Open Fiber, the Italian wholesale FTTH access network operator set up by power utility Enel, has closed the acquisition of Metroweb for €714 million (US$749 million).
The deal was first agreed in July and the details finalized in October. The new combined company is jointly owned by Enel and Italian state funding company CDP Equity SpA. (See Eurobites: Italy's Enel in $2.8B FTTH Plan.)
National operator Telecom Italia had also been interested in acquiring Metroweb, which is building fiber access networks in Milan, Genoa, Bologna and Turin, to further its own FTTH ambitions, but Open Fiber won the duel to close the deal.
The acquisition is part of Open Fiber's plans to build an extensive wholesale FTTH network across more than 200 cities that can be used by multiple retail broadband service providers to reach more than 9.5 million homes. The initial Open Fiber rollout targets Bari, Cagliari, Catania, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Perugia and Venice.
The cost of taking a FTTH connection to all of Europe's homes could be as low as €137 billion or as high as €360 billion, if you give any credence to studies from two of the region's broadband lobby groups.
Global communications service providers continue to evolve their networks to deliver the user-driven service models and higher bandwidths demanded by consumers. At the same time, 5G densification initiatives are top of mind around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of 5G small cells needing an open, programmable and highly scalable access technology to fuel the growing demand for connectivity. As a result, 5G densification projects will demand fixed-access networks, supporting fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul applications that provide:
Service agility by applying modern data center principles aligned with DevOps service creation and deployment
Hardware and facilities redundancy offering unprecedented business continuity
Low latency supporting the rigid specifications of the 5G standard
Network elasticity to support service growth to not just multi-gigabit, but multi-10Gbit/s levels
Cost sensitivity supporting mass market services further enabled by Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS)
With the current maturation of 10G broadband technologies, and the heightened demand for high-speed fixed and mobile connectivity, 2017 is promising to be the year mass-market, multi-gigabit 10Gbit/s fiber services become commercially viable.
NG-PON2 broadband access technology is already in trials with multiple major network operators but is it too early for the commercial deployment of this next generation ultra-broadband technology? In this UBB2020 live radio show, ADTRAN's Kurt Raaflaub provides an update on NG-PON2 developments and chats to Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre about how this technology could play a role in production access networks in 2017.