BBH Report Home Page
December 20, 2004 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Briefly Noted: Updates, Observations and Trends

Each month, we collect miscellaneous happenings, studies, trends or observations that you might have missed. This month’s tidbits include updates on Worldwide DSL growth, US fiber to the home and broadband anywhere.

Worldwide DSL adds over half a million subscribers each week

The DSL Forum and Point Topic's 3rd quarter 2004 results show that DSL has achieved 85 million global subscribers. The ten largest DSL population countries now account for more than 80% of DSL subscribers worldwide; the top five by DSL subscriber count are China, Japan, USA, South Korea and Germany. ( www.dslforum.org ) ( www.point-topic.com )

US Fiber Connections Growing

Render Vanderslice & Associates issued their latest report on Fiber to the Home/ Fiber to the Premise. It indicates that US homes connected to a FTTH network doubled in 2004 and the number of homes passed by FTTP more than quadrupled. It expects 2005 will be "a pivotal year" with fiber rollouts from service providers Verizon and SBC.

By Air or By Sea, Broadband Anywhere

SAS Scandinavian Airlines introduced Boeing's Connexion high-speed Web access on selected flights out of Copenhagen, with plans to equip its entire long-haul fleet by February. Meanwhile Lufthansa added Connexion to its Munich-Miami and Munich-San Francisco routes. Japan Airlines introduced the service on its flights between Tokyo and London and all Nippon Airways flights offer the service. Other airlines that have agreed to use the service include Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, Korean Air, and Singapore Airlines. If you are flying a US carrier, you are probably out of luck for getting broadband right now. The airlines are under so much financial pressure that amenities like broadband don't seem to be high on their "to-do" list. ( www.connexionbyboeing.com )

Meanwhile the US FCC initiated a proceeding proposing new rules for putting satellite services on ships. The rules are expected to promote the availability of broadband services on cruise ships and other vessels. They implement the results of the 2003 World Radiocommunications Conference. The FCC also opened discussion on new uses of 800 MHz air-to-ground spectrum and have proposed an auction of spectrum for new applications.

Multimedia to cell phones

Video services are not just for TVs any more. As an increasing number of cell phone providers roll out higher speed connectivity, such service providers as 3 (Hutchison), Vodaphone and Sprint are offering an increasing mix of video content.

QUALCOMM has shown its interest in mobile video by announcing plans to build a $800 million US national network to provide multimedia to cell phones. They set up a subsidiary called MediaFLO USA to handle the project which will take an estimated 5-years to complete. The network will support 50-100 national and local content channels, including up to 15 live streaming channels and numerous clip-cast and audio channels. ( www.qualcomm.com ) ( www.qualcomm.com/mediaflo/ )

Twentieth Century Fox announced it will create a series of one-minute dramas based on its hit show "24" for wireless handsets, available through Vodafone. Vodafone plans to launch the one-minute episodes in the U.K. in January 2005. ( www.foxmovies.com ) ( www.vodafone.com )