Thursday, May 13, 2010

Former China Telecom CTO criticizes China's broadband strategy

5/13/2010, The most important technology guru in China's telecom industry, former CTO and current director of science and technology committee of China Telecom, Mr. Wei leping today addressed attendees of "2010 Global broadband communication and M2M forum" on several important technology and marketing topic of China's telecom industry in Beijing.

In his speech, he even criticized that China's government doesn't have a 21 century strategy for lack of national FTTH plan.

According China Telecom's traffic data, Wei predicated that the annual growth rate for internet traffic in China Telecom's network will be 50%-80% in future 5 years, that means the traffic of 5 years later will be 10 or 20 times higher than today's traffic. Today, 70% of the internet traffic comes from P2P application, but because of China Telecom's regulation policy, 65% of these P2P traffic is UDP traffic.

For Telecom service provider's service carrying network, Wei pointed out that core router's low MTBF is a key bottle neck of today's telecom infrastructure. The long term solution for this should be the optical router, and the middle term solution is to bypass the traffic by transport layer.

For technology selection in metro network, Wei said there is still big obstacle between datacom engineers and telecom engineers. These two kinds of engineers have different "religion", one is Christian, the other is Buddhism, and they can't merge together. Just because of this, we can't say there is a main stream metro network technology; every selection should be decided case by case.

For China's access network construction, Wei said that cost of PON end to end equipment has dropped to below 100 USD according to this March's bidding process. This 100 USD is a threshold for large scale roll-out. Both ONU and OLT's price have dropped more than 25% during the past 3 years. It is the time for China Telecom to forge ahead FTTH in big cities. Considering upgrading cost, FTTH has nearly the same cost with FTTB+LAN. In year 2010, China Telecom will have 0.5-1 million FTTH subscribers. As GPON and EPON, Wei doesn't prefer any of the two technology, he only said that both them are mature technology selection now.

Wei didn't talk much about IPTV today. He said that voice service still is the most profitable service based on the standard of price per bit compared to internet and video service. Especially China's video service is very cheap. For future's large scale video service, China Telecom must continue to find way to cut cost off.

The most important thing Wei talked about today is about China's broadband strategy. Wei said he once made a speech before China's premier minister Wen jiabao. In that speech he said the most important infrastructure construction should be information highway, not Industry Park, port, highway or airport. This is the research result of a Japanese high level group. But in mainland China, no money was invested into information industry. No new policy was introduced to promote this industry. This shows that China's government still has 20 century's developing strategy, not 21 century's. He said premier Wen thanked him for that speech. That is the reason why government began to promote triple play. But according to Wei, that is not enough, compared to US or Japan's government, China's government still has a lot to do on developing information industry.

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