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Parts Of NGNs May Be Unlikely To Be Economic To Duplicate

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 24 NZPA - Certain areas in telecommunications Next Generation Networks (NGN) may be unlikely to be economic to duplicate, a Commerce Commission discussion paper on the issue says.

The investment needed in the next generation access network technology needed to support high speed and high quality data carriage would often be substantial, the paper published today said.

"A major consideration for regulators has therefore been how to balance the need to provide incentives for investments in an NGN, whilst still promoting competition in telecommunications markets."

Another common theme in NGN deployment was mis-alignment between parties that carried the costs of investment, and those who received the commercial and social benefits of the services that NGN made available.

"This is particularly so as more user generated content and distribution occurs or where the services are related to community and social objectives."

Other themes included new entrants being constrained by lack of access to premium content, and uncertainty surrounding what content and services end users would want to pay for.

NGN networks represent a shift from the traditional approach where different services are provided through separate networks.

In its place NGN architecture supports a full range of services, largely independent of the underlying technology.

The commission report said next generation core networks were already in existence. The focus was now shifting to next generation access networks, including Telecom's fibre to the cabinet rollout.

NGN combined characteristics of the traditional telecommunications model and of the internet model, gradually bringing to full convergence fixed and mobile networks, voice and data services as well as broadcasting services.

"Convergence on all levels is pushing markets towards an environment that requires new investment in infrastructure," the paper said.

"By enabling different types of content and communication services to be delivered through the same `pipe' by several operators and consumed over a variety of platforms and end-user devices, physical networks are likely to become a commodity."

Today's discussion paper is seen as helping to assess the likely impact of technological change on market structure and competition.

The commission wants comments on the paper and is also holding a NGN conference in late February, ahead of the release of a draft NGN study report in April.

NZPA WGT mjd nb

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