Olympics drive Chinese broadband development

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Olympics drive Chinese broadband development

Every house in Beijing promised broadband by 2008.

Every household in Beijing will have access to high-speed internet by 2008 as part of the network development for the Olympic Games, according to new research.

A report by Point Topic revealed that the Games are driving a major broadband expansion programme by China Netcom, which has been appointed as the exclusive fixed-line service provider for the 2008 Olympiad.

China Netcom is responsible for providing fixed-line, broadband and network infrastructure for 35 Olympic venues, 32 of them in Beijing, as well as HDTV broadcast for the Games.

Earlier this year, Netcom conducted a HDTV trial over a submarine cable as part of the scheduled network development for the event.

Netcom partner Beijing Olympic Broadcasting predicted that four to six billion people will be watching the the Olympics.

Point Topic estimated that Netcom had 85,800 IPTV subscribers in June 2006, an increase of 48.1 per cent from the first quarter.

The research firm predicted that China will become the world's largest IPTV subscriber market by 2008, with reports estimating between five and 12 million customers.

The total number of broadband subscribers in the country was estimated to have reached 48.5 million in September, with DSL lines accounting for 71 per cent of all active broadband lines.

As of September 2006, the overall broadband penetration rate stood at 3.7 percent, an increase of one percent compared to September 2005.

Mobile telephony is also benefiting from the investments for the Olympiad, according to Point Topic.

China Mobile, one of the largest operators in the country, is the official mobile communication service provider for the games.

The company will supply 3G high-speed data service to support high-definition audio and video broadcast over mobile phones during the event.

"The long awaited 3G TD-SCDMA is finally taking off in China after a successful field trial carried out in five provinces in July," said Point Topic analyst Vince Chook.

"The home-grown TD-SCDMA technology, built directly on a development of GSM, is gaining ground and making an impact on the global 3G market due to its relatively low cost in upgrading from existing GSM infrastructures."

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