Can London beat Beijing and Brazil in mobile broadband preparedness to address 2012 Olympics demands

Apprehensions about lack of preparedness among broadband
operators in the UK to address customer demands during the 2012 Olympics are
mounting pressure on the entire telecom segment.



Considering the pace of its current plans, UK will not be
able to match 3G services experienced by customers during their 2008 Olympics
in Beijing.



Interestingly, Brazil operators are preparing for 4G LTE
to offer better consumer experience during the 2014 football world cup.



The important fact is that China made the first 3G call
in 2008 thanks to its hectic preparations to meet the demand during Olympics.
China Mobile provided Beijing Olympic committee members with 15,000 TD mobile phones and SIM
cards, along with 3 million RMB worth of free airtime fee and other
communication services.



China Mobile also offered 100,000 3G TD mobile phones to
members of the Olympic family, including those working in security, medical
services and news photographers. It also provided visitors with the opportunity
to rent one of 20,000 TD mobile phones.



Interestingly, UK mobile companies failed to realize
potential of their 3G networks because 4G technology is becoming available.



The spectrum auction for 4G LTE will be delayed due to
legal issues between Ofcom and broadband providers. 4G mobile broadband will be
in place by 2013.



Three Mobile
said it could realistically run out of capacity on its network by the end of
next year if the 4G spectrum auction is not sorted out.



Average mobile broadband speeds are around 1-2Mb for all
of the UK’s providers. This shows a very small increase from last year’s
figures, with only 3 mobile and O2 making significant speed gains, according to
Broadband Genie.



A 1-2Mb average is slow to be able to stream video or use
video chat reliably and downloading anything but small files.



The Olympics offered the perfect target date to get our
4G services up and running – just as Brazil is using the 2014 World Cup for the
same purpose. Instead anyone coming here next year will find a fourth rate
network, instead of a 4G one,” said Chris Marling, editor, Broadband Genie.



Can London deliver better 3G / 4G experience? Not really.
London needs large numbers of micro cell towers by 2015to provide good
LTE mobile broadband. To offer a decent 4G LTE mobile broadband service,
London needs the installation of 70,000 small cells spread right across the
capital, as well as another 2,000 nodes to cover the Underground network by
2015, according to Femtocell maker Picochip.



For London to offer its residents high speed LTE mobile
Internet in 2015, it needs 70,000 small cells and this will also deliver
minimal traffic congestion. With the Olympics just around the corner and the
Mayor of London admitting that the networks will struggle to cope, the need for
small cells to deliver added coverage and capacity is greater than ever,” said
Picochip CTO Doug Pulley.



The industry is not seeing much action from handset
players and operators to address broadband speed related concerns in UK before



A SINO-Market Research in 2008 said that 71 percent of China consumers surveyed were
interested in watching the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on a TV phone, with 41
percent considering buying one to gain mobile access to the summer sports



Besides supplying handsets, ZTE assisted China Mobile to
construct TD-SCDMA network in major Chinese cities for the Beijing 2008 Olympic
Games to ensure the reliable and smooth operations of the its 3G network



In addition, ZTE helped China Telecom’s Shanghai IPTV in
upgrading its network, the world’s largest H.264 version, to 12M-bandwidth to
satisfy the high demand for TV broadcast during the Games.



Considering the bandwidth used during the recent Royal
wedding in London, demand during the upcoming Olympics will be immense. If the
European economy is coming back to normal conditions, the demand can go up. 3G
can bring in more excitement to sports lovers.



By Baburajan K
[email protected]