Global FttH (Fibre to the Home) port shipments in Q1 2007 declined 5% quarter on quarter after a big jump in Q4 2006, according to Dittberner’s Broadband Shipment Analysis. At 1.1 million ports, it was the second best quarter ever and up 13% YoY. The decline, after the jump in Q4 2006, was due to the change in the mixture of detached homes and apartments in the dominant Japanese market. It is expected that this changing mixture will continue to cause some lumpiness in the FttH shipments for the foreseeable future, although the general trend remains upwards.
The FttH market is still dominated by Japan, which is itself increasingly dominated by NTT. With 4.5 million FttH subscribers, NTT has about five times the subscribers of Verizon, the next largest FTTH service provider, and approximately ten times its nearest domestic competitor.
The top four suppliers were Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Hitachi and Tellabs with 33%, 21%, 14% and 11% market shares respectively. Siemens moved into the fifth place spot with a 9% market share due to its success in the Korean market. FttH was launched in Korea in the first quarter and Dittberner estimates a million ports should be shipped into the market in 2007.
With Japan growing at a rate of three million subscribers a year, and Verizon and Korea likely to add one million and 800,000 subscribers respectively in 2007, the research firm estimates the FttH market will be 6.8 million FttH ports. Feeling threatened by FTTH, cable operators are expected to quickly introduce DOCSIS 3.0, which will cause telephone companies to start deploying fibre even faster.