Up to a quarter of households will be demanding 10Mbit/s by the end of the decade says a new forecast.
Demand will be driven by residential users developing a taste for using visual material to communicate rather than simply for entertainment, says communications consultant Paul Budde.
This will stimulate an industry to cater to that need, he says. At the same time, more people will become more competent at using their video cameras with the broadband connection.
The resulting supply-demand spiral will see at least 25% of households requiring services of 10Mbit/s, says Budde in his latest report, Global Broadband Market 2004.
But to get the infrastructure in place to support such growth, a change in attitude is needed from telcos, he says.
At present lack of infrastructure is hindering broadband’s expansion. “This is mainly due to the resistance being shown by the incumbent telcos,” Budde says. “They want to maximise the life of their existing networks.” It also owes something to the lack of suitable business models, today’s telcos having “outdated vertically integrated models”.
The gradual lessening of opposition by the telcos, plus the constantly falling prices, the advent of new applications and the adoption of new marketing approaches will enable a rapid expansion of the broadband market, Budde says.
“Of particular interest is the move to voice over internet protocol, yet another reason for the telcos to let go of the past and move with the market.”
By 2010, 15% to 20% of broadband connections in markets with well-developed fixed infrastructure will be based on wireless connections, he says.
“In all the other countries over 50% of broadband will be wireless.”
Other delivery platforms are being developed, such as Ka-band satellite, fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), broadband wireless, wireless local area networks (LAN), which will all contribute to the eventual total availability of broadband.