Thursday, December 02, 2004

ENVY - also wanna have! 

James Enck is again right on the spot, if he talks about Broadband Envy.

He is citing an article in Telecomweb: Hong Kong ISP Will Be First To Offer Gigabit-To-The-Home

While most people in the world (especially we Europeans) can only hope for 5 Mb/s asymmetrical broadband in the near future, and just a relative handful can look forward to 20 Mb/s or faster delivered by technologies such as FTTx and ADSL2+, residents of Hong Kong are about to get the world’s first 1 Gb/s residential broadband. And it’s fully symmetrical 1Gb/s no less, in the form of Ethernet delivered to a jack in their homes over standard Cat 5 copper wiring by City Telecom (HK) Ltd, a company that started life 12 years ago with just $65,000 in start-up capital.

Moreover users who don’t need all that speed or don’t want to pay for it have the option of taking “only” 100 Mb/s symmetrical service at $35 per month, less than U.S. and European carriers charge for asymmetrical DSL or cable broadband at a fraction of the speed. The 100Mb/s service launched this month, and the 1 Gb/s service set for rollout in the second quarter of 2005, are upgrades to City Telecom’s current 10 Mb/s symmetrical service, itself an offering of which most people in the world can only dream.

Considerings this, James later post on Japan gets it fits very well. Luckily James seems to be able to read Japanise and translates some statements made by Keiichi Enoki (VP of Products and Services at NTT-DoCoMo):

... It seems that at an event in Tokyo a couple of weeks back, Keiichi Enoki, VP of Products and Services at DoCoMo, sat on a panel wherein he expressed anxiety as to whether 4G technology would ever come about in the way people expect. The article is here, and while it's in Japanese, luckily that's a language I read. On top of the predictable discussion of licensed vs. unlicensed spectrum coming into conflict in Japan, Mr. Enoki says (my translation), "There's also Skype. Maybe we're moving to a situation where it will be enough just to have an internet connection." I and others have been saying that for two years, but it's interesting to hear such a powerful figure from a behemoth like DoCoMo going anywhere near this thesis, at least in a public forum ....

So if already DoCoMo - the king of services - has fears to be reduced to a simple access provider, what about fixed line telcos? And how will 3-4G compete with 1 GBit/s for two digit $ prices/month? And there are still people out wanting to charge you for plain voice calls per minute and for 160 Byte SMS messages?

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