Fiber is a Necessity for Telcos in Europe's Post-Recession Growth, Pyramid Research Finds

Sep 9, 2009

At the dawn of post-recession growth in Europe, it is time for large telcos to revise capex cuts and resume fiber rollout plans, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (, the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network (

Fiber Buildouts in Europe: A Competitive Necessity for Telcos examines the potential of fiber developments in Europe and the factors that increasingly push incumbents and other DSL operators toward fiber. It contains a detailed analysis of the competitive technology and fiber developments in selected countries: the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, and Spain. The 16-page report also provides Pyramid Research's five-year forecast on FTTH and FTTB in the four selected markets and in Europe overall. Download an excerpt of this report here:

In the past year, competition in the broadband and multiplay markets has become extremely tough as operators have had to fight for customers' shrinking budgets, notes Bakhyt Weeks, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. "Higher speeds and more extensive bundles were introduced, often for less money," Weeks says. Looking to 2010 and beyond, as customers begin to loosen their budget strings, they will want higher speeds and more services. "As European economies start to show progress, fiber could shield telcos from mounting competition and provide opportunity for further growth," she suggests. "Telcos are racing against cable companies -- and against time."

DSL has managed to gain the dominant position among broadband access technologies in some markets thanks to its historically vast network coverage; however, the pressure from other technologies is mounting. "In CEE, where DSL is growing simultaneously with other broadband technologies, the pressure is the strongest," comments Weeks. Incumbents are missing out on broadband coverage opportunities by focusing only on DSL-covered areas all across Europe. "DSL is struggling to compete with cable and particularly fiber in terms of capacity, which is becoming increasingly important especially in multiplay offerings while mobile broadband is also a threat in the up to 5Mbps speed range," Weeks explains.

"Fiber would shield telcos from mobile broadband, as its speed provides it with a strong competitive advantage even against LTE," concludes Weeks. Mobile broadband is positioned as a substitute to basic DSL, and telcos are being increasingly pushed to provide higher speeds to differentiate their offer. "As mobile broadband speeds are expected reach at least 100Mbps, DSL will continue to lose ground," she says, "the only efficient way forward is, again, fiber."

Fiber Buildouts in Europe: A Competitive Necessity for Telcos is part of Pyramid Research's Europe Telecom Insider report series. This report is priced at $595 and can be purchased online here: or by contacting Amalia Vega via email at

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About Pyramid Research

Pyramid Research ( offers practical solutions to the complex demands our clients face in the telecommunications, media, and technology industries. Our analysis is uniquely positioned at the intersection of emerging markets, emerging technologies, and emerging business models, powered by the bottom-up methodology of our market forecasts for over 100 countries -- a distinction that has remained unmatched for more than 25 years. As the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network, Pyramid Research works with Heavy Reading, providing the communications industry's most comprehensive market data, trusted research and insightful technology analysis.

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Founded in 2000, Light Reading ( is the leading online media, research, and focused event company serving the $3 trillion worldwide communications market. is the ultimate source for technology and financial analysis of the communications industry, leading the media sector in terms of traffic, content, and reputation. Light Reading's research arms, Heavy Reading and Pyramid Research, provide the most comprehensive communications research, market data, and technology analysis in close to 100 markets around the world. Light Reading produces nearly 20 targeted communications events including TelcoTV, Ethernet Expo New York and Ethernet Expo London, The Tower Summit @ CTIA, and Optical Expo, as well as focused one-day events tailored for cable, mobile, and wireline executives. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005 and operates as a unit of TechWeb.

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