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Sweden: Government report on broadband January 5, 2007

Posted by Jasper in broadband, Strategy.
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Before Christmas I had a closer look at the broadband strategy in Sweden. At that time I wasn’t aware of a report published in December last year by the Government’s working group on IT infrastructure and broadband (under the IT Policy Strategy Group).

The working group produced the following vision for the area:

Sweden must be the country where an efficient and secure IT infrastructure provides the best conditions for enterprise, innovation and eServices, both public and private. IT must enable Swedish people to access the services they need, no matter where they are.

To achieve the vision they set up the following general objectives for IT infrastructure:

The whole of Sweden should have an efficient and future-proof infrastructure for electronic communications with high transfer capacity in both directions, so as to enable good technical quality of transfer for multimedia services, in a functional, cost-effective and competitive market.

They mention a number of measures that need to be adopted to achieve this oal including:

  • developing an IT policy agenda within general industrial policy;
  • broadband subsidies;
  • investment in fibre-cabling;
  • built-out and coordination of passive infrastructure (ducts, poles etc.); and
  • a predictable spectrum policy.

The most important aspect is that the measures adopted should be characterised by their long-term and foreseeable nature – all with a view to creating a market, where there is sound competition, in which the end-user is in focus and where there are incentives for investments and innovation.

The report contains a separate section that dwells on why governments (municipal, state and national) should focus on the build out of “passive” infrastructure to enable broadband for all.

The report is available here (in English).

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US: An announcement with a twist August 11, 2006

Posted by Jasper in broadband, Strategy.
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Yesterday the FCC began the biggest ever auction of spectrum. Is it a coincidence that Sprint Nextel made their WIMAX announcement a day before? It certainly sends a signal to the market. But Sprint Nextel already has significant spectrum holdings in their preferred frequency range and what about this unlikely auction partnership with cable leaders Comcast, Time Warner, and Cox Communications?

Wireless could cover any holes the cable companies have in their coverage and there are certainly additional business opportunities available to the partnership that are not available to many of the pure wireless companies bidding in the auction (e.g. integrated wireless and wireline service offerings). But these are only speculations, Sprint Nextel and co have been wise not to disclose their plans, creating uncertainty in the marketplace which is likely to their benefit in the auction. No doubt Sprint Nextel is playing the game and intent on conquering the market.

US: A new WIMAX business model August 9, 2006

Posted by Jasper in broadband, Strategy.
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Sprint Nextel announced on the 8 August that it intends to build a network based on the mobile WIMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) IEEE802.16e-2005 technology standard. Sprint Nextel expect to invest US$1 billion in 2007 and between US$1.5 billion and US$2 billion in 2008 relating to the mobile broadband network and cover 100 million people by 2008. While this alone is a significant move forward for the deployment of wireless broadband technology it is particularly interesting because Sprint Nextel will be working together with Intel, Motorola and Samsung. Commitments from these companies are in areas such as market development and mobile WiMAX that are expected to accelerate Sprint Nextel’s goal of deploying services and market adoption.