The number of homes passed by a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connection in Africa has soared during the past year, exceeding 1 million during 2016, and is set to ramp further and break the 2 million barrier during 2017, according to a new industry report.
The African FTTH Boom - Last Mile Fibre Dynamics, Economics and Outlook in African Markets, a new report from Xalam Analytics, notes that while the majority (about 85%) of homes passed by fiber are in just five markets (South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and Mauritius), the ongoing FTTH boom is about more than just that small set. "FTTH/P roll-outs have been initiated in at least 15 markets outside of the top five… from Cameroon to Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville, at various levels of scale," notes the report's author, Xalam's Principal Guy Zibi.
According to Zibi, there are a number of factors driving the growth of FTTH in Africa, including demand from urban professionals who want an ultra-broadband experience at home, increasing capacity supply and declining international capacity prices, and improving regulatory conditions in some markets (though this is also a major hindrance in others). And those factors will help push the number of homes passed, and the number of revenue-generating FTTH connections, higher in the coming years.
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.
5G promises connectivity 10 to 100 times faster than 4G networks, with latencies less than 1msec, making real-time applications such as tactile Internet useable over mobile networks for the first time. However, mobile operators will need to deploy ten times as many radio sites, each with highly reliable plug-and-go multi-gigabit connections, to achieve that level of performance.
In this UBB2020 webinar, Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown and ADTRAN's Ryan McCowan will:
Discuss 5G densification strategies and their network impact
Outline the different requirements for backhaul and fronthaul needed to support 5G densification strategies
Explore next-generation PON-fixed access technologies and software defined networking principles as emerging solutions to accelerate 5G densification
Outline how NG-PON2, the next-generation multi-gigabit fiber technology, supports the x-haul (fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul applications) requirements of 5G
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.