Capital expenditure on fiber infrastructure is expected to surpass $144.2 billion by 2019, the International Telecommunication Union, the UN specialised agency for the ICT industry has said.
A new regulatory report by ITU reveals that increasing numbers of existing operators, new entrants and financiers are developing alternative funding approaches for broadband network investments.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]As regards broadband investment, ITU said that the rise in consumer data consumption may spur more Wi-Fi investments, adding that investment in broadband infrastructure is also coming from more unlikely institutions such as hedge funds or corporate bodies that do not traditionally invest in telecoms infrastructure.[/quote]With the theme ‘exploring regulatory incentives to achieve digital opportunities’, the report emphasizes the growing importance of flexible, light-touch, technology-neutral regulatory principles which stimulate market growth while protecting the rights of consumers and encouraging new entrants.
As regards broadband investment, ITU said that the rise in consumer data consumption may spur more Wi-Fi investments, adding that investment in broadband infrastructure is also coming from more unlikely institutions such as hedge funds or corporate bodies that do not traditionally invest in telecoms infrastructure.
In the area of network sharing, the report explained that network sharing can have many benefits but is not without risks, which can include: reduction in competitive intensity; potential for collusive dealing and information sharing; and reduced options for services-based competitors.
The report further stated that government currently allocate spectrum mainly on a dedicated basis, stressing that new dynamic spectrum access (DSA) technologies allow devices to use spectrum where it is not being used in a particular geographical area, or at a particular time.
Commenting on the report Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, said that “this 16th annual edition of Trends in Telecommunication Reform focuses on regulatory incentives to achieve digital opportunities which I believe upholds the ultimate goal of regulators: serving consumers.”
According to him, “to realize the full potential of the digital economy, policy-makers and regulators have a key role to play in building policy and regulatory environments in which new technologies can flourish.”
Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General hints that Information and Communication Technologies are now all-pervasive and will be central to helping the world meet all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and that the role of ICT regulators in creating an enabling environment for ICT growth and development has never been more critical,
According to him the ITU’s annual Trends in Telecommunication Reform report supports regulators around the world to put the right policies in place for their national markets.
For Internet of Things (IoT) to become a truly ubiquitous technology, ITU stated that the cost of tags, sensors and communication systems need to fall to a level where they are a very small fraction of the total costs of the objects to which they are attached, with readers also made easily available, noting that even the cheapest (printed) tags, known as Quick Response (QR) codes, have not yet generated high responses in consumer-targeted marketing campaigns.
Not forgetting the importance of high reliability levels in large-scale systems that can include thousands of sensors, devices and readers, the report noted that without adequate security, intruders can break into IoT systems and networks, accessing potentially sensitive personal information about users and using vulnerable devices to attack local networks and other devices.
IoT system operators and others with authorized access are also in a position to “collect, analyze, and act upon copious amounts of data from within traditionally private spaces”, the report further explained.