Auckland – Huawei Broadband Summit 2010

By John Nixon 17/09/2010

logo I attended the Huawei Broadband Summit at Auckland Hilton Hotel today.

To say it was impressive is a huge understatement. I never really took Huawei (at least here in New Zealand) seriously until now.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China not so long ago. Prime Minister John Key visited China and raised the subject of the new Ultra Fast Broadband initiative with officials there. This may have just spawned the huge interest by Huawei that I witnessed today.

The event spared no cost. The Auckland Hilton is a very exclusive hotel built out over the Auckland seafront on Princes Wharf, with the city’s Waitemata Harbour on three sides.

The Huawei compere advised that they had only had the idea of organising the presentation a few weeks prior, yet they managed to have the Minister of Communications Steven Joyce and the CEO and CTO of Crown Fibre Holdings as guest speakers.

That’s grunt!

In spite of the short lead time, over 200 guests attended. I took an available seat towards the front and shook hands with my two unrecognised neighbours.

’Oh John Nixon, hi, I read your blog regularly’ both of them said.

I thought: ’Happiness, it’s all worthwhile!’

There followed several very interesting and well documented presentations, Huawei yes, but also from the Singapore people where Huawei has swept the market with their equipment.

What I found interesting was that Singapore (and also New Zealand, coincidence? Probably not…) is installing TWO fibres per household.

Why? You only need one to deliver everything, including broadcast TV, IPTV, data, voice etc.

Well John Greenhough (CFH CTO) provided the answer: to hedge against the arrival of new services and offer even more options for future competition. Good thinking! Fibre costs peanuts.

Impressive was the statement that video now accounted for 90% of IP traffic…. IP networks have to take this into consideration. If you call up a web page, you spend often some minutes reading the content, and the link is dormant during that time. However with video, you have a constant stream of data, pushing up the network load and the backhaul requirement.

What pleased me was to hear that RF Video Overlay was to be included in the Local Fibre Companies’ options for carrying broadcast and pay TV. This is of course my area of special interest.

This simple and inexpensive fibre network option allows all the Freeview and SKY TV channels to be broadcast over fibre on a third wavelength (1550 nm), thus unloading the data link tremendously compared to sending these channels as IPTV.

Anybody interested in this subject will find simple explanations on my web site:

I wish Huawei well, but there are many other equipment vendors who will be competing for the equipment business once the LFCs start operating in the coming months.