Now, Australia and Sweden could pull the industry into a new phase:
- The Australian G9 consortium has proposed to build a FTTN network with Telstra.
- Telenor is trying to convince Telia, as well as Tele2, to cooperate on a VDSL2 network.
Somehow, market participants and regulators must come to balance the interests of each:
- Incumbents may prefer to go it alone, in order to force altnets to 'follow or die'. Still, there may be budget restraints, especially when FTTN/VDSL networks are regarded intermediate stages toward FTTH.
- Altnets lack scale on an individual basis. Also, in most cases they are backed by competitors. The Swedish example could be a way out: work together on a country-by-country basis.
- As the G9 put it, only a single FTTN network is economically viable. As regulators and operators alike prefer facilities-based competition, the competitive element will have to move up and away from the physical (passive) layer.
Sweden and Australia may lead the way. The next step could be to separate the cooperatively built network. This way, a (natural) monopoly would arise and competition would be focused on delivering superior services.