What Does ‘Broadband China’ Mean to the Telecom Industry?

Despite being home to the world’s largest Internet population, China is poorly ranked when it comes to broadband speed. John Yang discusses why China based network operators should plan for continued capacity growth, greater flexibility, a larger array of services and corresponding billing models to address societal changes.

Broadband_ChinaSeventy six percent of Hong Kong Millennials spend up to two hours per day on video platforms such as Netflix and YouTube. In a typical day, 50 percent of these Millennials and one third of Baby Boomers spend over one to four hours on dating and messaging apps, according to a recent survey conducted by CommScope which can be downloaded here. These trends are similar in Greater China, home to the world’s largest population and nearly 670 million Internet users.

China’s Opportunity to Meet Connectivity Demands

Despite these impressive numbers and insatiable appetite for quality and convenience, China is only ranked 80 when it comes to broadband speed. To take advantage of this massive opportunity, the Chinese State Council launched the “Broadband China” initiative, promising to invest $182 billion to boost speed of Internet services for businesses and citizens by 2017, according to an article in V3.

The aim is to provide homes with access to 100 Mbps fiber services by 2017 and ensure cities and villages are covered by 4G networks.

Blueprint for Speed and Capacity

The government mandate and consumer expectations for instant and reliable services means telco companies need to invest in improving their networks’ capability of carrying large amounts of data. As expectations increase around browsing the Web, listening to online music, downloading files and watching videos on demand, it is becoming more and more challenging to have the right communications infrastructure. Service providers cannot achieve these objectives on their own.

One way to address this challenge is through Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology, considered the fastest and most reliable way to access the Internet. FTTH opens the door to a wide range of services and applications, both for entertainment and productivity, delivered right to the home or the office. These include video communication with family and friends, video-on-demand, online gaming, teleworking e-Health services and much more.

As far as deployment speed is concerned, fiber indexing deployment can be seven times faster than classic technologies. Cost savings enabled by fiber indexing can be significant as well. The daisy chain topology reduces the amount of cable needed by up to 70 percent and hardened multi-fiber optical connectors considerably eliminate laborious and costly fiber splicing, further reducing overall costs.

Growth in New Business Models

As people start relying more on the Internet for news and entertainment, new companies which provide online content are emerging. For example, an Internet content provider (ICP) is a website or organization that handles the distribution of online content such as blogs, videos, music or files, according an article in the Houston Chronicle. This content is generally made accessible to users and often in multiple formats, such as in both transcripts and videos. According to Ovum, ICP capex will grow well over the $100 billion mark by 2019

With hundreds of millions of people accessing the Internet and increased demands for super-fast broadband, China-based network operators should plan for continued capacity growth, greater flexibility, a larger array of services and corresponding billing models to address societal changes.