SHDSL broadband could be poised to burst onto the consumer and small business market in Australia, if the predictions of one networking vendor prove correct.
David Stewart, managing director at ASX-listed networking hardware vendor NetComm, spoke to CRN after a seminar on trends in broadband at MediaConnect's recent Face the IT Media forum in Queensland.
Stewart said SHDSL technology was not widely known in the Australian market, but could significantly lower networking and communications costs for smaller businesses and home users.
'People are talking about VoIP or Voice-over-broadband but we think SHDSL is financially justified,' he said. 'It is eliminating a currently high costs infrastructure that's going to push it [to the market] very well.'
Stewart said customers could put four to eight voice channels down one telephone line using SHDSL.
'For on-line cost reductions, you can significantly run multiple telephones using SHDSL and these are going to be deployed in certain community areas for a very low cost,' he said.
One of the biggest barriers to adoption of new technologies was cost. SHDSL could potentially drive VoIP deeper into the Australian market, he added.
Stewart believes that SHDSL could be 'pretty serious' for the large international telecommunications carriers - such as AT&T - because it would make it cost-effective to pick up some VoIP infrastructure in one major country and put it through their own network anywhere in the world.
So far, NEC and Request Broadband were the only two Australian players who had entered the SHDSL fray, he said.
Stewart said NetComm planned to put out some SHDSL hardware in the next month or so. Some items would have analog ports and thus be compatible with analog telephones, eliminating the need to supply a VoIP handset, he added.
Fleur Doidge travelled to MediaConnect Face the IT Media Forum as a guest of MediaConnect.