The ability to use equipment from multiple suppliers for fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) networks is critical to driving innovation and reducing costs in network deployments, according to research released at Broadband World Forum.
Industry body the Broadband Forum commissioned Informa Telecoms & Media to survey 237 broadband industry stakeholders and found that over half of all respondents (54 per cent) rated equipment interoperability as one of the top three challenges facing super-fast broadband deployments. One in four operators rated equipment interoperability as the number one challenge.
“The industry should innovate in order to capitalise on, rather than resist, the transition to multivendor networks,” said Rob Gallagher, head of Broadband & TV Research for Informa. “Operators need to collaborate more to create scale for their requirements, while vendors should restructure their offerings to offset potential lost sales with revenues from new opportunities related to interoperability.”
Interoperability of gigabit passive optical network (G-PON) technologies will be particularly important. According to Informa, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) services overtook xDSL to become the fastest-growing segment of the fixed-broadband market last year, and will continue to grow rapidly, accounting for 328 million subscriptions, or 34 per cent of total fixed-broadband subscriptions, by the end of 2018.
In 2016, G-PON will become the dominant FTTP architecture, and will reach over 200 million subscriptions two years later to account for three out of five FTTP subscriptions worldwide, the analyst said.