Will Western Europe €30 bn investment help next-generation broadband?

Western Europe is planning to invest over €30 billion in the next three years for next-generation broadband, according to IHS.

The investment will be made by countries like Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain and includes investment both by government as well as private telcos. According to the study, the government and telecom operators will spend €200 per household on next-generation broadband rollout providing high speed broadband services to end consumer across the country.

The investment will be used for creating fiber network in the country, coupled with FTTC (fiber to the cabinet) and FTTH (fiber to the home) which will help in providing next-generation broadband services. Even investment will go for creating infrastructure for 4G LTE network in these countries. The combination of wireline and wireless infrastructure will definitely help next-generation broadband services to penetrate in the country.

In Germany, Deutsche Telekom is planning to spend €6 billion for next-generation broadband services. In 2012, Deutsche Telekom had announced to invest €30 billion in high speed broadband technology by 2015. A significant proportion of Deutsche Telekom’s investment is actually committed to the US for LTE build-out but €6 billion is still being devoted to next-generation broadband rollout in Germany.

Deutsche Telekom intends to ensure that 65 percent of homes are covered by its fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) network by 2016, with new ‘vectoring’ technology being deployed to raise transmission rates to 100 Mbps.

The French government is planning to invest €20 billion of public and private funds in next-generation fixed and mobile broadband. This investment is aimed at covering half of the population by 2017, with the remaining homes covered within a further five year period.

In 2013, the UK government committed to ensure that 95 percent of UK homes receive 24 Mbps speed by 2017. Coupled with BT’s investment in FTTC and FTTH broadband, UK is planning to cover nearly 20 million homes by the end of 2014. The country is planning to spend over €5 billion in upgrading the UK’s broadband infrastructure.

In Spain, Telefonica Spain, Vodafone and Orange are planning to invest over €1 billion in a joint fibre optic network covering 6 million homes by 2017. The three operators ahve have signed additional deals to share fibre infrastructure in buildings in Spain resulting to reduce capex as well as opex for next-generation broadband services.

Telecom Italia has a strategic plan to invest €1.8 billion to provide Ultrabroadband services. At the end of 2013, Telecom Italia ended speculation about its plans for next-gen broadband rollout by committing to significant investment in next-gen broadband – encompassing €1.8 billion in fixed access, and €0.9 billion in expanding its next-gen mobile network. The company aims to cover over half of the population with its ‘ultrabroadband’ by 2016.

All these investments will help Western Europe to catch up with Korea and Japan in terms of next-generation broadband services and consumer will be able to surf HDTV services on their broadband connections.

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