The fixed broadband network is the infrastructure needed to meet the needs, both economic and societal, of developed markets. While some people in some developed markets have abandoned their fixed telephone connection in favour of all-mobile solutions, the majority (90% plus) still have both a fixed and a mobile connection.
People have discovered for themselves that they need both, and they have intuitively worked out what they use, where and when. The same applies to the various communications applications. Again intuitively, people are using SMS, chat, social media, email, telephone messages and voice-based telephony.
There is no reason to suppose that this will change. Using transport as an example, one method does not replace the other. We walk, use a bike, car, bus, train, boat or plane, without too much discussion and confusion.
And so wireless broadband and FttH will develop, in a complementary and harmonious way. There are several reasons for this:
Mobile broadband will be the only way to advance telecoms developments in developing economies with little or no fixed infrastructure in place; and not just for telecoms — even more importantly, for economic and social developments (e-commerce, m-payments, e-health, education and so on). The UN has already earmarked broadband as an essential element in the Millennium Development Goals.
However, even here, over time (20-25 years, perhaps less) this will predictably lead to higher FttH penetration in these countries as well, for exactly the same reasons that are mentioned above.
But once again these developments go hand in hand with the development of mobile broadband, the convenience of mobile communication and the fact that it is personal, will see an ongoing increase of its use.
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Minds + Machines