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Broadband Adoption and Appliances to Gather Steam in 2004
Jan 29, 2004
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Telecommunications executives can anticipate broadband adoption growth, new broadband appliances, rising Voice over IP (VoIP) subscribers, increased offshoring, and rising penetration among cellular subscribers in 2004, according to industry research from Deloitte Research.

''Amidst the intense competition and regulatory hurdles in the telecom industry, flexibility in pricing and increased broadband demand will drive a deeper penetration of wire-line and wireless technology in households and businesses alike,'' said Grant Hyde, lead partner of Deloitte Research's Asia Pacific Telecommunications Group. ''Broadband will become progressively more mainstream as broadband appliances stimulate uptake. Operators are investing again and consumers are hungry for new applications, based on both wireline and wireless networks.''

The research firm found that while overall broadband adoption will continue to grow in popularity within the Asia Pacific region, small businesses will be motivated to migrate towards broadband as the demand for faster e-mail and Internet access increases, while pricing falls and connection speeds rise. New broadband appliances such as game consoles, video phones, home security systems, set-top boxes, VoIP phones, digital hi-fi, and home media systems will also drive robust broadband adoption this year, expanding broadband's functionality beyond PC-oriented technology, the firm said. The industry's ability to launch compelling broadband appliances is expected to have a direct impact on broadband demand.

As consumers continue to embrace broadband, Deloitte Research expects that VoIP subscribers are likely to increase. Contributing to this popularity will be enterprise adoption of VoIP into their core networks. The business market will begin to migrate to VoIP, compelling operators to prepare for the transformation of the telecommunication industry.

Offshoring will also gain traction by providing the fixed telecommunications industry with a vehicle to meet the growing demand, moving selected processes offshore to reduce internal costs. Offshoring communications requirements also represent a significant opportunity for the industry, providing voice and data communications to the many firms across the globe looking to relocate processes abroad.

The research firm also said that while compelling data applications are still in development, wireless voice applications will remain the primary source of cellular mobile revenue. To stimulate further demand for voice services, operators will need to provide improved quality and offer a broader range of services, especially those that combine voice and data, such as IP voice mail.

Cellular mobile subscribers will also continue to rise as new customer targets are identified. New devices that are tailored to meet the demands of currently under-served customers, such as consumers over 55, will provide a rich source of revenue, as will the uptake of color handsets that incorporate cameras, the firm reports. Simultaneously, machines that traditionally have not included mobile characteristics will have embedded cellular devices, improving their productivity.

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