Thursday, June 18, 2009

Growth despite recession proves people need benefits of broadband

SINGAPORE: Broadband has become a necessity for people around the planet –despite the economic downturn. That’s the message delivered in Singapore today by Broadband Forum Chief Operating Officer Robin Mersh.

Mersh was giving a keynote address at the giant CommunicAsia conference and exhibition in Singapore, where more than 2,000 exhibitors were gathered to discuss and debate the latest issues surrounding telecom and broadcast technology.

“Broadband is no longer a luxury in the home –- it is a necessity -– and we are seeing that despite everything going on in their lives, people are depending on their broadband,” he said.

“This is an extremely positive sign for the industry, although we must not be complacent and the next quarter’s market penetration figures will give us further evidence, or otherwise, of the rise of the broadband phenomenon.”

Mersh backed his view by highlighting the latest statistics for broadband and IPTV which were published earlier in the week. He pointed out that 20 countries had grown their broadband by 10 percent or more, with India and China particularly showing potential. IPTV’s growth to 24 million lines was also helping broadband reach the next level.

He explained that while new technologies were coming onstream to support broadband, DSL remained stable and ADSL2+ had in fact seen the highest technology increase of all the access options.

Broadband lines in the world are now approaching 430 million. India experienced the biggest growth percentage at 13.4, while China added 4.8 million lines, to top more than 88 million lines.

Mersh told the audience of top ranking telecommunications figures from across Asia that for fast broadband rollout and effective network management, operators needed three things -– a single architecture across all transport options, a single WAN management protocol and common Quality of Experience (QoE) measurement specifications.

“The consumer doesn’t care how the service is delivered –- they just want to know it’s dependable and that they can buy their service with confidence,” said Mersh.

He explained that the Forum, which has around 200 of the world’s top operators and equipment and chipset vendors among its membership, focused its work on three main areas.

The first was the network, which included core, access aggregation and last mile options. The second was management specifications, which focussed on operational excellence, and the final area was remote management of the user, which spanned from digital homes, offices and cell towers.

He also called for standards bodies to follow their initiative in co-operating among themselves and highlighted the work the Forum recently completed in cooperation with 3GPP and the Femto Forum, which resulted in the first industry standard for Femto Access Point management.

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