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What’s next for Broadband?


Much recent debate has been focused around ‘Net Neutrality’, and we’ve published our analysis on this in Net Neutrality 2.0: Don’t Block the Pipe, Lubricate the Market. This post outlines our recent and new research on this and Future Broadband Business Models, and how we will cover the developments on this topic at the Americas Brainstorm in L.A., 27-28 Oct, and the EMEA Brainstorm in London, 8-9 Nov.

It’s also the ‘last chance to see’ the material from our first ‘Best Practice Live!’ online event, with the videos coming offline on 28th September, so please watch the ones you want to see before they’re gone. The links are marked* below or can be found here. NB. You will need to register on the first page that the embedded links take you to, or log in if you’ve already registered. If you have any problems please email us at contact@telco2.net.

Future Broadband Business Models

We’ve published a number of strategy reports on Future Broadband Business Models, including the recent New Strategy Report: Mobile, Fixed and Wholesale Broadband Business Models, covering analysis of the latest new ideas in broadband business model innovation, new ‘Telco 2.0’ Opportunities, global forecasts, four future strategic scenarios, and a detailed Managed Offload ‘Use Case’.

In Optimising Mobile Broadband Economics: Key Issues and Next Steps we reported on key issues for mobile operators, and in LTE: ‘Longer Term Enthusiasm’? we described the increasing momentum building for the next generation mobile technology.

Broadband Myths and Maths

In ‘Best Practice Live!’, we focused on mobile broadband, and Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis blew apart myths* surrounding the broadband incentive problem, apps-based charging and DPI. His message to operators is clear - concentrate on what you can control in the networks and keep it simple for consumers. Ericsson’s Head of Mobile Broadband, Magnus Ewerbring talked about big numbers* - 3.5 billion mobile broadband subscribers by 2015; 50 billion connections by 2020; operators with greater revenue from data than voice and so on. Ewerbring explains how, where and why these numbers are turning from slideware to reality and the importance of speed to consumers and operators.

Our Agenda

At the Americas and EMEA Brainstorms, we will explore the overall landscape of ‘Net Neutrality’. Based on a set of use cases indicative of the different business models that could be created and supported using prioritisation, traffic shaping and policy management techniques, these sessions will explain the implications of different net neutrality regulatory approaches on these and identify ways to mitigate the impact of regulation.

Hypothesis being tested:

• Multiple mobile broadband and fibre networks are being built without a clear enough understanding of the ideal ‘end state’ in terms of business models that will be attractive to different stakeholders and commercially sustainable for infrastructure providers.
• As a result Net Neutrality debates are being conducted in a semi vacuum.
• The ability to prioritise, constrain, and shape traffic enables new business models for all players in the telecoms, media and technology sector, which can be highly beneficial to consumers and citizens as well.
• There are different models that telcos can adopt depending the severity of legislation
• There are alternative technologies that can provide telcos with the flexibility to support some of new business models if net neutrality regulation makes shaping and management impossible.

Key questions to debate:

• What is the ideal ‘end-state’ for broadband networks?
• What are the new business models enabled by prioritisation, traffic shaping and policy management?
• How important are these business models to the development of Telco 2.0 businesses? How much flexibility and control do telcos need in order to support these?
• What are the possible benefits of these models for content owners, application service providers, public service providers and consumers?
• What are acceptable use cases for techniques such as DPI and policy management? Does prioritisation of one service/application automatically deprioritise others?
• At what point does net neutrality regulation have a severe impact on business model development?
• Are there alternative technology solutions that comply with regulations but offer telcos flexibility? Which models do these support?

Next Steps

We’ll be publishing more on Net Neutrality, and discussing our analysis in depth on Day 1 of the Americas Brainstorm, 27-18 Nov, L.A., and Day 1 of the EMEA Brainstorm, 9-10 Nov, 2010.

We’ve also made articles on Broadband easier to find under on our research portal under the category headings of Future Broadband.

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