Infonetics: GPON sales forecast up in Europe, down in India and Middle East

Market research firm Infonetics Research predicts that while GPON deployments should ramp nicely over the next several years in Europe, roll outs in India and the Middle East are already approaching maturity. Infonetics’ conclusions appear in its annual GPON Equipment in Key Markets vendor market share and forecast report, which focuses on India, the Middle East, Western Europe, and Eastern and Central Europe.

“Sales of 2.5 GPON equipment will pick up in Western Europe, where major incumbents, led by France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, are pursuing targeted GPON FTTH rollouts, as well as in Central and Eastern Europe, where major operators in Russia (Beeline, Northwest Telecom, Sibirtelecom, Comstar, and NGTS), are beginning the transition from FTTB to GPON-based FTTH technologies this year,” notes Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access at Infonetics Research.

For these reasons, Heynen expects revenue from 2.5G GPON equipment to grow at a 16% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2010 to 2015 in Western Europe, and at a 13% CAGR in Central and Eastern Europe.

Heynen is less bullish on GPON in India and the Middle East, however. "In India and the Middle East, GPON sales are actually expected to decline by 2015 because major operators there (namely BSNL in India and Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates) already took huge OLT and ONT shipments in 2009 and 2010 for large-scale GPON FTTH rollouts,” he explains. “Both operators expect to achieve their “homes passed” goals this year. Future rollouts will be far more limited in these regions as the focus shifts to subscriber acquisition.”

While carriers are only beginning to connect customers to their GPON networks, Infonetics forecasts subscribers to premium broadband services via 2.5G GPON technology will rise rapidly, totaling 8.5 million by 2015 in India, the Middle East, and Europe.

The report tracks 2.5 GPON and 10G GPON optical line terminals (OLTs) and optical network terminals (ONTs) used in fiber-to-the-business (FTTB)/multi-dwelling units (MxU) and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) applications, including ONT gateways. While each of the key regions tracked in the report has its own 2.5 GPON revenue market share leader, only Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent have a strong showing across multiple regions, Infonetics reports.

As far as next-generation GPON technology is concerned, 10G GPON and asymmetrical 10G GPON (XG-PON1) will see only minimal trial deployment in late 2011 and early 2012 in Western Europe, and even later in the other regions, Infonetics predicts. This forecasts mirrors a separate report the market research firm issued this week which indicated that next-gen PON prices must drop before carriers will launch significant deployments (see “Infonetics: Next-gen FTTH costs must drop before carriers will deploy”).

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