A couple of weeks ago, Ericsson released a report about the future of mobile and fixed market. You can check an article about this here.
Ericsson business is mainly focused on mobile access, although they also have a FTTH solution so I expect some bias from the source. Anyway, I do not see this a problem but really a lot of business oportunities for FTTH.
Another important fact to take into account is that many fixed operators are trying to offer mobile services, and also mobile services operators are offering now fixed broadband connections. We have examples of the first group here (Yoigo trying to find aliances with cable operators in the north of Spain) and the most relevant example of mobile operators offering broadband services is Vodafone. They started offering a bundle of mobile and fixed access on ADSL.
If we mix everything together, I predict that in the short term:
- integration of services in the same access infrastructure
- upgrade of existing mobile trunk networks to cope with higher traffic demands
A good way to solve this would be to use a FTTH infrastructure to deliver all the services. At home, people could have a ONT with pfempto-cell capabilities (3G), in home, enjoy with high speed broadband access (802.11n was just standardized this week) and outdoors, use the FTTH network as the transport network for remote base stations.
This would lead to an scenario where just a single network would integrate all the services, reducing OPEX and being able to offer more competitive broadband products.
My final point is that wireless technologies and FTTH are not competing but complementary solutions.
Fibre provides the capacity and wireless the mobility so mixing them together in a novel way (not just connecting the RBS to a fiber link) very powerful solutions can be developed… not just in research.