Feeds

OECD: Don't bank on wireless for comms futures

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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.