During the period we have to deal with the demand for capacity in networks. Finding bottle-necks in design and waiting for something new to come on the market. But most of all is driving in two directions: one is all wireless (I appreciate efforts for all IP infrastructure, no matter how it comes, so I support it as well) and another direction is all optic.
First one is easier to implement and the second one is always needed and desired. It is a hell-off a battle for an operator, what to choose, short-time solution or long time solution. But greed for bandwidth is increasingly evolving, we must agree.
We have shared applications, but not even close to sharing video content on longer distances. Evolving of optical media, like multicore fibers (more on), can lead to significantly increase shared capacity on longer links, making even possible grouping of operators and making bigger players on the field.
So, the future is when?