Both smart phones and tablet devices depend on wire line backhaul, much of which is copper. As copper goes away, xDSL goes away, but this is certainly not happening within the forecast period. The development and growth of the broadband digital subscriber line (DSL) and communications processing markets is assured as carriers seek to leverage their investment in copper wire infrastructure. DSL is the way to do that with its support for high speed communications and video signal transport.
Vendors consider companies that have access to broadband or communications processing technology as potential competitors. Established competitors, suppliers of products based on new or emerging technologies, and customers who choose to develop their own technology.
Deutsche Telekom, British Telecom, AT&T, Bell Canada, Century/Qwest and many other carriers have made clear they will use DSL, not fiber, for the majority of lines because it's cheaper. Increasingly, that's DSL from a neighborhood DSLAM (FTTN) with short loops that will soon be capable of 100 megabits through bonding and vectoring.
Even the DSL customers have a hybrid fiber / copper connection; it is just the last mile that is copper, hence requiring DSL.The communications consumer end points worldwide are moving to 100% wireless smart phones that can connect to the Internet. The communications infrastructure worldwide will remain wire based to connect the central office to the base stations, and to provide Internet / IP based connectivity to the home. The wire based communications infrastructure worldwide is all moving to fiber so as to handle the increased demand for bandwidth. The copper is not efficient for the cable companies because of the demand for bandwidth to the home that the cable companies are providing. The copper is not efficient in the wireless backbone connectivity of the central office to the wireless base stations, and hence there is a priority on replacing the copper that is there first. The copper from the curb or from the neighborhood to toe home is efficient; therefore the need for DSL persists.