Sui-Lun Lo, CTO, Hong Kong Broadband Network is speaking on the subject of “Taking FTTH Speeds to 2Gbps and Beyond” on Day One of the Broadband World Forum is taking place on the 21st – 23rd October 2014 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. We get a taster of this talk at the event where he tells us how the super-fast is the new normal in Hong Kong and how the expectation of speed is changing the market for incumbents.
You already offer high-speed fast fibre connections at HKBN. What’s the next stage for you?
The fast fibre connection is just part of the value chain. End users expect fast connections not just within Hong Kong, but all the way to the information source, be it a website, video streaming server, or cloud storage. We all know that the connection outside Hong Kong is beyond our control. The distant end server capacity is also out of our control but these are not what the customer expects. They expect end-to-end high-speed experiences. So, our focus now turns to the user-end experience.
What are the technical challenges that need to be overcome to further increase speeds?
While ISPs are increasing their network speeds, compression technology is also advancing. The drive to further increase speeds is therefore not from the usage, as in the past decade, but from the market, with competition in speed amongst rivals. That is a good sign as further increase in access speed implies a huge investment. No operator could afford to do so and hence rivals will manage this.
Is there a need to drive demand for fast services?
Fast service speed is a default nowadays— at least in Hong Kong. The customer will ask the operator why it is not offering them with 100Mbps service. They will not ask why they need 100Mbps anymore.
What can countries that are mired with legacy networks learn, if anything, from your approach?
They will learn that you have no choice but to migrate to high-speed services, otherwise, you will be out of the market sooner rather than later.
What more can we expect to hear from you at the Broadband World Forum 2014?
I will be discussing what is next after fast high-speed connections and how to provide an end-to-end fast high-speed Internet access experience, by managing those are supposed to be out of control.