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***Broadband World Forum Seoul 2004
Broadband World Forum has become one of the best venues to see the union of suppliers and operators in the telephone industry broadband market place. Given the low role that cable plays in the international market this hardly plays here. Asia is the hot bed of the broadband activity and this is the value of this location for the conference. The down side is that there are few from the US market in attendance.
This event made a transition from the impact of mature broadband markets, Korea and Japan, to an infant market, India. Yet, to use stereotype glasses in seeking to understand these markets would be flawed. This reflects the complexity of broadband both as a technology, its impact on society and the degree of localism which shapes where and how it is deployed and employed. What is striking is that there is such a uniform thrust to deploy broadband across many countries. Much has been written about the impacts of broadband and it seems to be rivaling transportation and communications in emerging countries. Without both of these, developing countries find it very difficult to advance. It seems now like a digital infrastructure is becoming a third element and thus a triad of foundation infrastructure must haves: transportation, communications and digital infrastructure.
Yuji Inoue, SVP, NTT, and responsible for research stated in his keynote that NTT in is developing RENA (REsonat communications Network Architecture) will carry the responsibility for security for consumer devices attached to its network. Citing the time and lack of consumer awareness on updating the OS for security patches Inoue-san stated that NTT would protect consumers. It is NTT’s view that consumers just cannot handle the complexity and time demands of keeping their computers secure. It was interesting that on his home computers some of the issues are sufficiently uncertain or complex that he asks his staff for help. However, as Inoue-san stated, consumers do not have access to such talents.
Inoue-san claimed that there would be 5m FTTH subscribers by March 2006. Yet, even Inoue-san stated this was aggressive and described this could slip to the fall of 2006. The price for 100Mb/s service was stated to be $30 - $40/month. A chip called the RENA chip is being developed for the home equipment market. This supports: QoS, Firewall, Routing, VoIP, Packet Filtering, and Switching.
Cisco SVP and GM Routing Technology Group, Prem Jain, took an aggressive view of the home market. He described how single connectivity would enable: communications services, information services, automation and control services and entertainment services. No specific reference was made to Linksys in the talk.
What is the Economic Value of a Digital Infrastructure?
Since 1995 Korea has made leadership in digital IT technologies a national effort. The efforts in broadband, a fiber infrastructure in Korea and broadband usage are direct results from this effort. At a national level one has to ask the question – what are the tangible benefits? In his remarks, Chang-Kon Kim, Vice Minister, Ministry of Information and Communications, Republic of Korea stated that the result includes the following:
These seem high but if this is the case there has been a significant benefit to Korea’s thrust. Chang Kim also stated that the success it has had is causing the IT strategy to be rethought. New factors are:
Summing up, the government of Korea wants it to become an IT powerhouse
on a global scale.
Korean Telephone – Seeking to Overcome the Impacts of a Mature Broadband Market
KT touts that the household penetration is greater than 70% but this has market impacts. It has begun to see the effects of a slowing market. As a result of a recent trip to KT we summarized the issues as follows:
Jong-Lok Yoon, EVP, described how the Octave Project will address this. The name Octave is important – to double ARPU. They predict that ARPU will rise from $30 per home today to $60/month by 2007 and double again by 2010. In the process KT will be seen as a solution provider not a telecommunications company. The key to this transition is that KT will introduce tiered pricing. One theme for justifying tiered pricing is the impact that a few are having on the system. That is P2P is eating up significant bandwidth. It was stated that 10% of the users consume 50% of the bandwidth.
The Octave Project is to make KT into a “Multiple Service Provider.” That is the company would provide applications to the broadband users. These were labeled with colors:
Each of these will rely on a KT Octave Device and a Managed Broadband Network. As an example of these an Octave Living Room was shown to illustrate multiple services in a single box and pipe. Included in this living room are:
These services are justified with the following:
The Octave Device is a Broadband home gateway. The device is identified with the 4 color services described above.
Continuing the chorus that FTTH is all things good in Japan, Ken’ichi Narumiya, VP, Technology Development, NTT East, showed how it was taking Fiber-to-the-Home from a Vision to Service. The delivery of digital in Japan falls under the FLETs services with B FLETs being the FTTH. The services that NTT East is delivering includes:
It is claimed that
B-FLET’s pricing will be within $10/month of
FLET’s ADSL by the end of 2004 and this difference will erode to
the point that fiber will be priced the same as ADSL.
The future network will be based on Resonant Communications – like what was described by Yuji Inoue, SVP, NTT. He called this RENA (REsonat communications Network Architecture). Today it was claimed this would:
Supporting this are the following attributes:
Jagbir Singh, Group CTO of Bharti Infotel – India gave a presentation on the broadband condition in India. It was refreshing but also insightful in how difficult this market will be. Jagbir gave some interesting statistics and assessments.
India is one tough market.
Noticeably absent is China. In Asia the big market is China and when heads turn in this direction one looks to: Ministry of Information, PRC, China Telecom, CNC and Huawei Technologies as the leaders. Yet, there is not a single talk from any organization in China here at Broadband World Forum Seoul. The WAVE Report spoke with John Janowiak, executive director of the International Engineering Consortium (IEC), organizer of Broadband World Forum, and he was hopeful that the situation would get better at Broadband World Forum Tokyo 2005. Yet, the WAVE Report expressed doubt that China would have a presence, even at a conference, in such a well developed market as Japan. Face has significant meaning and for an emerging market to face a mature technically advanced market would be unlikely – he smiled in agreement. Thus, as we saw at PT Wireless & Networks Comm China 2003, Beijing, it is essential to recognize the individual characteristics of each country. China is big but it is unique. Understanding this market requires patience and effort. The Broadband World Forum has a big hole to fill.
In the session on Envisioning the Digital Home was the same old stuff heard many times over at US conferences. Intel chaired the session and gave a talk. Samsung talked about the Digital Home Working Group.
Laurie Gonzalez, Marketing Director, DSL Forum, rolled through the stock charts. The emphasis was on the DSL Home and the various technical reports being created by the Forum. The WAVE Report asked these questions:
Samsung representative was asked to comment and he would not.
Korea Struggles with NG Wireless
The first session exposed the thinking into where wireless technology might go beyond 3G. At the core is how to make ubiquitous broadband available. This addresses the so called “white spot” problem – voids in coverage between WiFi and other wireless technology such as 1xEV-DV or 1xEV-DO. Further, NG wireless is also to make broadband mobil. One point of the discussion addressed the maximum speeds that would be supported – a central mobility issue. Overall, from the audience response to the presentations, many are not aware of what is happening in these areas in Korea. Clearly Korea is setting its own course. What is the value of this? There are many issues directly related to WiMAX and 802.20 that were exposed in the discussion.
Broadband Mobility and the Future of Convergence – Will Korea Set Its Own Course or Define the Future of Broadband Mobility?
While the session addressing the topic appeared initially to be just a rehash of the same old issues of how to integrate wireless technologies with broadband, it was much more.
The word convergence is overused and thus its application is context sensitive. Here it means one number, one device, all networks. It can include the ability to take a cell phone inside and it becomes the home phone. Support for VoIP or PSTN which ever is better for the consumer. Other examples include mobil to fixed PC video calls or call routing from fixed to mobil.
The other charged term is ubiquity. In this context it is the ability to support any device anywhere with any service.
These definitions will help set the framework for the direction the Korea is taking.
Young-Ky Kim, EVP, Samsung Electronics, spoke of an effort in Korea called the Portable Internet Initiative. This is to bridge between WiFi hot spots and enhanced 3G. Portable Internet is to have 100MHz of spectrum, at 2.3GHz, support vehicular speeds to 60km/h and have bandwidths to 18.6Mb/s. The goal is an operational network by the end of 2005. The network backbone includes both 3G, wireline and the Portable Internet Network. Thus, the goal is a single terminal with a single number. This would operate in a Heterogeneous Network that spans the spectrum of systems: CDMA2000 1X/DO/DV, WCDMA/HSDPA, Portable Internet, WLAN and Bluetooth/UWB.
Another apparently similar effort was discussed during the questions which is called “WiBro” or “Wireless Broadband.” This seemed to be even less well known. A Google search netted only articles on WiBro in Korean, thus it has not be reported outside of Korea. Portable Internet and WiBro are related to the Korean efforts for the next IT phase called the BcN Initiative. See below.
Myung-Sung Lee, SVP, SK Telecom discussed a Mobil Network Strategy for Convergence Age. Lee also spoke of the HPi concept which appears to occupy the same spectrum. This will support up to 33Mb/s and have mobility support to <60km/h. HPi was described as “Moving or Standing”, “Anywhere, Anytime”, and “High Speed” “Portable Internet.” SKT expects to have a license to operate by 2005. This seems consistent with the Portable Internet Initiative. Lee also descried how Vertical Handover was essential in this convergence environment. That is, there must be seamless migration between wireless networks. The real challenge lies in the terminal devices. These are multiband and multimode. The list of supported air interfaces included: CDMA, WCDMA, HPI and WLAN. Power management was highlighted as a major issue.
The questions afterwards added much to the discussion. It became clear in the discussion that Korea is charting its own course in the quest to provide for ubiquitous seamless broadband to mobil devices as fast as 60km/h. Many of the point attributes begin to link with the objectives of WiMAX, especially 802.16e. Yet, this standards effort has not shown the depth of systems and operational considerations which appear to be a part of the HPi and Portable Internet Initiative.
The CTO of Qualcomm asked how WiMAX technology would be relevant in this environment. His point is that for WiMAXto be competitive it must not only be very spectrum efficient but have volumes on the order of a billion units a year. Without this scale it is very difficult to compete with cellular in the market.
The CEO of eAccess,
Japan, made the statement that it was his experience with KDDI that
mobil service to work it must have complete coverage
and work >60km/h. To have a service at less than what is expected,
by consumers, in cellular will fail.
KT Looks to the Future
The Keynote address was given by Sanghoon Lee, EVP, Networking Group, KT, and the topic was Beyond Broadband Access. He was instrumental in helping craft the directions that Korea has taken in broadband. When this happened in they had no idea what the impacts would be. For example, the Internet has become a way of life in Korea and he used the following to illustrate his point.
One of the threats of broadband is fixed rate pricing. The consumer has come to expect this and at the same time continuing increases in bandwidth are available. However, this rising access bandwidth forces increased CapEx and OpEx spending to support the load. But to continue to grow KT must move from being just a telecommunications carrier and provide applications and value added services. The limitations of today’s broadband service are that it is limited to:
Thus, according to Lee the future business must overcome these barriers.
To go beyond broadband access the focus must span:
It was on this last point that Lee described the carrier’s responsibility to provide:
To illustrate he showed Windows environments for Dad, Mom, Daughter and Son.
His concept of Handy had a close parallel with the disappearing computer. The future as KT sees it is the movement away from the PC to appliance like terminals. This must be a part of the support of the future network.
Lee ended by describing the BcN Initiative in Korea. This supports
This only strengthened the role that the Korean government is having is setting the technology focus of the country. Recent reports outline BcN.
Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent in Taiwan, gave an insightful presentation on broadband. The Taiwan government is pushing for the wide adoption of WiFi. One of the initiatives is the implementation of CyberCity in Taipei to have it completely covered by WiFi.
Broadband in Taiwan – Showing the Role of Government Again
Fu-Kuei Chung, the Managing Director, Data Communications Group, Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan give the Taiwanese view of broadband in his talk “Broadband & WiFi in Taiwan.” Key points made include.
Like the presentation from India, this talk gave another example of how local conditions influence the roll out and use of broadband technology.
***NVIDIA and AMD Deliver Improved Security to Protect the PC Desktop
COMPUTEX - TAIPEI, Taiwan
Recognizing the need to thwart network level hacking attacks and other security risks, NVIDIA Corporation announced collaborative efforts with AMD and leading Taiwanese motherboard companies to help promote enhanced secure PC platform technology solutions and deliver innovative features and increased levels of protection for desktop PCs, workstations, and servers based on the NVIDIA nForce(TM) and AMD64 computing platform.
NVIDIA is also working with the top Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers, including market leaders ASUSTeK and MSI, to help market their line of nForce- based motherboards featuring integrated security features for the AMD64 market. Together, the companies will help educate consumers on the importance of PC security and begin promoting built-in security as a "must-have" feature for today's PC enthusiasts.
Major motherboards utilizing the security features offered by NVIDIA and AMD include, but are not limited to:
***Businesses and Consumers to Soon Feel the Noise of VoWLAN Reports In-Stat/MDR
With total handset shipments totaling less than 60,000 in 2003, the Voice over Wireless Local Area Network (VoWLAN) market is still in its infancy. However, according to In-Stat/MDR, despite the relatively high cost of handsets and the lack of standardized QoS and fast roaming, this technology is already reaching a surprising amount of business users, and a significant number have it on their radar screen for the future. A recent survey of business users by the high-tech market research firm finds that VoWLAN has reached nearly 10% of respondents and 48% of respondents are considering implementing it. Based on this encouraging information, In-Stat/MDR expects that business-class WLAN handsets will experience a growth rate of almost 120% in 2004.
"The VoWLAN market has experienced much hype over the course of 2004, primarily due to the growing presence of Wi-Fi data networking in businesses and in homes," said Norm Bogen, director of In-Stat/MDR's networking research group, "Much of the interest has been in the expectation of combination cellular and Wi-Fi handsets, with a vision of the end user being able to switch seamlessly between cellular and WLAN networks, while simultaneously maintaining a call."
Currently, the largest and most effective opportunities for Wi-Fi telephony are in the enterprise and vertical markets. In these areas, WLANs have been adopted, and mobile users are easily identified. These businesses have control over coverage area, bandwidth utilization and QoS implementation. The users have access to the corporate telephone system, giving Wi-Fi users the same features and accessibility as their wired peers. It is cost-effective and efficient to leverage the investment in WLAN by adding wireless telephones.
In-Stat/MDR also finds that:
-- Of those respondents to In-Stat/MDR's survey that currently run VoWLAN, most come from companies with more than 1,000 employees, and use WLAN equipment from high-end WLAN vendors like Cisco and 3Com.
-- As could be expected, over half of the respondents to In-Stat/MDR's survey that run VoWLAN use PDAs in the wireless network, likely serving as mobile softphones.
-- 802.11b enterprise VoWLAN handsets have been shipping out the door since 2000. SpectraLink and Symbol have been the leaders in this market for the past few years, selling handsets mainly to the verticals of healthcare, education, retail/warehousing/distribution and manufacturing. Cisco introduced its VoWLAN handset in mid-2003.
-- An emerging area of growth is the handset space for the home/SOHO, where low-cost Wi-Fi handsets are used in conjunction with residential VoIP services. By 2008, 15% of VoIP subscribers with Wi-Fi home networks will have Wi-Fi handsets.
-- Combination Wi-Fi and cellular handsets are expected to penetrate the market noticeably in 2005 and 2006, as Wi-Fi silicon continues to fall in cost and size, and also becomes more power efficient. This combination handset is expected to penetrate both the business and home markets over time.
*****WiMAX Forum Establishes Working Group to Address Worldwide Regulatory Issues; Organization to Tackle Spectrum Availability and Global Harmonization
SAN JOSE, Calif.
In an effort to create a regulatory environment favorable to the widespread global deployment of WiMAX Forum Certified(TM) systems, the WiMAX Forum(TM) has established a Regulatory Working Group (RWG). The aim of the RWG is to ensure availability and global harmonization of "WiMAX friendly" spectrum worldwide. The group will enable the WiMAX Forum to effectively combine the efforts of its more than 100 members in order to present a unified and consistent message when meeting with regulators around the world.
The primary goal of the WiMAX Forum RWG is to ensure the availability of licensed and license-exempt spectrum by encouraging the worldwide, uniform adoption of specific frequency bands for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA). Additionally, the RWG will work with regulators to develop flexible and technology neutral regulatory frameworks, allowing usage models to evolve as the BWA market matures and enabling service providers to deploy the most appropriate solutions for their markets.
Global harmonization, or the uniform allocation of spectrum worldwide, is crucial to lowering equipment costs because radios are a major cost component in developing WiMAX Forum Certified systems. To maximize radio performance and minimize costs, radios must be optimized for each of the major spectrum bands that are suitable for WiMAX deployments.
Initially, the WiMAX Forum believes global harmonization for broadband wireless access can be achieved in the following spectrum bands:
-- License-Exempt 5 GHz: Because license-exempt spectrum is free to use, this band is a key to enabling grassroots deployments in underserved, low population density rural and remote markets. The WiMAX Forum will commit additional resources -- notably in Europe -- to promote wider release of this band in a harmonized and timely manner.
-- Licensed 3.5 GHz: In these bands, the focus of the WiMAX Forum will be to minimize unnecessary technical and regulatory requirements that might constrain BWA usage models and overall market development.
-- Licensed 2.5 GHz: Though already allocated in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and some Southeast Asian countries, the WiMAX Forum is participating in ongoing global efforts to make this band available in other countries on a technology neutral basis.
In addition to these efforts, the WiMAX Forum will work with world standards and regulatory bodies to advance the allocation of licensed and license-exempt spectrum in lower frequency bands. The propagation of radio waves is better at lower frequencies, such as the 700 MHz frequency range which is expected to become available as television stations transition from analog to digital broadcasting. In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission is considering both licensed and license-exempt allocations in this band. The WiMAX Forum will work with the FCC and similar organizations globally to allocate lower frequency bands for broadband wireless.
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