Telefonica (Vivo) the newly integrated fixed and mobile unit of Telefonica of Spain, has said it hopes to double the number of subscribers to its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband internet service to 230,000 by the end of 2013. According to its head of FTTH services Andre Krieger: ‘Last year we didn’t expand our coverage much, but in 2013 we are working to double our coverage, entering new cities. We are seeing a very good response from the market and the customer.’ The operator’s recent growth has however been sharp, with the FTTH base climbing from around 1,000 connections in 2011 to around 115,000 at the end of last year, the director told the TM Forum in Sao Paulo. However, Krieger pointed to a shortage in skilled professionals capable of handling the operator’s fibre-optic rollout programme in Brazil. To redress this shortfall, Vivo has set up a so-called ‘fiber university’ he said, to train people in the necessary practical and theoretical aspects of deploying and indeed, maintaining the technology. According to Krieger FTTH can be prone to technical disruptions and outages – something he says is responsible for up to 59% of subscriber cancellations. However, the director reiterated Vivo’s commitment to FTTH, noting that it is going that ‘last mile’ unlike many rivals which have opted instead for fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) or fibre-to-the-node (FTTN).
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