Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ITU predicts broadband access for half global population by 2015

APEX telecommunications governing body in the world, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has predicted that, at least, half of the global population will have access to broadband by 2015, reports CHARLES OKOH.

The body maintained that building on broadband tremendous achievements made over the past five years in bringing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) access to millions of people around the world, yet more still needs to be done.

The fourth edition of ITU Statshot, a statistics newsletter designed to highlight the evolving information and communication landscape made available to ITRealms Online, weekend, showed a projection of mobile broadband subscriptions to exceed 900 million globally by the end of 2010.

Noting that by the beginning of 2010, there were 479 million fixed broadband subscriptions globally, a penetration rate of 22.6 per cent, which is up from 216 million four years earlier.

Also, ITU Statshot indicated that in January 2010, there were 667 million mobile broadband on Third Generation (3G) subscriptions worldwide, up from 73 million four years ago.

While these were not all necessarily active subscriptions, ITU said the growing number highlighted the vast potential wireless technologies hold.

“The developing world’s share of broadband subscriptions is growing steadily: the developing world accounted for 42 per cent of global fixed broadband subscriptions at the beginning of 2010, up from 33 per cent four years earlier, and 26 per cent of mobile broadband subscriptions, an increase from 22 per cent four years earlier,” part of the newsletter read.

Despite the promising growth rates, ITU said, penetration levels in developing countries are still low at 3.6 per cent for fixed and 3.1 per cent for mobile broadband subscriptions.

Further, ITU defined mobile broadband subscriptions as the number of consumers to mobile cellular networks with access to data communications, such as the Internet at broadband downstream speeds; which is greater than or equal to 256 kilo bits per second according to experts.

At least, 30 countries have now included broadband as part of their universal access service definition, which ITU described as good omen for considering broadband as a public service to which every citizen should have access.

These countries include: Albania, Andorra, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Finland, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, India, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sudan, Suriname, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, and United States.

Meanwhile, an ITU-T handbook “Optical fibres, cables and systems” was unveiled based on Study Group 15 recommendations on optical technology, namely optical fibres and cables, physical optical interfaces, optical fibre terrestrial and submarine cable systems.

The unveiling which took place in Kigali, Rwanda, showcased the objectives and programme of the “ITU-T Tutorial on Optical Fibre Cables and Systems”.

This, official said, was based on the handbook and provided an in-depth insight into the ITU-T Recommendations that have shaped the optical transport networks of the world.

Some aspects on wireless communication in the handbook include the cooperation with the Development Sector of the ITU (ITU-D).

Participants, ITRealms Online got better understanding of the ITU-T Recommendations, how to design and implement projects choosing the most appropriate equipment according to the state-of-the art.

Equally, participants learnt how to evaluate a power budget and the fundamental parameters to take into account for the preparation of technical and administrative specifications for a supply contract.

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