IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Ovum on gigabit broadband: Is it speed for speed's sake?

Mon 31 Oct 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

At this year’s Broadband World Forum (BBWF 2016), there was much talk about gigabit broadband: Drivers, technology choices, monetisation opportunities, and the impact on the home network it would have were all hotly debated. Gigabit broadband is already being deployed in a number of countries and Ovum expects deployments to increase in 2017. In some advanced places such as Singapore, Ovum predicts gigabit broadband to comprise more than 65% of all broadband lines by 2020.

Big questions around monetisation still exist

There is no doubt that fixed broadband bandwidth is increasing. According to Ovum’s latest consumer forecasts, 20% of all broadband subscriptions on a global basis will be at speeds of 100Mbps or more by 2021. Meanwhile, demand for speeds of less than 10Mbps will have fallen from just under 50% at the end of 2014 to less than 10%, and services of 30Mbps or more will account for 55% of all lines. This is being driven by a combination of factors including

  • increasing demand for online media such as video and gaming
  • increasing demand for high-definition video content and services
  • bigger TV screens (from an average of 40–45 inches today to an average of more than 60 inches by 2020)
  • more video-enabled screens (with one operator predicting an average of six per household by 2020)
  • an increasing number of connected devices (from an average of 10 today to 50+ by 2020).

However, whether there is a genuine need for speeds of 1Gbps or more is still up for debate. Equipment vendors would like to think there is, but service providers Ovum has spoken to are less certain. All agree that consumers value a high-quality experience, of which speed is certainly a factor, but most also admitted that you don’t yet need a gigabit service to deliver a high-quality experience for today’s services and applications.

The big driver for gigabit speeds today therefore comes down (yet again) to speed for speed’s sake. At least two of the service providers that Ovum spoke to at BBWF 2016 admitted that one of the biggest application drivers they have seen for the gigabit service was the “speed test” (i.e. when someone carries out an online speed test and shares the results on social media).

Speed tests may sound trivial, but because consumers equate a high broadband speed with a high-quality experience, having them post speeds on social media gives service providers some free marketing.

The focus still remains on speed rather than true QoE

Ovum’s research shows that latency is a more important part of overall QoE than speed, but speed still dominated the discussions at BBWF 2016. However, at least one (European) service provider Ovum spoke to at the conference stated that in its R&D testing it was finding little QoE gains in increasing speeds much beyond the 100Mbps mark.

It was therefore turning its focus to techniques that further reduced latency, which had a more positive impact on low-latency applications such as online gaming.

In Ovum’s view this was a sensible move, although the operator will still have the challenge of communicating the benefits of low latency to the consumer because it is typically harder to market than speed. “Lag” is however a term that’s widely understood among online gamers, so low latency could be a powerful marketing tool in this segment.

The connected home isn’t ready for gigabit broadband – yet

To deliver a high QoE, the entire end-to-end connection must be considered. It’s simply no longer acceptable for broadband service providers to say, “Our responsibility ends at the perimeter of the home.” They must investment more in the home network to take full advantage of QoE differentiation.

At BBWF 2016, it was pleasing to see a significantly greater focus on the home network’s role in helping to achieve the best QoE. This focus was not restricted to high-speed media streaming, but smart home devices and applications also.

From selecting the right wireless network standards to choosing device middleware, the key message from vendors was that it is essential for service providers to invest in the home network if they are to remain relevant to their customers and be able to compete in what is becoming an increasingly competitive marketplace.

It was heartening to see some real innovation at BBWF 2016 which will enable service providers to deliver top-quality products to consumers.

Article by Michael Philpott, practice leader, Consumer Services, Ovum. 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Lenovo announces launch of Retail Solutions portfolio in A/NZ
Lenovo has announced the launch of its Lenovo Retail Solutions portfolio across the A/NZ region, which they say will help retailers transform their business and face future retail demands.
Story image
Employers look to hire inexperienced coders due to skills shortage
"Even inexperienced workers without prior qualifications or experience had managed to pivot to new roles in coding as long as they are willing to upskill."
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
VMware wins Google Cloud partner award for infrastructure modernisation
The cloud computing and virtualisation company was recognised for its achievements as part of the Google Cloud ecosystem.
Story image
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Microsoft launches app for modern selling experience
The new release is designed to enhance CRM systems with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.
Story image
Volpara, Microsoft project to detect cardiovascular issues
Volpara Health Technologies is working with Microsoft on a research and development project to speed up creating a product that detects and quantifies breast arterial calcifications (BACs).
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Eaton provides business continuity with disaster avoidance application
Many SMBs often struggle with problems relating to UPS and IT assets due to the sheer amount of time and resources required to run effectively. 
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Consumers want personalisation, but don't trust brands with their data
Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction but they don't trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. 
Story image
Airwallex, Xero extend partnership with easier invoice payments
Airwallex has extended its long-term partnership with Xero by releasing a new payment link integration for Xero invoices that will make receiving them easier and faster for Australian businesses.
Story image
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
rapidMATION helps Coates achieve success with landmark RPA solution
A strong Robotic Process Automation solution (RPA) can help solve many complex issues that businesses face daily. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Market growth
Salesforce unveils new offerings for consumer goods companies
Salesforce has announced new products for consumer goods companies to help brands navigate increasing market complexity more easily.
Story image
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Story image
Schneider Electric ups the ante on sustainability strategy
"We've made some progress but to avoid a major energy challenge, all data centres - including distributed edge data centres - must be more sustainable."
Story image
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Apptio adds portfolio enhancements to promote digital strategy
"While digitalisation creates opportunities, it also makes budgeting far more complex, leading many companies to waste substantial funds."
Story image
F5 Networks
Telstra, F5 team up to bolster services and solutions
“This partnership demonstrates our ongoing investment into APAC as we continue delivering high value services and solutions to our partners and customers."
Story image
Jamf updates healthcare IT to protect data on Apple devices
Jamf has rolled out new functionality to help healthcare and IT teams protect patient data and streamline clinical access for their Apple fleet.
Story image
The rise of digital gifting in the workplace
The name itself does most of the explaining; it’s a gift you receive virtually. But a misconception about digital gifts is that they need to be redeemed virtually as well. 
Story image
Corpay partners with supply chain platform PracBiz Exchange
Corpay's new partnership with PracBiz’s allows more than 4000 B2B suppliers on the latter's platform to use Corpay's global payments services.
Story image
Orbital Insight
Orbital Insight solution set to drive better data-driven decisions
The company says the new Site Intelligence solution will provide granular visibility, behaviour analytics and deep insights about customers and competitors at any location. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce harnesses automated solutions with new developments
Salesforce has launched Sales Cloud Unlimited, a new feature to help accelerate productivity with AI and automation.
Story image
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."