As operators become more and more active in deploying fibre networks we are seeing exceptional growth in some key Eastern European markets, such as Russia, Poland and the Ukraine.
As Europe hit a record 10 million FTTH/B subscribers in the summer of 2011 of which Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan counted for 5.6 million subscribers between them, it’s clear that, for the most part, Eastern European countries are leading the way forward for super-fast fibre optic broadband.
Recent statistics also show that Lithuania leads Europe in terms of penetration of FTTH, measured as a percentage of population. Highlighting the growth in Eastern Europe even more, the two most recent entrants in the world FTTH ranking are Hungary and Ukraine. Furthermore, of the top 20 on the present ranking, 11 are Eastern European countries.
Figures, prepared for the Broadband Forum by broadband industry analysts Point Topic, go on to detail the strongest ever quarter of growth in IPTV, today’s most demanding application for super-fast broadband. IPTV’s best quarter ever saw net additions of 3.68 million to finish the year strong with more than 58.2 million IPTV subscribers worldwide. Yet again, it’s Eastern Europe that continues to lead the way with Russia outperforming all other countries in both broadband and IPTV figures in 2011 as they report over 36% growth in broadband and a doubling of their IPTV subscribers from 495,500 to 1,145,000 in just one year.
However, as Eastern Europe’s booming broadband and IPTV market establishes the region as one of the most active in the field, telecoms operators are asking themselves the critical question – how do I get the network build right first time?
It’s clear that there are a number of key questions that operators are still struggling to answer, including:
– How do I justify the business case for fibre networks and successfully finance the roll-out?
– How do I build the best fibre network with such a tight budget?
– How do I successfully handle the scale and complexity of deploying a fibre network?
In order to remain some of the most active in the field and to further propel Eastern Europe forwards in world broadband rankings, it’s critical that operators get to grips with the above issues or risk stagnating and falling behind their Western counterparts.
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Telecoms IQ’s FTTx Summit Eastern Europe takes place in Budapest from 18th-21st September 2012. For more information, visit www.fttxeasterneurope.com.