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Undoubtedly 2019 has become a pivotal year for broadband networks across Europe. Huge fiber rollouts have already taken place this year, and more will follow in 2020, as the network infrastructure needed for higher broadband speeds and increased network capacity. As we move toward connectivity for a gigabit society, government directives, grants and subsidies are encouraging full fiber infrastructure rollouts.
A high-performance fixed network is essential to connect the large number of small cells that will be necessary for the 5G wireless network. The fiber infrastructure behind 5G and popular concepts like IoT is perhaps less visible and well-known than the innovation it supports. However, today’s fiber infrastructure has contributed greatly to the European communications industry and will continue to do so, transforming Europe’s connectivity.
By investing in smart innovation, European governments are shaping the global competitiveness of their societies and economies in a digitally managed world. Fiber infrastructure is therefore the foundation for innovation in key areas like IoT, mobile computing and 5G.
FTTH deployments continue across Europe
Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments have continued apace throughout 2019. The optical fiber FTTH delivers is seen as vital to the provision of high-speed internet rollouts. FTTH has become a growth engine for Europe and markets around the world, encouraged by directives, grants and subsidies. Germany is scheduled to begin its FTTH buildout in 2020, France is half way through its fiber expansion, and Spain has finished most of its projects in major cities. The UK too is expected to see an upsurge in fiber expansion in 2019. We are seeing much more controlled growth of fiber, as government subsidies are helping to drive high-ramp growth spurts.
Investment in fiber initiatives
There is a plethora of state sponsored initiatives currently ongoing across Europe to aid a clearer understanding of the value of fiber infrastructures. During the FTTH 2019 conference in Amsterdam, we also heard from private investors who are creating new strategies for Gigabit Germany in rural areas.
Earlier this year the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) wanted to gain more insight into how telecom companies and investors determine where they roll out fibre optics and the problems they encounter. It therefore launched an exploratory study into the rollout of fibre optics.
Italy, too, is preparing a voucher scheme to boost take-up of high-speed fiber services. The plan would allocate EUR 3,000 to Italian SMEs, EUR 5,000 to schools & unspecified resources to families who migrate to a high-speed broadband connection.
And in May 2018, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, set a target to see full-fiber connections being available to 15 million premises - the majority of UK homes and businesses - by 2025.
As governments around the world invigorate broadband with investment in digital infrastructure, the number of 5G connections is expected to exceed one billion by 2025. The next few years are therefore critical to building networks that will meet the demand.
Extending fiber deeper into cable networks
Cable networks continue to evolve as network operators enhance video and broadband experience in consumers’ homes. Modern Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) networks are capable of multi-gigabit broadband services today with emerging technologies providing an evolution path towards 10G (10 Gigabit per second) capability. This allows cable operators to continue to upgrade the capabilities of their coax cable plant by pushing fiber deeper into the network while deploying full fiber to the premise for network expansion. You can listen to our HFC experts during ANGA Com, 4-6 June.
Showcasing the future of networks
Whether it’s delivering gigabit speeds or converged services, the need for fiber is evident. Let’s continue the conversation in Cologne during ANGA Com. I’ll be touching upon how the migration to fiber will enable new business opportunities during a panel at 2:30 PM on 6 June. Join the panel discussion in room 2!
Check out this video for a glimpse into some of the key technologies we’ll be showcasing in Hall 7, booth E20.
ARRIS and Ruckus Networks have joined forces with CommScope and continue to collaborate with the world’s leading service and content providers to help transform the way millions of people around the world connect to the Internet and watch TV. Visit the booth next door in C21 to further explore our portfolio of products, solutions and services.