Industry comment

In the rapidly evolving telecoms environment, all players must be prepared for the challenges brought by constant change. Our consultants offer an expert perspective on the issues that confront the telecoms industry.

Mobile data offloading: dealing with the mobile data traffic boom

July 10, 2012

Mobile data traffic has grown enormously over the last few years, and several industry reports predict that this trend will continue. According to the latest Cisco Visual Networking Index published in February 2012, around the world mobile data traffic grew 2.3-fold in 2011, more than doubling for the fourth year in a row, and it will increase 18-fold between 2011 and 2016.

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Landmark Australian case creates uncertainty for cloud based services

May 8, 2012

The ongoing struggle of copyright holders against new technologies has been highlighted in a landmark Australian case. While the dispute is expected to reach the High Court, a recent Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (the FCAFC) decision has provided considerable legal uncertainty for providers of cloud based services. Although the decision is a victory for rights holders, the rest of the audience may struggle in differentiating between “traditional” technologies such as VCRs (video cassette recorders) or DVRs (digital video recorders) and the purpose of the cloud based service in question, the decision being predicated upon the nature of the technology used instead of the intended purpose of the action.

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Convergence: regulating a “unified communications” market in New Zealand

December 6, 2011

Fast broadband connections have paved the way for broadcasters and telecommunications service providers to enter into each others’ markets internationally. As a result, a 2006 OECD report stated that the telecommunications industry was facing an identity crisis. The bundling of various communications services is becoming increasingly popular. Multi-service offerings may include dual play, triple-play or even quadruple-play bundled offerings. Many countries have responded by merging their broadcasting and telecommunications regulators. With UFB now in New Zealand, a hot topic is whether it should also follow this worldwide trend.

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The “iPod tax”: putting a price on piracy

December 14, 2010

On 14 December 2010, the Federal Government of Canada announced that it would not be introducing an amendment to the Copyright Act creating a so-called “iPod Tax”. This was in light of a private member’s bill introduced into Parliament by Charlie Angus on 2 June 2010. The bill suggested legally expanding the current copyright levy to include digital recording devices, essentially putting a price on piracy.

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LTE: when will it arrive in New Zealand?

August 3, 2010

Long Term Evolution (LTE) really is the Holy Grail of the mobile industry. It is said HSPA+ can’t match LTE in terms of speed. Telstra, currently trialling LTE over 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz, has already achieved 100Mbit/s. In theory LTE could achieve around 300Mbit/s with a 20MHz carrier in ideal conditions.

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The business plan for fibre: stacking up the building blocks

December 8, 2009

Achieving a positive Net Present Value from broadband fibre initiatives may take on average well over 15 years. We know this from both our own business case modelling, and indications from existing initiatives from around the world. Although the time horizon for commercial return may be long, it is possible to improve financial prospects by focussing at the business planning stage on strategies for cost minimisation and revenue maximisation.

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Open for all: designing successful open access ultra-fast broadband networks

October 13, 2009

A common theme associated with state-funded plans for national broadband infrastructure around the world is that of providing “open access”. This ensures that customers have as wide a choice as possible of services and service providers on the new network. Governments and regulators have taken a range of open access approaches, from mandating full access for service providers to physical cables (layer 1) through to access network operators being required to supply managed data services at layer 2 and above.

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The cost of telecoms regulation: is it too much to pay?

October 1, 2009

To ensure that the often-cited benefits of telecommunications liberalisation can be realised – lower prices, improved access, a key driver of economic, social and national development – in most countries worldwide some degree of telecommunications regulation has been implemented. In those that have only recently introduced regulation, and smaller developing countries in particular, the urgency for the desired outcomes of telecommunications often overshadows the effort and costs required to achieve those goals.

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