There is some eye opening data from FTTH ground zero – Japan. A public NTT (NTT) presentation indicates they are turning on new FTTH (GE-PON to be precise) subscribers at a higher rate than DSL.
NTT is accomplishing this with pricing of 4000 yen a month, or about $40. This is comparable to Verizon (VZ) FiOS pricing though the pipe is much faster, theoretically 100M.
One of the biggest concerns people have with the Verizon FiOS service is whether customers will migrate to FTTH for speed alone. It would appear in Japan, that even with a 2x premium, this is taking place.
Even more amazing is this growth has taken place in the absence of the much hyped and vaunted and highlighted and overused term (cue music) TRIPLE PLAY. NTT is currently ramping up a program to provide IP Telephony service (at a lower fee than PSTN) and is in trials with a Video service using a secondary downstream wavelength to carry RF Video. This is the same way Verizon is providing video with Fios TV.
This is the first we have heard of using GE-PON to provide Video. I don’t know if this is supported by the IEEE GE-PON spec, or if this is NTT going proprietary. We already know that NTT has extensive custom features in their GE_PON implementation so a little more won’t matter. This is fantastic news for triplexer component vendors who were relying on Verizon for all of their business.
Finally, NTT is going on the record as shooting for 30MM FTTH subscribers by 2010. They only have 10MM DSL subscribers today (Softbank/Yahoo BB has around 5MM). Another 4MM or so are on cable modems. Japan managed to convince everyone to install ISDN domestically so we have no doubt they can do the same for FTTH.