Huawei says killer applications will encourage telcos to invest in ultrafast and outlines vision for high speed, reliable and available ‘gigaband’ broadband
Huawei believes demand for 4K video, cloud services and smart home applications will help drive demand for ultrafast broadband services offering speeds of at least 1Gbps.
Speaking at the Huawei Ultra Broadband Forum (UBBF) in Madrid, the company outlined its vision of the ‘Gigaband era’, with networks able to offer the speeds demanded by consumers, but also the low latency and coverage required by industry and the Internet of Things.
“A lot of people have doubts about investment in ultrafast broadband,” said Eric Xu, deputy chairman and current rotating CEO of Huawei, adding that operators were put off by a lack of applications and the rate of investment over time.
‘The Gigaband era’
“There are no core services and applications to drive ultrafast broadband investment. [However] over the last few years we’ve seen some encouraging developments. Some operators have started to experiment.”
While in some countries, fibre to the premise (FTTP) has been deployed because of government pressure, others (including the UK) have relied on fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), which uses copper for the final few hundred metres of the connection.
Huawei is heavily involved with the deployment of G.Fast technology, which speeds up copper cables to a level approaching fibre, but the firm is confident next generation video and demand for enterprise cloud services will increase motivation for telcos to invest in fibre.
Xu said telcos have an advantage over cable providers and broadcasters in 4K video because they have low latency networks and existing customer bases. This, he added, would also have an advantage when providing to businesses as ‘fibre to the enterprise (FTTe)’ takes hold.
Barriers to ultrafast
“For cloud services, just like video, low latency becomes basic requirement,” he explained.
However Huawei claims there are a number of potential barriers to ultrafast. It wants governments to provide supportive regulation and says there needs to be investment in ‘killer’ applications like virtual reality and holograms.
“Ultrafast broadband is the foundation for all the [ICT] industry,” said Ryan Ding, Huawei president of products and solutions. “We are asking for more investment friendly regulation. Our networks should be ready to support this gigaband experience.”
Ding noted legislation in China that required all new residential buildings to have fibre installed before they are sold as an example of positive legislation and reiterated the company’s belief that net neutrality regulations should allow for different levels of service.
For example, telcos should to provide premium services for business customers while still promising universal coverage with their standard offering, similar to the relationship between express delivery services and Royal Mail in the physical world.
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