Telecommunications Magazine reports that Fiber to the Home (FTTH) costs are expected to drop, which could be good news for Latvenergo Telecommunications, the telco unit of the Latvian state-owned monopoly power utility. A Latvenergo Telecommunications executive recently told me that the top priority for the unit was developing FTTH for new housing projects and major renovations (where powerlines are re-laid). So far, only around 300 housing units have had FTTH installed in the Riga area (this figure could be imprecise).
Latvenergo Telecoms approach is in contrast to what Peteris Šmidre, the CEO of the cable TV, telephony and ISP group Baltcom recently said at a press breakfast. Baltcom, too, is interested in getting its triple-play offering into new housing areas, but rather than laying its optical fiber when the first bulldozers arrive, it prefers to wait until there are actually housing units finished and occupied before moving in. That means Baltcom will initially use a wireless solution with a fast point-to-point link to the new project and local distributing by cable or other means.
A year ago Baltcom was telling how it had implemented a complete telecoms, TV and building-security/smart building platform at a prestige new apartment project, Duntes ozoli, in a Riga suburb. However, a year later, the luxury high rise looks 95 % finished, but also unoccupied (this blogger used to drive past the place until October as it was on one of the routes to my summer house). The situation is no fault of Baltkom's, their solution seems quite fine. And I could be wrong -- the place may be full of folks who don't have curtains, plants and other signs of life and whose lights are turned off during the day thanks to a smart building system.