Although we noted the increased adoption of IP switching in fixed networks in Malaysia in the upcoming release of the Heavy Reading IP Network Transformation Market Tracker, a keynote address by Telekom Malaysia confirmed these comments, identifying plans to totally replace its network of TDM switches within seven years.
Similarly, other presentations and panel discussions also reinforced that IMS in Asia Pacific continues to represent a preferred approach for both fixed and mobile operators. While IMS will continue to follow a relatively slow adoption curve globally, there is little doubt that the number of IMS subscribers in this region will grow significantly in the future in lockstep with TDM core network replacement within the next five years. (See IMS Revival or Last Stand?)
Perhaps the most reinforced takeaway from the event, however, was just how aggressive a number of countries in this region are with respect to deploying FTTX to meet the broadband services requirements. While some of these plans have been in place for a number of years, it’s apparent that critical mass is beginning to be reached and will only accelerate, especially in countries where regulators are defining new business models to encourage investment. (See Singapore Set for Broadband Ramp and China Telecom's FTTH Feast.)
And yet, the summit did not ignore the thorny question of which services would drive the additional revenues to justify the IP broadband network investment. In this regard, IPTV in this region is seen as a service that will initially deliver the necessary growth in the next few years. This is consistent with a recent Pyramid Research report, "2010 Closes With 46.2M IPTV Subscriptions Worldwide," which estimates that IPTV subscriptions will reach 131.6 million globally by the end of 2015, with more than half of IPTV subscribers based in Asia.
In addition, while these factors are important, during informal discussions with summit attendees, we assessed the impact that less visible, but critical, impact factors such as device maturity and chipset improvements will have.
So while predicting global technology shifts is s difficult business, it appears we are finally on the cusp of a major shift, driven by the alignment of technology innovation in the core, access and consumer devices, which when coupled with a commitment to implement, will alter the rate of change from inert to inexorable.
Therefore, although the full impact of such a shift on telcos remains to be mapped, the summit thankfully reinforced my belief that TDM networks will be rendered technologically obsolete during this migration, and unable to navigate the chasm that awaits. (See The Top 20 Bridge Builders.)
— Jim Hodges, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
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- Dave Williams
Sales Director, Heavy Reading