Telco policy stifling innovation: Cisco exec

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Cisco Systems' senior VP of global service provider sales, Carlos Dominguez, has taken a swipe at federal government telecommunications policy, claiming a lack of competition in Australia was stifling innovation and affecting our global competitiveness.

Cisco Systems' senior VP of global service provider sales, Carlos Dominguez, has taken a swipe at federal government telecommunications policy, claiming a lack of competition in Australia was stifling innovation and affecting our global competitiveness.

Speaking to iTnews at Supercomm2005 in the US, Dominguez said that, globally, service providers were being driven towards IP-based converged voice, data and video next generation networks (NGNs) by the need to reduce operational expenses and grow revenue.

Despite Telstra's resistance to moving onto an IP backbone, and that it was wringing as much life as it could out of its copper network, he said the first step to operational expenditure reduction was the consolidation of network infrastructure.

"Most service providers have multiple networks: ATM, frame relay, voice and they’re trying to consolidate by putting it all over IP which can take cost out of the business because each network has its own operational support, people looking after provisioning and management, which is very costly.

"The other driver is the need to increase revenue by creating new services. New services are only being developed for IP-based networks and where service providers get in trouble is if they just try pushing connectivity in countries where connectivity is not an issue. When you have connectivity you need to differentiate services."

Australia was in a unique situation with Telstra, he said. "Every geographic region has its own set of requirements and issues but one thing is universal; where there is competition, there tends to be more innovation on the technology front and it happens a lot faster. Optus/Singtel is [competing with Telstra] in Australia but it’s mainly in the enterprise market."

He added the telecommunications world was undergoing big changes with the move to IP and the services that are being offered.

Where there is competition they’re adopting a lot faster because they have to. The underlying piece to consider is that the internet and technology and the globalisation of our world is offering and opportunity to play different in this global economy."

Countries like China and India were pushing technology and education and they have a vision of where their world and country is going to go

"So you have to ask the question, what is [Australia’s] role in the global economy?" he said.

Disclaimer: Darren Baguley travelled to Supercomm2005 as a guest of Cisco Systems.

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