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Fibre consolidation is inevitable in Europe, Capacity Europe panel says

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Panellists at Capacity Europe’s ‘Is the development of the European fibre market being curtailed?’ fireside chat agreed that fibre consolidation is inevitable as costs increase.

The fireside chat was led by Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, attorney-at-law at Partner Eversheds Sutherland Finland and featured Regina Donato Dahlstrom, CEO of Sweden and Finland for Carrier Global Connect, Warren Roll, managing director for DigitalBridge Investment Management and Przemyslaw Gagala, international sales director at Hawe Telecom.

Roll says that demand for fibre is increasing and most of that is coming from the cloud and 5G, and this is something the wider company had in mind when it acquired Zayo.

“The first round of fibre was built in the late 1990s and it turns out that all fibre isn’t created equally and much of what was installed needed to be replaced,” he said.

“Fast forward 20 years and there is tremendous demand for fibre.”

This is especially true for the Nordics, which is “in the lead” according to Dahlstrom. Dahlstrom believes that countries such as Sweden, Finland and Denmark were well prepared for the rise in demand and used their initial base as a platform to cope with the “explosion of data”.

“And yes, there’s an evergrowing demand. We don’t have the fastest route but we’re building the longest one.”

Gagala added to the discussion by commenting on optical fibre and noting that it is a rare technology that doesn’t have an obvious successor.

“For every technology that we use, we can think about another solution that will replace it in our lifetime, but this is not the case with optical fibre,” he said.

“When financial investors build something in 2022, they want to satisfy demand that exists in 30 years from now.”