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European & Asian presentations @ Wimax World

Friday 17 October, 2008

I attended Wimax World where they hosted a series of seminars on Global Deployment Strategies.  I was only able to attend those on Europe & Asia They also have sessions on Central America, Caribbean, & Mexico, South America, & Emerging Markets.  Many of the same presenters made presentations at multiple sessions, so I’m not sure how much I really missed.

Fonow of Trivon related that internet access in emerging markets is strong @ 15-40%, but broadband penetration is low @ <10%.  They like implementing Virgin’s go-to-market strategy by keeping it simple, customer-centric, fast & smooth sign-up, & no hidden charges.  The ministry of communications is very stringent on the direction of antennae.  Ziegelwanger of Wimax Telecom focuses on central Europe because it’s not as competitive as Western Europe.  Their advantage is in small devices.  The panelist from Freedom 4 in the UK admitted it’s competitive there,  but even more so in Ireland.  He also gave up that there is never enough spectrum downstream & there are big differences between rural & urban coverage.  Q&A revealed vendors in the UK & Ireland are bundling & using VOIP.  Revenue per user is about 20 euros in Ireland & 10 euros in Austria.  Costs have been driven down by 1/2 in the last year, which requires volume & depends on what happens in India, etc.

Lai of PacketOne offered their deployment strategy in Malaysia, which is to use their DNA (devices, network, applications) to strategically deploy capital to the states, then the rural areas in 3 steps:  1.  fixed mobile, 2.  communications/connectivity 3.  content.  Apps included e-learning, telemedicine, e-commerce, e-government.  Quershi of A-Infiniti informed that spectrum costs are up 10-50X in the last 4 years.   In Asia, they have 4 licenses where you have to use it or lose it in 2 years.  In India & Pakistan, targetted youth groups are 60% & 70% of the population respecitvely.  Success factors are demand, government regulation, how underserved the market is, & localized applications.

My take is:  some good information was presented, but definitely not commercial free.  They weren’t that well-attended with only a few dozen attendees, but that could be because the rooms were hard to find.

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