Monday, October 06, 2008

Update on separation, FTTH and 3-D

Here's a short update on some of the hottest topics around:
  • Separation. First of all, the Telecom New Zealand AGM rejected the election of the 'two Marks', put forward by Elliott International, to the board. They were in favor of structural separation, whereas Telecom right now focuses on operational separation and FTTN. A disappointing day, leaving the share price at a 16-year low ... However, good news related to functionally separated BT. The Register reports that it is considering outsourcing Openreach, putting the unit at an even longer arm's length. With Ben Verwaayen's departure to Alcatel-Lucent, it will come as no surprise that his new company could be a candidate for taking care of the job ... Finally, in Australia some people seem to be getting closer to structural separation as well, such as senator Minchin.
  • FTTH. Julio Linares, COO of Telefonica, spoke at Broadband World Forum Europe. Here are some quotes from Total Telecom: "We will have to measure content in zetabytes. It is difficult to identify future services, but ultra-broadband will facilitate more video, high-definition and 3D content, and more. Consumers are going to need more bandwidth. Demand for bandwidth on fixed and mobile networks will multiply at least by five in the next three years. To support this zetabyte era, we are going to need new infrastructure, we are going to need networks. We need new technology, but technology is not going to be the constraint. Investment is the constraint. To build fixed broadband across Europe, we need to invest €250 billion, but at present the industry is averaging investment of €50 billion per year. It will take 20 years to build just the fixed part of the new infrastructure. Do you think we can afford it? (...) of course, no. (...) We need to speed up. At this time of economic crisis, it is very important to take into account the weight of our industry on the whole economy."
  • 3-D. Philips has demonstrated 3-D VoD ('2D-plus-depth') at the IBC conference last month, branded WOWvx. It doesn't require special glasses, it's what they call an 'autostereoscopic display', basically consisting of an LCD display plus a lot of lenses covering the pixels. Both Deutsche Telekom and Orange have trialed the system. Even more recently, Philips showed its new Quad Full TV (thanks dear readers!), basically using the same technology but with everything brought together in a prototype TV.

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