Telstra chief David Thodey has attributed the growth of video traffic on telecommunications networks to the view that watching was "quicker" than reading.
Addressing the Asialink forum in Melbourne, Thodey said users preferred video to text, but had been slow to adopt the technology due to a traditional shortfall in quality.
Faster processors and better codecs - along with decent broadband – were removing that quality obstacle.
The arrival of the NBN would continue that trend by making high speed internet practically ubiquitous, he said.
Besides video traffic, telcos also faced growing data volumes, including a 30-fold rise in SMS - partly driven by its use in the automatic delivery of appointment and event reminders - and a 200 percent increase in email traffic during the past three years.
Users were also sending much larger attachments by email, adding to data volumes, Thodey said.
Thodey said he was "delighted" by the construction of the NBN, noting that "21st century economies just need technology".
He said that Telstra's engineering group was available "at a price" if NBN Co needed assistance rolling out the network.
Thodey also called for more focus on innovation from companies in the Asia-Pacific region.
He said ICT was "an engine room of the economy", fundamentally changing industry structures, improving productivity and lives.
He also warned that ICT should not try to prescribe what was possible in specific industries but should be an enabler for change.