BBWF 2015 keynote speakers anticipate the start of the gigabit era

The Broadband World Forum 2015 event commenced with keynote speakers from major infrastructure vendors, all of whom anticipate fixed networks offering data speeds in excess of 1 gigabit per second before long.

The morning was introduced by Mark Newman of industry analyst Ovum, who observed a return to focusing on the network itself at the event, after a bit of a shift in emphasis towards content in the recent past. Newman set the scene by asking whether operators can maintain their dominance of connectivity in the era of OTT, IoT and other ominous acronyms.

The first keynote speaker was Federico Guillén, President of Fixed Networks for Alcatel-Lucent, who opened by announcing “Gigabit is a reality” and highlighting the recent announcement of the first 10 Gbps community network in Chattanooga, USA. While that network is fibre-based, Guillén stressed “This is not about fibre or copper, it’s about both,” and pointed to the investment being made by BT in the UK. A third technology he wanted to highlight was vectoring, especially Vplus, which can deliver up to 300 Mbps download speeds.

Guillén identified five key trends driving demand for this greater fixed capacity: backhaul for 5G, anticipated IoT bandwidth demand, low latencies to enable NFV/SDN, the use of unlicensed spectrum and the efficiencies offered by the cloud. He concluded with a call for greater industry collaboration, saying “The future is bright, the market is there, we have to make it happen.”

The next speaker was Walter Ji, Carrier Business President at Huawei. He called for Europe to raise its game by comparing its aim of universal 30 Mbps broadband by 2020 with Japan’s rather more ambitious target of 1 Gbps in that time frame.

Ji stressed that the demand was there from both industry and consumers and that operators need to be prepared for widespread 4k video streaming over mobile devices. He said the three keys to this improvement are: investment-friendly regulation, an evolutionary network modernisation strategy and heavy investment in application innovations.

The final speaker was ZTE Wireline VP Fu Tao. He was keen to stress that broadband is a driver for the general economy, with a direct relationship identified between improvements in fixed line infrastructure and GDP. While highlighting ZTE’s strengths in the smart home and smart city, Tao concluded “The future network will be a fast, simple and open one.”

Broadband World Forum 2015 is taking place in London this week.

  • Private Networks in a 5G World

  • 5G Networking Digital Symposium

  • LIVE: Getting the Best out of 5G

  • Cable Next-Gen Digital Symposium

  • 5G Ecosystem Digital Symposium

  • 2020 Vision Executive Summit

  • Network Virtualization & SDN Americas

  • TechXLR8

  • BIG 5G Event

  • 5G World

  • 5G Latin America

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