50 meg target for 13M homes in Germany, expanding and 30 cities in Italy.
36% of German homes are now served by VDSL, Timotheus Höttges said in the financial call, nearly all of them in the 2/3rds of Germany served by cable. They intend to extend that across most of the footprint served by cable. They hope to bring vectoring out of the labs soon. Höttges promises to invest more, probably offering VDSL at 50 meg or more to most of the cable homes.
In Italy, Marco Patuano promises to roll “FTTC” to thirty cities within a year. As usual, he blames the regulator for the delay, which had far more to do with TI reducing capex to support the dividend.
Watch France. Although Xavier Niel inspired a national commitment to fiber, he’s now cut back any further extension. His Free Mobile is struggling with extraordinary growth that has produced service problems and there are rumors the install costs are going over budget. France Telecom never wanted to spend the money for fiber and is close to persuading ARCEP to let them use VDSL instead.
From the ever-invaluable Seeking Alpha, the transcripts
Lastly, let’s take a look at the ultrabroadband pipeline. As you know, our purchase is based on synergy between fixed and mobile. Let me update you on both. On the fixed side, in March, we’ve submitted our reference offer for the wholesale NGAN access service to AGCOM. Final approval is expected by September, October following public consultation which is also when we should launch the retail commercial offer.
Ono our way there, the target is to reach an FTTC coverage of about 30 main cities within the year while the FTTH we shall start with Milan and then play it according to market demand. In terms of mobile, ultra broadband development, we kicked off the trial phase for LTE, no frequencies are yet to be made fully available.
Paul Marsch - Berenberg Bank, Research Division
Two questions. I wonder if you could remind me, the 36% VDSL coverage that you've talked about, what would that be as a percentage of the installed cable customer base? I wonder if you know that statistic. And what scope do you have to drive VDSL speeds even higher? You're obviously investing in expanding VDSL coverage. Are you investing in driving VDSL speeds higher as well?
So a very quick answer on the VDSL question, the overlapping area with VDSL is 90% to 95% overlapping with the cable footprint. And Paul, if you have in mind, do we have a competitive answer in this area with VDSL? Yes, definitely. Our VDSL coverage is in these areas, and that is one of the reasons that we are increasing our VDSL coverage in Germany. Are we investing more in VDSL speeds? Definitely, yes. You know and we laid that out in one of the last presentations. We are following a hybrid approach. So you see that already in the presentation of today, but even in the last ones, that from DSL, we have improved to ADSL, into 16 megabit. From 2 megabit, we went to 6 megabit as our, let's say, normal proposition. From ADSL2+, we go to VDSL. And in our labs, we are working these days on Vectored DSL as one of the opportunities to further extend the speed on our copper lines. And on top of that, we are even improving some fiber to the home where it makes sense and where we have to build an entirely new network. And on top of that, and that is quite encouraging and we have to look into that one, we are working very intensely on partnerships. We have announced Kemut [ph] as one example where the fiber link and the fiber excess is built by a municipality or a local company. And we are the exclusive distributor on this infrastructure, so then we are not building but we are using high bandwidth. So in all this together, and in some areas, even LTE as an answer, we have now a hybrid approach with bandwidth to attack cable in Germany.