Report: NTT Plans FTTH Blowout

Unconfirmed report suggests a near $50B fiber network expansion by Japan's NTT in the coming five years

November 4, 2004

2 Min Read
Report: NTT Plans FTTH Blowout

NTT Group (NYSE: NTT) is planning to invest a whopping ¥5 trillion (US$47 billion) in extending its FTTH (fiber to the home) network to about half the Japanese population, according to an unconfirmed report in business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

The paper reported that NTT could announce the project as early as next week, when the carrier outlines its latest medium-term business plan. Officials at the operator have not confirmed the report.

The expansion would involve running fiber to 30 million houses and office buildings by 2010, according to the newspaper.

NTT is already investing heavily in FTTH. In its current financial year (ending March 2005) it plans to spend ¥280 billion ($2.56 billion) on fiber access buildout, and is aiming to have more than 5 million customers connected with fiber by the end of the following fiscal year in March 2006 (see NTT to Spend $2.6B on FTTP).

While the reported plan remains unconfirmed, many may doubt it will ever get announced or actually happen. But it's just possible that, given advances in FTTH technology and the increasing competitive pressures NTT is facing, such a project could be in the pipeline.

NTT is facing a major competitive threat from the rapidly expanding Softbank, which has been building its own base of more than 4 million broadband users and buying just about every other fixed-line operator going (see C&W Sells Japanese Unit and Softbank Buys Japan Telecom).

And maybe Japan's Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts, and Telecommunications was aware of the plan when it issued a report earlier this year predicting that the country's telecom market will triple in size by 2010 to be worth ¥87.6 trillion ($800 billion). It said that planned investments would trigger uptake of services, equipment, and devices, to create an increasingly networked society (see Japanese Market to Mushroom).

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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