This report provides high-level strategic analysis and forecasts of the NGN, FttN, FttH and VoIP and IPTV markets, as well as profiles on the key players in those markets. It identifies business opportunities, points out the hype and the pitfalls, and will be of assistance in making the right business decisions.
This report also includes:
A huge change is taking place in telecoms infrastructure, with the traditional telephone systems being replaced by an IP-based infrastructure. This will facilitate data communications and file transfers via networked computers. IP is now adapted for voice communications (VoIP) and most corporate users are on IP networks. However the true value of IP is that it is becoming the core of the next generation public networks (NGNs), facilitating not only integrated billing and CRMs, but also affordable triple-play business models that seamlessly integrate voice, data and video. NGN projects are very complex in nature, however, and because of this their progress remains slow. For more information, see chapter 1.2, page 12.
In Australia Telstra has presented ambitious plans, both in relation to its networks and internal systems (the NGN project) and also in relation to the rollout of fibre networks. While there is a Mexican standoff between the government and Telstra on the regulatory issue, the incumbent simply can’t afford not to move towards its future. The pressure is also on Telstra, with other companies challenging it to build an alternative fibre network. For more information, see chapter 2, page 36.
Eventually the fibre network will be extended to homes and businesses, but in most situations this can be done on a demand basis. However, there is room for competition here and we have seen some cities and communities taking a leadership role. But for the time being most FttH projects are in new housing developments rather than in brownfield markets. For more information, see chapter 2.2.5, page 64.
Once NGNs are in place, there will be a major impact upon current infrastructures. Voice services will be placed under increasing pressure from VoIP; mobile communications will consolidate in mature markets but continue their spectacular growth in developing countries. Wireless broadband will also begin to challenge 3G, as it is much better suited for the delivery of mobile data, including mobile VoIP. For more information, see chapter 3, page 75.
IPTV delivers broadband to the TV and puts the viewer in control. With the arrival of the Internet, content became more important and video-based concepts were revived in order to deliver this content over the Internet. NGNs are needed for effective and efficient management of multimedia services such as IPTV. New fibre-based broadband networks are now rapidly moving into triple play business models, delivering voice, data and video services. The business model for IPTV, however, is still uncertain. Customers are more interested in the web-based broadband video applications than they are in IP-based TV. For more information, see chapter 4, page 106.
NGN is a business strategy, a concept, that involves a range of technological elements, but as such is not a technology;
Telstra is showing international leadership with a strong commitment towards its own NGN;
Implementing NGNs is the most complex activity ever undertaken by the telco industry;
Delays and part implementations will be unavoidable;
Incumbent telcos are still driven by an underlying monopoly culture, this will make implementation unnecessary difficult;
NGNs can be less complex if they are aimed at a wholesale market (content providers, service providers, ISPs, corporate customers);
Without NGNs, fibre networks will not be able to manage the increased capacity and complexity of services offered over these networks;
While other telcos in Australia do have NGNs in place, their business models are still aimed at protecting their traditional voice and data products;
While NGNs would facilitate IP, IPTV, Triple Play, etc the future will be far less structured and ‘Layer 2’ open access will preferable sooner rather than later be provided;
The reality is that ‘NGN-alike’ services are already available as web-based products, without the need for network complexity;
The majority of Australia will, over the next 10-15 years, be connected to FttH;
Low density areas will be covered by wireless broadband solutions; This process will be evolutionary, fibre will be brought deeper and deeper into the network - increasing speed and quality ‘on the go’;
Most new housing development estates are now linked to FttH networks; National strategies are required to align the various plans from the Government, Telstra, G9, OPEL and others.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.
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