Spain is offering its Imagenio TV service and has about 220,000 subscribers according to our estimates. Austria Telekom just launched IPTV services in and around the Vienna area, while Swisscom’s Bluewin offering was delayed until summer 2006. Belgacom offers IPTV services to ~25,000 subscribers.