The UK is considered to be a hub for cutting-edge telecom companies, but other countries are fast rising through the ranks. But which ones are at the very forefront of the telecoms revolution?
A competitive telecoms market place in the UK has resulted in consumers and businesses having choice from great services, at the right price. Bandwidth is unquestionably at the heart of innovative new companies and the creative delivery of services up and down the country.
Elsewhere across the globe, other countries have been able to jump straight onto 3G and 4G spectrums accelerating network development and speeds. Here we look at the countries that are trailblazing and the reasons why.
Although much of the Asia Pacific region can still be classified as economically emergent, Singapore stands out thanks to its commercial leadership, as well as advanced deployment of IT and communications infrastructure.
The island country’s role as a global hub for business has been well supported by a flourishing market for telecoms infrastructure. In 2009, the World Economic Forum described Singapore as “Asia’s most connected country”.
At the beginning of 2010, Singapore’s penetration of mobile phone services passed 140%, with nearly half this base made up of 3G customers. The country’s mobile network operators have for some time been evaluating their next step in the next generation of mobile broadband internet access.
Hong Kong has also made huge investments in telecoms infrastructure over the years, with the result that broadband penetration in the territory is exceptionally high. Some 85% of Hong Kong households now have access to good quality broadband services. A large number of internet service providers offer consumers a huge amount of product choice at competitive pricing.
Fixed-line broadband divides between extensive DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and cable coverage, combined with a fast-growing rollout of FTTH (Fibre To The Home), all helping to stimulate a market for triple-play services and IPTV that is currently setting the pace for the rest of the world.
Along with Singapore and Hong Kong, South Korea is Asia’s other major telecoms market, admired not only by neighbouring countries but also by the rest of the world.
The South Korean government is behind this success, having adopted a progressive approach to the deregulation and privatisation of telecoms assets at an early stage. As a result, telecoms operators have been able to invest in infrastructure and to unleash their creativity and innovation.
Fixed-line broadband services in South Korea are even more impressive than those in Hong Kong, with much of the country’s DSL footprint now superseded by FTTH. Mobile services too have largely evolved from 2G to 3G, and are now on a firm footing to step up to 4G.
In Europe, Scandinavian countries lead the way in deployment of next generation infrastructure for the benefit of citizens and businesses. Sweden’s telecoms operators have invested a great deal, with fibre networks that span the country, even into rural areas. Cable TV players have also been busy popularising triple-play services. Consequently, many Swedes now take for granted data transmission speeds in their access network of 100Mb/s. The country’s communications have been entirely digital since 2007. This has paid dividends in many ways; the early adoption of wireless broadband networks, for example.
United Arab Emirates
Like Asia Pacific, the Middle East is a mixture of partly developed economies and major powerhouses of global commerce. The UAE, or at least the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, boast a communications infrastructure rich in next generation mobile broadband and FTTH. Unlike Sweden, the UAE has been highly interventionist at government level in encouraging deployment and take-up of good quality broadband. The country’s authorities have done a great deal to encourage large companies to settle in the area, and take advantage of its many modern business facilities, rich in the very best ICT infrastructure available. Dubai in particular has made great inroads into developing internet and broadcast content for Arabic-speaking people, having built the lavish Dubai Internet City as a hub.
Back in Asia Pacific, the government of Australia is pushing forward with the deployment of a National Broadband Network. Well before its completion, the Network has been sponsoring the use of IT and telecommunications technology in education, aiming to provide good quality e-education, even in the country’s wide-open interior. When completed in around 2015, excellent fibre access can only help cement this lead in both e-education and e-government.