June 09, 2009

Ultra-Broadband Worldwide and GDP Boost

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and broadband can have a direct and measurable impact on GDP and that a number of studies have indicated that ‘true’ broadband (that is, symmetrical bandwidth in excess of 100 Mb/s) can increase GDP by up to 5%. Other studies indicate a return ten times greater than the investment in broadband.

The only current technology that will support symmetric 100 Mbps speeds is fiber. The US is well behind leading countries in fiber penetration, which reduces our average download speed. The median download speed of the United States is from 2.3 Mbps to 8.9Mbps, compared to that of Japan at 63 Mbps to 93.7 Mbps, some 10 to 27 times faster. Estimates range from as low as 3% of all broadband connections in the US are on fiber to as high as 4% on fiber (see below). In contrast, leading countries have from 23.1% to 45% of broadband subscribers due to fiber. Japan (45%), Korea (39%), and China (23.1%) have the largest share of broadband subscribers on fiber, some 5 to 15 times more fiber subscribers per population than the US.

A Gartner study from 2003, Gartner estimates the California could have obtained a $376 Billion increase in the Gross State Product by 2010 if there was an implementation of a One Gigabit or Bust Broadband initiative.

*There is no new single killer application that will justify Broadband deployment. The killer app remains improved communications.

Japan is planning to have 100% broadband penetration by 2011. Japan already has 1 gbps symmetrical fiber broadband. Average advertised download speed in Japan is about 100mbps now.

The next step towards ever breakneck speeds is commercialisation of 10 GBPs fibre optic deliver. Telecoms firm Oki Japan has successfully tested a 160 GBPs long-distance, high-speed optical connection that delivers the equivalent of "four full movies" worth of data every second. Oki expects it to be commercialized late next year maintaining Japan's bragging rights for some time to come.

South Korea plans to spend about $24.6 billion to boost broadband speeds to 1 gigabit per second by 2012. South Korea is already at 100 mbps speed.

By the end of 2009, Shanghai Telecom will provide more than 750,000 families with access to fiber optic lines connecting their homes, and these work at up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) compared with one or two Mbps now, according to the MONET (Metro Optical Network) plan. By 2010, about 1.5 million families will have access to fiber optic lines and 3.0 million by 2011, compared with the current 3.6 million family broadband users, according to Shanghai Telecom.

Australia announced a A$43 billion eight year broadband plan to increase broadband speeds to 100 mbps to 90% of Australians.

Singapore has funded an ultra-broadband 1 gbps plan for most people in the city by 2015.

OpenNet has proposed wholesale prices of S$15 (US$10) per month per residential fiber connection and S$50 (US$35) per month per non-residential connection. StarHub Limited recently announced the launch of its HSPA+ mobile service. HSPA+ increases StarHub’s mobile broadband network capacity to support speeds of up to 21Mbps, from 14.4Mbps previously. Singapore launched a maritime WiMAX network last year. It offers mobile internet access to ships in the Port of Singapore and up to 15km from Singapore’s southern coastline.

In December 2008, Pyramid Research predicted that FTTB/FTTH operators would pass around 212 million homes by the end of 2013, which is only about 12 percent of all households globally. But Asia stands out because of how aggressively its countries are passing homes with fiber.

The Asia/Pacific region had more than 68 million homes passed by fiber infrastructure at the end of 2008. Nearly 25 million households throughout Asia/Pacific subscribe to a fiber-based service. So Asia/Pac countries represent about 78 percent of all residential FTTH connections across the planet.

South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan have the highest proportion of households connected to fiber networks globally.

Japan, NTT Group (NYSE: NTT)'s home, and Hong Kong, home of PCCW Ltd. (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008) and Hong Kong Broadband Network Ltd. (HKBN) , each boast fiber penetrations above 20 percent.

During the next five years, additional network upgrades in five Asian markets (Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) will increase penetration to 122 million homes passed, the Pyramid report states.

Passive Optical Networks could have 50 million subscribers in the world by 2010.

While Ethernet PON (EPON) and Gigabit PON (GPON) are the dominant fiber to the home (FTTH) technologies, this presentation will give a quick overview of other FTTH technologies and how DOCSIS PON (DPON) [a mix of optical fiber and cable to speed up cable internet access] can map on top of them.

California has had a broadband plan proposed.

OECD broadband data for 2008


Some of the communication predictions that I made in 2006 are true or coming true in Japan and South Korea.
Fiber to the home (100Mbps-1000Mbps) 2010-2015 [Japan now, plus the fastest Docsis 3 cable communication can get to about 300 mbps.] Perhaps fiber 18-20% penetration worldwide. 12% [212 million homes for 2013] from Pyramid research. High speed cable and DSL could have another 20-50% of homes in the 100+ Mbps download range.

Nextgen communication (1000Mbps-10000Mbps) 2013-2020 [upgraded fiber, rolling out in Japan next year. Easy to upgrade the components for faster speed because the same fiber is used as earlier rollouts]

Wireless superbroadband (50-1000Mbps) 2009-2012 [the faster versions of whitespace modems, Advanced 3.5G mobile and 4G mobile, faster wimax implementations, free space optics]

UPDATE: Fujitsu demonstrated 10 Gbps [10,000 Mbps] millimeter wireless and plans to commercialize by 2012.

LTE [Long Term Evolution/System Architecture Evolution]has surpassed the technical requirements outlined by the 3GPP, achieving a peak downlink rate of 154 Mbps field in a drive test using 2x2 MIMO. Another test using a 4x4 MIMO configuration yielded downlink peak rates close to 250 Mbps. Robson adds that LTE doesn't suffer much throughput loss under additional factors like differing RF conditions between users and application overhead, and that it also meets the 3GPP's latency requirements of 10 milliseconds for the air interface, 20 milliseconds end to end, and 100 milliseconds for the control plane.

But for all the hoopla over LTE's imminent arrival, that won't equate to massive rollouts any time soon. The standardization process is still ongoing, and apart from some early rollouts in the US and Japan (where NTT DoCoMo has already begun deploying its pre-LTE standard "Super3G" technology) in 2010, even the most optimistic projections don't see serious LTE commercial rollouts before 2011.

UQ Communications has been building a network of WiMax transmitters in Tokyo and neighboring cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama and aims to reach 90% of Japan’s population by 2012.

The promise of WiMax isn’t that it offers another phone network for voice calls. Rather the network is expected to let make wireless e-mail and Internet-surfing available from more places. WiMax resembles Wi-Fi but WiMax can reach up to 30 miles compared to Wi-Fi’s far more limited range of a few hundred of feet. That means anyone with a laptop computer or other portable gizmo that comes with WiMax technology can tap into the Net wirelessly over a zippy wireless network without a Wi-Fi router or a cable connection.

Three manufacturers--Toshiba, Panasonic and Onkyo—showed off laptops today that will run on Intel chips with WiMax capability when UQ’s services start. WiMax download speeds in Japan will be as fast as 40 Mbps, comparable to Wi-Fi connections already in use and faster than broadband Internet connections over a land-based line in most other countries. (Upload speeds are slower at 10 Mbps.)

Fiber to the premises by country at wikipedia

Japan has the Kizuna satellite for internet access across asia.

Kizuna satellite communication system aims for a maximum speed of 155Mbps (receiving) / 6Mbps (transmitting) for households with 45-centimetre aperture antennas (the same size as existing Communications Satellite antennas), and ultra-high speed 1.2 Gbps communication for offices with five-meter antennas.
In addition to establishing a domestic ultra high speed Internet network, the project also aims to construct ultra high speed international Internet access, especially with Asian Pacific countries and regions that are more closely related to Japan.

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