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Pattaya Daily News

10 March 2008 :: 15:03:09 pm 26422

Mobile Broadband Creates Growth For All

Monday, 10 March 2008 -Mobile broadband holds the key to bridging the digital divide between rural and urban areas by making broadband available and affordable to all. The advantages of mobile technologies such as HSPA are set to drive broadband to a true global mass market ? and turn millions of users into billions.
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While there are around 350 million broadband subscriptions worldwide, the vast majority of the world?s population still does not have access to broadband. Rural areas in particular are being left behind. If broadband is to be enabled for everyone, then combining existing fixed broadband with the latest HSPA technology is the only answer.

Providing broadband access is a key priority for many governments and international bodies ? the socio-economic benefits are well documented. Broadband improves many aspects of our daily lives, providing access to healthcare and education, as well as information and entertainment. It stimulates entrepreneurial activities, facilitates industrial growth and can enable a more sustainable society.

To make the most out of the benefits of broadband, it is important to bring it to all inhabitants of a country. The advantage of mobile technology is that it is often the only way to quickly and cost-effectively reach those in rural areas or areas with little or no fixed infrastructure. Australia?s Telstra is a good example; Ericsson assisted in rolling out broadband access with WCDMA/HSPA to more than 98 percent of the population in less than 10 months.

Delivering broadband, even when starting on a small scale, can still have a big effect. In South Africa, operator MTN has launched a project that is providing rural communities with access to high-speed mobile broadband. Using an innovative franchising model, HSPA is being used to deliver broadband to rural areas via a chain of internet kiosks. Across its HSPA network, powered by Ericsson, MTN?s focus on mobile data has resulted in 230 percent traffic growth and a 78 percent increase in monthly users in the past 12 months. High-speed access clearly boosts mobile data take-up, creating a frenzy among users by opening the door to an abundance of captivating services. One Asia-Pacific operator saw data traffic jump by 560 percent in nine months, while another in Europe grew more than 300 percent over the same period. Since offering flat-rate subscriptions for its HSPA service, operator 3 in Sweden has similarly witnessed explosive traffic growth of 300 percent in just three months. Likewise, Mobilkom Austria has experienced accelerated growth in sales of its HSPA data cards.

Combining all the benefits of broadband with the added value of instant access everywhere is opening up many new services. Advances in telemedicine, with video conferencing and transmission of data, such as x-rays and test results, means a diagnosis can be made without the need to travel long distances. A broadband-enabled society allows governments and public authorities to more easily engage their citizens and provide more efficient public services.

Mobile broadband is also revolutionizing the way people learn. It widens access to education and makes it flexible regarding when and where it can be acquired. A collaboration between Ericsson and Stanford University, for example, is bringing the benefits of mobile distance learning to several countries in Africa. Students in remote locations in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa are able to submit and access video, audio and text-based course materials and participate in online discussion forums. A US Department of Commerce study in 2006 determined several positive effects of broadband, including growth in employment levels and business establishments. Interestingly, it also found that weaker economic regions were just as likely to benefit from having access to broadband, and in some cases the impacts were actually greater. There is a clear proportionate relationship between growth in GDP and access to information and communications technology. It can be the catalyst for economic and social development. For this very reason the Malaysian government launched its National Broadband Plan, aimed at increasing penetration from almost nothing in 2005 to 10 percent by 2008. The mobile market was quick to take up the call, and WCDMA/HSPA is already widespread.

Today, HSPA-enabled mobile networks already support download speeds of 7.2 Mbps and upload speeds of 1.4 Mbps, which is faster than many fixed broadband connections. Over the next two years, the evolution of HSPA will see download speeds increased to 42 Mbps and upload speeds to 12 Mbps. But it doesn?t stop there ? Long Term Evolution, a new technology in the GSM/HSPA product family, will be added, which promises speeds up to 200 Mbps.

HSPA offers overwhelming economies of scale because it is part of the GSM technology family that serves more than 2.5 billion subscribers worldwide. From Stockholm to Cape Town, HSPA networks are proliferating. There are nearly 140 WCDMA/HSPA networks in operation worldwide, with a further 47 in deployment, all offering wide area coverage rather than disconnected hotspots.

The introduction of HSPA has proven to be stronger than ever anticipated, and the accumulated subscriber base of operators with HSPA-enabled networks already covers about 800 million. Analysts expect there to be about 1.8 billion broadband subscribers globally by 2012, with about 1.2 billion on mobile networks. According to Juniper Research, WCDMA/HSPA will account for nearly 70 percent of mobile-broadband subscribers.

The unprecedented demand for mobile-broadband services means additional radio spectrum is going to be critical. The International Telecommunication Union estimates that around 700-1200 MHz of additional spectrum is needed to handle public mobile-broadband services up to 2020, meaning that current levels of available radio spectrum need to be doubled or almost tripled.

It is estimated that by 2010 more traffic will be generated by data services than by voice in mobile networks. In some markets, such as Japan, this has already happened, yet until about 2015, the only additional internationally agreed spectrum identified for 3G technologies is the IMT-2000 extension band, being 2500-2690 MHz.

To deliver the full potential of mobile broadband and enable true wide-area mobility in a cost-effective manner, sufficient radio spectrum needs to be allocated. Once globally harmonized, technology and standards then need to be selected. It is important not to allocate the same spectrum to non-compliant technologies in order to avoid unmanageable interferences in the same geographic areas and the need for spectrum-wasting ?guardbands.?

Ericsson is committed to a vision of broadband everywhere. High-speed access to the internet is no longer limited to the urban home and office, but can be made available anywhere. Mobile broadband through HSPA is the fastest way to bring affordable broadband to the masses.

For further information, please contact:
Mrs. Voraparn Eua-arporn (coco)
GM of Farh Agency
Tel: 0 26160991-2, Fax: 0 2616 0993
MB: 08 9144 4014, 08 1376 5927

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Announcement News

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