Asia-Pacific is home to 75% of the world's FTTH/B customers, with the region's subscriber base growing strongly last year, research shows.
The FTTH Council Asia Pacific has published research showing that the number of APAC FTTH/B subscribers grew 28% in 2011 to 58 million.
Total FTTH/B coverage grew nearly 73% over the same period – by the end of the year, more than 175 million of the region's homes have been passed by fiber.
The research, conducted by IDATE, identified around 90 fiber projects across the region. It shows that incumbent operators have typically taken the lead in fiber deployments, accounting for 67% of APAC homes passed by FTTH/B.
Japan is still the leading FTTH/B market in APAC – and the world – but FTTH Council Asia said the market has reached maturity. Japan also lags behind South Korea and Hong Kong by market penetration.
While China's penetration is currently only around 5%, deployments are growing rapidly, and the market is expected to soon overtake Japan as the world's largest.
Taiwan is another leading FTTH/B market, with penetration approaching 30%. Subscribers are also growing rapidly in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.
APAC is also home to ambitious state-led fiber projects in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.
While the research shows that that these projects accounted for less than 1% of total APAC homes passed by FTTH/B in 2011, the lofty subscriber goals could help APAC maintain its lead in fiber deployment.
Australia's NBN aims for 93% FTTH population coverage by 2021, Singapore's NG-NBN is targeting 95% coverage by mid-2012, and New Zealand's Ultrafast Fibre (UFB) project seeks to provide 75% population coverage by 2019.
In terms of technology choice, PON accounted for 92% of the region's FTTH/B rollouts at the end of 2011.
FTTH Council Asia said APAC operators are favoring FTTB over FTTH, because it allows them to avoid the issues attendant with deploying fiber on private premises. FTTB deployments accounted for 64% of rollouts as of the end of the year.