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Spain Set for FTTH Surge

Ray Le Maistre
5/22/2009

Almost half of Spain's 14 million households could have fiber-to-the-home connections by 2023, according to a market growth projection made by the country's telecom regulator, Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones (CMT).

The regulator, as part of a feasibility study on next-generation networks, gave what it called a "conservative" estimate that between 43 percent and 46 percent of Spanish households in 2023 -- around 8.5 million to 8.6 million households by that time -- would have fiber-access broadband, most likely from a GPON-based access network.

Those connections would be provided by national operator Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), plus alternative operators, such as Orange Spain and Jazztel plc , that would be using the incumbent's fiber ducts and trenches.

Telefónica is still in the early stage of fiber-access deployments, with fewer than 100,000 lines of fiber-to-the-home or fiber-to-the-building rolled out.

The regulator also estimates that Spain will have about 3 million IPTV subscribers by 2023, with Telefónica commanding 70 percent of that market, or 2.1 million subscribers. At those levels, IPTV would represent about 36 percent of Spain's digital pay TV market, the regulator predicts.

The Spanish giant recently reported it had 605,000 IPTV customers at the end of March.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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