From a technical standpoint, with the possible exception of Stockholm, Milan probably is the FTTH capital of Europe. It certainly will be on Feb. 8-10th since on these days the FTTH Council Europe Annual Conference will be held. This conference is the most attended and largest FTTH event in the world. Last year in Lisbon over 2500 people from all corners of the industry attended. Everyone who is anyone in FTTH in Europe and beyond attends.
I will be there, and the whole of the Diffraction Analysis team will be there too. If you have any questions about our offering, please come and visit us in the analyst corner. The more commercial aspects of this (including a discount code if you're interested in attending) are discussed on the Diffraction Analysis Blog if you're interested. Also, we'll be hosting a "sweets from Europe" session at our mini-booth at 17.45 on the 9th if you're after a nibble and a chat to go with your drinks from the official cocktail!
Meanwhile, here's a number of reasons why you should come (beyond meeting with me and the rest of the team):
- Carlota Perez will be the opening keynote speaker: In previous years I've been somewhat underwhelmed by the keynote speakers: they tended to be high entertainment value but somewhat low on relevant content. Not so with Carlota Perez, I suspect. I've already seen her present her in-depth analysis on industrial revolutions, infrastructure investment and the role of public money. It's seriously backed heady stuff and may not be easy to grasp, but it's vital in understanding the current revolution that FTTH is a (small but crucial) part of. (Feb. 9th, 10:10-11:10)
- The question of Financing finally gets attention: This is a crucial question and yet few if any conferences in the past have devoted much attention to it. There's a whole workshop devoted to it on the 8th (Free if you attend the conference) and a session on the 9th with two infrastructure investors (the European Investment Bank and Rabo Bouwfonds) and one recipient of such investment (Reggefiber) on stage. (Feb. 9th, 11:45-13:00)
- The impact of fiber innovation on business models: this is an indirect plug since the session will be presented by the CEO of my shareholder Tactis and I was involved with the project. Essentially it's about analysing the financial benefits (or lack thereof) in using latest generation fiber designs in access networks in a number of deployment scenarios. (Feb 9th, 14:30-15:45)
- FTTH and next-generation services: this is a session I will chair on the 10th (unfortunately at the same time as the session on the Italian Initiatives, I'll have to send a spy…) What I tried to do was get together either service providers (Link Care Services in Healthcare, Dalkia in Smart Metering), service enablers (Manodo/Clayster) or service-rich network operators (Altibox) to explore the opportunities, business models and service strategies around FTTH. (Feb. 10th, 9:30-10h45)
- EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes will close the conference: Mrs. Kroes has been instrumental in putting FTTH at the center of the digital agenda and is therefore a fitting speaker to close this conference. She's also a very good speaker, prone to think outside the box which should make this a good speech. (Feb. 10th, 14:15-15:45)
There are many other good speakers to check out – I'm really interested in finding more about the Clearing House concept that Birger Hauge will be presenting in the Business Case session (Feb. 10th, 11:30-12:45) – and generally find the program more digestible and focused than last year (too many speakers can harm a conference!)
I will be landing on the morning of Feb. 8th and leaving on the evening of Feb. 11th which should leave plenty of time to meet people, so if you're going and you want to chat please let me know!