(Apologies for non-French speakers but since this is an announcement for a French event in French, it didn’t seem to make much sense writing it in English.)
Le 24 Juin, le G9+, un Think Tank formé d’anciens élèves des Grandes Ecoles travaillant dans l’IT ou les Télécoms organise une table-ronde débat au titre provocateur:
J’y serais (a priori pas en tant qu’intervenant). Afin de mettre en avant certains des sujets qui y seront débattus, le G9+ m’a demandé de participer à une discussion vidéo avec Nicolas Martinez Dubost du G9+ et Régis Castagné d’Interoute France.Voici un court teaser de ce débat, qui est accessible en version longue sur le site du G9+ (il faut ouvrir un compte).
Next week is the 2013 annual conference of the FTTH Council Europe in London. It’s at the Excel on February 19-21st.
Diffraction Analysis will have a booth in the Bronze Booth Area. We hope to see you there!
If you’re interested in learning more about Diffraction Analysis’ reports, our strategy workshops and our consulting work, please walk past our booth and ask. I should be there most of the time, and if not just drop me an email at email@example.com and I’ll respond.
I will be visible twice during the event:
- I’m moderating Session 4 at 4.30 PM on the 20th. This session is about the film industry and how fiber broadband can change their approach to producing and marketing content. Should be unusual and interesting, I’m quite excited about it.
- I’m also presenting the results of our study on benefits of fiber broadband for real-estate players on the 21st at 9.15 AM as part of Session 8. It’s good stuff (if I say so myself) on a topic that’s been under-appreciated in the past, I think.
In addition to this, we will be announcing two new reports released next week:
- The first is the long awaited report on FTTH Services entitled Building a Successful NGA Service Portfolio. This report is the most in-depth analysis of portfolio construction and pricing approaches that I’ve ever seen, and I’m not just saying that because I’m writing it myself. It will answer important questions like how a portfolio should be structured, how to create a portfolio that generates take-up without sacrificing ARPU if you don’t want to, when to compete with OTT and when to partner, etc. It pulls from dozens of examples of portfolios and services all around the world. If you’re a service provider looking at NGA or in need of a fresh approach to your portfolio, this is the report for you.
- The second is a report that Diffraction Analysis is releasing in partnership with Seim & Partners, a leading German NGA Consultancy and it’s entitled Fiber Networks in Germany: Data, facts and analysis. Seim & Partner did a massive job at analyzing the German broadband market to identify the trends and opportunities for FTTx in that market. This report is much larger (but at the same price) as what we normally publish, and it’s indispensable if you’re a vendor looking at a good grasp on the German market (with lots of detailed information on the set-up, scope and technology choices of large and small players), if you’re a service provider looking at partnership opportunities in Germany to leverage your NGA offerings, or if you’re a utility considering FTTx, as Germany is one of the markets where the utilities have been the most active.
Finally, just for a bit of added fun, I’m setting up a competition during the event. Participants will enter to win a high quality large print of a fiber photo of their choice, shipped directly to their home, simply by visiting Diffraction Analysis on our booth in the Bronze Booth Area in the Analyst Corner. For those of you who can’t attend, I might do a little something on twitter too. Stay tuned!
I will be speaking next week on Thursday February 7th (14.00-18.00) at an event organised in Brussels by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) entitled Local and regional authorities: Key players for broadband rollout.
I will be highlighting the key findings about our recent study and white paper on Stokab, and detailing how we think the Stokab model could be replicated 20 years on and where.
The event will also feature notable Swedish speakers on topics like wholesale price regulation, and the economic benefits of municipal broadband deployments.
The event is free to attend provided you book with Jörgen Sandström of SKL at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be in Brussels from the 6th onwards with some spare time, so if you want to meet for a drink and talk shop, get in touch!
Freedom to Connect is a unique event in technology. The speakers there are just not the usual bunch of speakers, a mix of long-term visionaries and disruptive entrepreneurs. I felt a little pedestrian myself amongst that crowd, but I console myself by thinking that as exciting as vision and disruption are, occasionally you need down-to-earth pragmatism as well.
Anyway, my presentation (and all the other ones too) is on youtube. Mine talks about the emergence of superfast broadband around the world, the looming issue in broadband quality of experience, the essential failure of broadband policy and some recommended solutions.
(Caveat: I was jetlagged, and it took me a while to find my stride, so the end of the presentation is somewhat rushed, for which I apologise).
This morning I'm flying out to Shanghai for the FTTH Council Asia Pacific conference.
I will be speaking there, presenting preliminary results from a paper entitled "Measuring the Impact of 200µ fiber designs on FTTH deployment costs in China". If you recall, we had done a similar exercice in the context of a Western European P2P deployment last year (the results of which were presented in Milan last year). This time, we modelled a PON deployment in Beijing. Very interesting results (if I say so myself).
If you're interested in attending, my presentation is at 2 PM on Thursday 10th.
If you want to otherwise meet or chat, let me know. Just send me an email or look me up at the event itself!
The Diffraction Analysis Booth
It's been a little over a week since the 2012 edition of the FTTH Council Europe conference ended in Munich. It's been the most attended of the Council's conferences ever, and apparently has become the largest FTTH Conference worldwide with over 3300 delegates.
For Diffraction Analysis, business-wise this is a show that cannot be missed: most of our customers are present in one form or another and there are opportunities to pursue as well. This year, thanks to the support of my colleagues Costas, Guillaume and Herman I was able to attend more sessions and do more stuff "off-booth" than the previous years, so I got a better sense for the content of the conference presentations.
To be perfectly honest, it is a little puzzling to me that the conference keeps growing in size. For the most part, we see the same people there every year, and while I don't know the proportion of service provider representatives to vendor representatives, I suspect there's still more of the latter than there are of the former. That's definitely going to have to change if the show is to keep its growing momentum.
The content, in my opinion will also need to shift. I understand that vendors are sponsoring the event and want their spot in the limelight, but in all honesty, most of their presentations are little more than thinly disguised commercial pitches. It's a shame because many of these vendors have representatives in their midst that are capable and would probably be willing to contribute more meaningful content to the conversation(s).
Still, I shouldn't be too sweeping. I was chairing a session with vendors talking myself and learned a number of really fascinating things during these sessions, a sign that things are getting better (even if I think it's a little slow going…) And there were a lot of non-vendor sessions with much more interesting content.
Generally, the big topics that emerged at the conference were:
- public intervention: the role of local governments and public utilities in fiber deployment was particularly upfront this year. This is probably due to the conference being held in Germany where local utilities are more advanced on these topics. Michael Curri of SNG gave a very good presentation on how to measure the impact of broadband on businesses at a local level. I unfortunately missed the Ericsson presentation in that same session that apparently yielded very impressive numbers tying broadband and economic growth. Need to dig that one up.
- financing: there were a number of studies presented that examined financing models. I was a little dissapointed that there weren't more financial people speaking at the conference, but maybe that's because they tend to be not too talkative about these things in general. Still, I think this conference should be the hub for companies looking for funding to meet with funders looking for investment vessels…
There was another topic that was discussed but not very visible: FTTC. Ray LeMasitre of Lightreading wrote a much publicized piece during the show about this called Enough FTTH (Fiber to the Hype). Essentially, he says the Council shot stop criticising alternative technologies for broadband as they provide useful alternatives.
I agree with Ray to some extent, but the FTTH Council isn't just "an industry pressure group" as Ray puts it. It's a group formed exclusively of vendors, many of whom have no interest in copper technologies whatsoever. So what he calls a bias is, in my opinion, the council's DNA.
Furthermore, the wording that Ray uses in his piece is telling of what I think is a fundamental issue with the industry and the service provider worldview right now: "the FTTH Council Europe's representatives [...] feel the need to take a kick at one of the technical alternatives [FTTC]". I don't see FTTH and FTTC as alternatives. Just because a service provider deploys FTTC doesn't mean they can ditch their FTTH plans: they'll come in handy soon enough. These technologies are complimentary, no substitutable.
However, and on this I agree with Ray, the Council isn't really articulating that vision either. Or at least not much. There were some interesting mentions of FTTC, as in Frans Van Camp's presentation on the appetite of consumers for the solutions offered by the various technologies (cable, FTTC, FTTH) in the dutch market, based on quantitative data. In one of my sessions, a vendor also mentioned FTTC as a potential solution, but I don't think there was necessarily a vision there, it was more a way of saying (as I read it): "if you're not keen on FTTH, we can still accomodate you".
The next FTTH Council Conference will be held in London. That's an odd choice, but perhaps one that is aimed at resolving the above conundrum: the UK market, despite a number of vocal FTTH initiatives that still have limited scale to this day, is dominated by an incumbent that's very gung-ho on FTTC. Will we see a marriage of the two technologies consummated in London, I wonder?
I'm getty pretty excited at the approach of the Munich FTTH Council Conference on February 14-16th. The first reason is the keynote speech. To be honest, the keynote speakers in previous years (with the exception of Carlota Perez) had failed to get me entusiastic. For the most part, they were good and interesting speakers, but had little relevant to say to the topic of the conference.
Not so this year. The keynote speaker for 2012 is Peter Cochrane. Peter's a great speaker and a man of experience (he was the CTO of BT until the mid 90s), he's also very outspoken and gifted with a wry British humor that promises entertainment. More importantly though, he knows his stuff. As an independant strategy consultant, he has advised a number of telecom players on their FTTH strategies, including the Jersey Telecom project, one of the few incumbent fiber substitution plans in the world. You can read an interview with Peter over on the FTTH Council website.)
I have another reason to be impatient, however. We're currently in the middle of an ambitious study we're performing for the Council on the service strategies of FTTH operators in Europe. We are interviewing many of these to understand how they approach the services issues, how they arbitrate between attractiveness and revenue generation and how usage trends are differentiated between DSL and FTTH users.
The results will paint the picture of how service offerings can be optimised for FTTH operations, which services are truly differentiating and how a service provider can build an optimal portfolio to maximise success in FTTH. These results will be unveiled during the Munich conference.
We'll be talking more about this study and other interesting speakers at the conference as time draws closer to mid-February.