John Doherty, a commissioner with the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), says the country will be home to more than 800,000 broadband subscribers by Christmas. In an interview with siliconrepublic.com, Doherty disclosed that approximately 100,000 of that total would be people using high speed data packet access (HSDPA) mobile broadband services from network operators O2, Vodafone and 3. ‘It is really beginning to take off. Especially on the mobile side – our nation’s love of the mobile phone is very strong. We’ve a young population that is very adaptable when it comes to technology and we’re seeing strong competition and choice in the market,’ he said.
The ComReg official also reflected on Vodafone’s recent purchase of Perlico as a clear indication that mobile operators were looking to enter the fixed line market. He went on to say that the widespread availability of different access platforms – wireless, fixed line, cable and other – was key to the country improving its record on broadband penetration, but conceded that time had been lost as a result of the wrangling over local loop unbundling (LLU). Doherty went on to say that the next challenge on the horizon is the deployment of next generation networks (NGNs).
‘The first piece to this is the NGN core – that is the transport level that aggregates data and moves IP traffic. Telecom operators view this as a way of reducing operational costs – BT for example will save EUR1bn a year as a result of deploying its 21st Century Network (21CN). This will come about because there will be fewer exchanges compared with the traditional system … This will drive a range of products that include everything from IPTV to video-on-demand and high-definition TV over internet on connections that are beyond 10Mbps. It is an exciting business paradigm that is moving in an unstoppable way.’