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  • Posted by Fran Cator
  • April 7, 2015 1:24 PM BST

Vietnam operators should look to renew their commitment to providing cost-effective Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) services for homes and businesses to take advantage of the huge growth potential that exists and ensure benefits of the technology are felt across the region, according to the president of FTTH Council Asia-Pacific.

Reacting to figures which show 98.8 percent of Vietnam homes do not have a fiber connection, according to a study by analyst-house Ovum, Dr. Bernard Lee said telcos need to continue to move away from targeting high-income earners and focus on providing cost-effective solutions tiered to individual and business needs. In addition to retail broadband services, they should also look at alternative business models such as providing backhaul bandwidth and connectivity to cellular operators, especially those venturing into LTE.

In order to show operators how to tap into the market, the council will host a special workshop in Vietnam later this month, featuring a prestigious line-up of speakers from the telecoms industry.

"Vietnam is a thriving economy with a growing thirst for instant news, videos and other services enabled by FTTH," said Dr. Lee. "In order to ensure continued success in today's digital society, operators need to ensure they are providing affordable, reliable and secure high-speed connections."

Ovum's report looks at the FTTH take-up across the whole of Asia, with South Korea at the top of the table with 64 percent of its residents connected via fiber. India has the lowest percentage of FTTH subscribers, with 0.4 percent. In Vietnam, DSL is currently the technology of choice, with 4,472,036 people connected in this way. A total of 280,127 subscribers use FTTH services.

The Vietnamese Government has set itself the target of achieving seven million broadband subscribers across Vietnam by the end of 2015 and wants this figure to rise to more than 19 million by 2020. Under the plan, titled ‘National Telecommunications in 2020', the Government sets out a clear direction to move towards fiber as the main source of deployment.

The council's Director General Hasan Munasir Choudhury said: "We absolutely support this directive and we hope our Vietnam workshop will be useful to both the Vietnamese Government and operators in meeting this target."

The FTTH Council Asia-Pacific Vietnam Workshop is being staged at the JW Marriott Hanoi hotel, in Hanoi, next Thursday, April 16. Topics covered will include smart sustainable cities, how to ensure successful and reliable FTTH deployments and challenges associated, MPO applications, innovative ducting solutions for FTTH Networks and the challenges for developing massive FTTH deployments.

Confirmed speakers include Pham Thi Thanh Mai, Deputy Director of the Telecommunications Department at Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, Shinsuke Niiyaya, Assistant General Manager at Global Marketing and Engineering Department, LNP and Anil Pande, Director New Business Africa Asia Pacific, Dura-Line. Attendees will also hear presentations from Tom Ronan, Product Marketing Manager Fiber Optics at JDSU, Shi Wen Jun, of ZTE Corporation, and Jonathan Setiawan, Optical Instruments Product Manager at Yokogawa Engineering Asia Pte Ltd.

Following this workshop, the FTTH Council Asia-Pacific will stage its Annual Conference and Exhibition in Jakarta, Indonesia, from Wednesday, May 20 to Thursday, May 21. The two-day event will feature speeches from industry experts and celebrate the Asia-Pacific region reaching 100 million FTTH connections in the same year as the council marks its tenth anniversary.