Feeds

OECD: Don't bank on wireless for comms futures

Biennial Outlook doc calls for more competition, faster IPv6 adoption and lower prices

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published its bi-ennial Communications Outlook and suggested the communications industry – and governments that regulate it – still have plenty of work to do in order to secure growth and serve customers.

China, India and Russia are absent from the OECD's 34-member roster, so the Outlook is therefore far from global in outlook. Yet the OECD covers most of Europe and North America, and plenty of other nations where telecommunications industries are either mature or heading there fast, so the 320 pages between the Outlook's covers offer plenty of insights.

The organisation says the key insights in the document, which reports on activity between 2010 and 2012, as are follows:

  • Telephony costs have continued to fall, except for fixed business lines
  • Data costs are falling, but some nations still pay scary prices
  • Smartphones are driving a nice boost in revenue for carriers
  • WiFi networks and the wired networks they link to are doing the bulk of the work to bring data to smartphones
  • Convergence is real: internet is now carried over LTE and video is carried on the internet, just two examples of how channels are collapsing

The study also identifies several “emerging issues”, migration to IPv6 among them because it isn't happening fast enough and that makes life hard for would-be market entrants.

Tension between wired and wireless also poses thorny issues, as explained in this extract from the report's executive summary:

“Limited spectrum and the increasing demand for data services mean that mobile networks will strive to offload traffic to fixed networks. Policy makers and regulators need to ensure enough supply to maintain sufficient backhaul for wireless networks, especially if there is insufficient fixed access network competition. While there is debate as regards the schedule for fibre-to-the-residence, all agree that network operators will continue to bring this technology closer to residences and end users. The challenge for regulators is that, regardless of the technology used, many parts of the OECD look likely to face monopolies or duopolies for fixed networks. Wireless can provide competition, but spectrum availability will always impose limits that are not a constraint for fibre.”

Just how governments can sort out that technological and regulatory mess is considered on many pages of the documents.

Another very interesting section, Chapter 7, considers the OECD's new “baskets” of telecommunications services across its member states. The data is too dense and results too numerous to summarise neatly, but suffice to say UK readers will be pleased to see their nation often listed among the cheapest for wireless data services. Readers in the USA will have cause to feel aggrieved. Australian readers will wonder why their prices are climbing.

Chapter 8 will also tantalise, as it offers analyses of what households throughout the OECD spend on communications services and IT kit, and the ratio of that spend compared to other goods and services.

The graph below displays that data.

OECD Household IT spend data

The Outlook is available to read online or purchase here. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.