Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Current thinking on Broadband access

Having been at the wrong end of access problems in Thailand, neither of the main players (TOT, True) can offer me a phone line let alone an ADSL service, I started doing some resarch about other options.

At first I thought about a WiMax solution with an installation in a friends office that is within range of my house and has broadband access. However there is going to be a license issue and that woudl involve the NTC, difficult at best.

Now as I walk around the area my eyes are drawn upwards to the bundles of power lines that are sttung around the city. So maybe there is a real application of BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) Access here in Bangkok 2005.

BPL is simple, the bradband signal is sent over the same wire as the electricity. It works because of the different frequencies assigned to electricity and ADSL. BPL Access, the delivery to the house, steps down to between 2 and 4 Mbps as the electricity is stepped down to a consumable ~240 volts.

This is within the range of ADSL services, but today not efficient enough for IPTV, and more than suitable for VoIP traffic.

Once at the house the signal can then be directed with BPL In-House. This allows the user to send the signal around the house using the ring main. A BPL modem has a plug type interface that plugs in to the normal electricity outlet, the other end has an ethernet cable that connects into the LAN port on the PC/Notebook.

This technology would be ideal for a city like Bangkok where power is everywhere but many people are left without a telephone line, and therefore ADSL. The advantages, in an already congested city, of not having to dig up the road to lay copper or fiber speak for themselves.

Now all I need are some numbers to assign to people so VoIP-over-Power can become a reality, back to the NTC then......

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Convergence needs a phone to be True

The telephony company now known as True, Thailand, has decided to buy a larger share in the Cable (read digital satellite) company UBC.

They make the move with the intention to consolidate some of their operation and move to be able to provide a triple+ play service with TV (UBC), IP Access (KSC Internet) and Telephony (True landline and Orange mobile).

However their is a flaw in their plan and that is in order to offer triple play they need to have a solid base of single play first. Here we are in 2005 and I still don't have a phone line, let alone ADSL in my home.

The incumbent, TOT, cannot provide me with a phone line; despite living 2.5 KM from their headquarters. On asking True, the only other alternative for Bangkok, they don't have enough circuits and so I have to wait for a current subscriber to cancel service before I can get a number (and hence circuit).

The True dream is to have voice, IP and TV (plus other content) delivered to homes in Bangkok (and up country). Maybe instead of spending 18+ billion baht on that dream the should first ensure that their enough circuits in the city to meet the demand. Once the customer base is supplied then provide triple play services on top of that.