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The 2011 Broadband World Forum featured more than 300 leading industry speakers from 66 countries. These included Dr. Saad Al Qahtani, Group Chief Strategy Officer of Saudi Telecom Company (STC) who told the conference how he believes smart pipes will help to maintain Quality of Service as the number of applications continues to grow.
This focus on customer experience was echoed in the presentation from Johan Wibergh, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson, who discussed the evolution of current network technology. Wibergh predicted that 'everything that will benefit from a broadband connection will have one', adding that significant change needs to take place in order to achieve this as 'todays networks are not up to it'.
The presentation by Chief Executive of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, demonstrated that broadband issues extend outside telecoms companies and into the vertical markets. He announced that the Abu Dhabi airline will shortly launch on-board internet and live TV services onto its fleet, after already securing significant sales through smartphone applications.
The role of wireless in bringing broadband to the underserved was also a focus for Nelson Takayanagi, Superintendent of Brazilian regulator Anatel's presentation. He identified that mobile broadband will grow at a greater rate than fixed broadband in Brazil and predicted that by 2022 mobile broadband accesses will reach 1bn.
Extending the topic of mobile broadband, Aparna Khurjekar, Executive Director of Business Solutions Group at Verizon, spoke at the co-located Connected Verticals Summit about the range of in-car connectivity services that could be delivered. She spoke of how Verizon could be a hub for all internet connectivity commenting that: "You have to extend beyond cellular."
BT Group's Group Strategy Director, Sean Williams, continued the discussion on extending services by identifying how the existing copper networks should continue to be used for many years ahead. He said: "We are moving at the pace of our customers and there is a lot that can be done with copper. Our business case is predicated on getting 20 per cent of our copper customers onto fibre, but I think it's completely naive to expect to get everyone on fibre - not for a generation."
From a fibre perspective, Kevin Lo, Head of Google's fibre access program, described its move into fibre as prompted by innovation and said: "If you put a gigabit in people's homes they will be inspired to find new ways to use it. We have no idea why you need a gigabit today, but when we all had dial up you could not possibly imagine watching video over them. It's not about doing email faster, it's about doing those new things that you don't do today."
All the discussions on innovative ideas and potential methods of evolving networks were appraised in the presentation by Nokia Siemens Networks' Chief of Customer Operations, Bosco Novak, who recognised the requirement for driving innovation across the broadband industry, but highlighted that innovation runs the risk of failure. He said: "If you look at the nature of innovation it's doing something that nobody else in the world has ever done before. We need to be able - to be prepared, to fail."
Broadband World Forum is the world's largest broadband show providing a platform for telco, service provider, content provider and wireless operators meet and discuss the commercial and technical opportunities, developments and issues surrounding broadband. It featured more than 300 speakers, 200 exhibitors and over 200 international service provider case studies.
Gavin Whitechurch, Director of Broadband World Forum, commented: "Our speaker line up succinctly demonstrated the complexity of delivering the ultimate customer experience now the range of broadband access options has become so diverse. The future of broadband is ubiquitous; whether faster speed are delivered by fibre, copper networks, or wireless will depend upon local market conditions. It is clear that broadband growth will continue."
In 2012, Broadband World Forum is expanding its conference programme and exhibition with a move to the Amsterdam RAI (16-18 October 2012).
Gavin added: "This year's event was a fitting way to say goodbye to what has been our home in Paris. The event has experienced a sustained period of growth over the past few years and our new Amsterdam venue has been phenomenally well received. So much so that we have already sold exhibition space equivalent to 130% of the 2011 exhibition floor. Amsterdam will allow us to further develop both the exhibition and the conference and continue to highlight the ever increasing portfolio of broadband services."
Videos of all the keynote presentations and early bird deals for the 2012 event are available on the Broadband World Forum website at http://broadbandworldforum.com/media-zone/event-videos/.
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