Why Do We Need to Build FTTH and 5G Networks Together?


FTTH deployments have been increasing worldwide. It has reached a saturation level in many countries, while some countries are making steady progress, others are starting with enthusiasm. At the same time, 5G is a sure thing to come. Both FTTH and 5G needs a lot of fibre on the field. It is wise to invest in both FTTH and 5G in order to save a lot of money. Adding spare capacity to FTTH deployments today significantly reduces 5G rollout costs tomorrow.

The FTTH Council revealed the results of its second study aimed at quantifying the potential cost savings which could be made by building converged 5G-fibre networks. It demonstrates that deploying FTTH today with sufficient spare capacity will result in significant savings tomorrow for the rollout of 5G networks.

• New study analyses the impact of Fibre/5G demand uncertainty in a phased rollout at the time of initial build

• It demonstrates the relationship between the percentage of spare capacity in the original FTTH deployment and future cost of 5G fibre rollout.

• Cost of FTT5G1 when built on top of an FTTH network with limited or no spare capacity is 2 to 3.5 times more expensive than with sufficient spare capacity

“Last year’s study clearly highlighted the benefits of convergence between FTTH and 5G networks in a greenfield2 scenario,” says Eric Festraets, President of the FTTH Council Europe. “Today, we go one step further and show that for a limited extra cost, building FTTH networks with sufficient spare capacity will considerably reduce the future costs of 5G deployments. This is a way to manage Fibre/5G demand uncertainty in a phased rollout and maximise the benefits of network convergence.”

ftthThe FTTH/5G convergence study released by the FTTH Council Europe in 2019 had revealed that an optimally converged network for FTTH and 5G could eliminate between 65% and 96% of the cost of a standalone fibre network for 5G.

The follow-up study released today at the FTTH Virtual Conference 2020 has been conducted by Comsof and the Deployment and Operations Committee of the FTTH Council Europe. It considers the situation of a phased rollout, starting with FTTH and finalised 5 years later with the connection of all 5G antennas to the fibre network.

Commenting on the results of the study, Vincent Garnier, Director General of the FTTH Council Europe said: “Adding the necessary spare capacity to 5G Wireless networkyour FTTH network at the initial build is a very limited extra cost (less than 1%). Not doing so, means that future fibre networks for 5G could cost 2 to 3,5 times more than if the original FTTH network had enough spare capacity. These findings are of critical importance for all operators, as we expect a surge in Fibre and 5G investments across Europe in the coming years.”

The FTTH Council Europe will soon organise a public webinar to provide more information on the methodology of the cost-modelling exercise and to detail the results of the study more in-depth.

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