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.
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.