Friday, February 17, 2006

Just to share some info from this article, after read the article think is better to put it in my blog. The internet technology dan communication technology plus telecommunication technology give some big impact toward our ways of doing communication in todays life style.

Highlights: Broadband Internet access

By Aimie Pardas

When looking for an Internet connection, you go to an Internet service provider (ISP). So, it’s only natural that when looking for a broadband Internet provider, you go to an ISP as well. But the introduction of third-generation (3G) has given people another option to access broadband Internet by using a PC card and mobile phone.Theoretically, with 3G, you can get connected at up to 384 kilobits per second (Kbps), the minimum speeds offered by most ISPs for broadband Internet anyway. Unfortunately, Maxis and Celcom, the country’s 3G providers, mainly advertise 3G as a way to view video clips on a phone or make video calls, rather than an easy way to connect to the Internet.Take the Nokia 6680, for example. The package has everything that you need to connect a computer to the Internet, from the universal serial bus cable to the drivers and software.Mikael Back, Ericsson’s vice president, WCDMA radio network, says 3G networks are being rolled out in a big way – in most of Western Europe, many parts of Asia and in the United States. “Before 2006 is over, we will have launches of 3G in most parts of the world,” he opines.Back uses his 3G connection for Internet access and global roaming even though he has a fixed line at home. Although it’s only a 384Kbps connection, he says it’s enough for him to download attachments.In countries such as Sweden and Europe, fixed-line broadband access and 3G wireless broadband access are almost equal in terms of pricing. In Malaysia, though, broadband rates depend on the service provider. For 384Kbps, users can pay as low as RM20 for streamyx for 10 hours, RM69 for Webbit, RM98 for HomeNet, or RM79 per month for Jaring FLITE, which only offers one-megabit-per-second (Mbps) connections.(The streamyx service is offered by TM Net, Webbit and HomeNet by Time dotCom, and FLITE by Jaring.)If users decide to go the 3G way, Celcom charges RM120 for unlimited 3G data access while Maxis charges RM150.Hot on the heels of 3G is a newer standard called high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA). Theoretically, HSDPA offers data rates of up to 14Mbps, revolutionary compared to the current 384Kbps, 1Mbps or 2Mbps of today’s ISPs.“HSDPA will be an important step to really be able to say you can fully compete with fixed-line broadband systems in terms of cost of operations and data rate,” Back says. “I think some operators with a clear mobile focus will try to compete with fixed-line operators that use copper lines to create broadband services.”For example, Ericsson and MTN South Africa demonstrated commercial HSDPA as an alternative to asymmetric digital subscriber line in November last year.According to Back, with HSDPA, an operator will not need to invest in a new system, but only in new software for a system upgrade.And while current 3G phones will still work even after operators introduce an HSDPA service, those who want to take full advantage of the new data rates will have to buy an HSDPA-enabled device.Back sees more devices with HSDPA than currently with 3G. Besides mobile phones, there’s a possibility for HSDPA-enabled laptops or any device that needs communications technology, he says.He adds that telecommunications companies may even subsidise these devices, much like how mobile phones are subsidised currently.HSDPA services are currently in operation in 15 countries, according to Back. Ericsson has also signed an agreement with Maxis to upgrade its network to HSDPA.However, for 3G or HSDPA to be widely adopted, there needs to be good coverage, a large variety of low-cost terminals and global roaming. Malaysia is only starting to see 3G handsets becoming more affordable, with telcos offering rebates and free Web surfing to entice subscribers.Also, in Malaysia, those using 3G for broadband connections could be doing so because it is the only choice available for broadband Internet, either due to location or lack of fixed lines.What’s more, 3G access is not available throughout the country, but the basic global system for mobile communications (GSM) network that 3G and HSDPA are dependent on has better coverage. It is also easier and cheaper for telcos to upgrade their systems to HSDPA than to lay new copper lines. This is where 3G and HSDPA may soon have the advantage for Internet access.Streamyx, Webbit, HomeNet and FLITE are available to selected locations, although streamyx has availability in most areas throughout the country. According to their Web sites, HomeNet is only available in 11 buildings, Webbit in selected areas around Petaling Jaya, and FLITE in 30 areas, mainly in the Klang Valley and Putrajaya.Additionally, Maxis and Celcom are aggressively marketing their 3G services and increasing their coverage areas; about the only ISP aggressively marketing broadband Internet is TM Net.In the future, the choice for broadband Internet may not be between ISPs, but rather between telcos or between ISPs and telcos.


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