Analysys Mason report examines role of wireless and satellite technologies in delivering next-generation broadband to the UK
The BSG, the government's advisory group on broadband, commissioned Analysys Mason to study the costs and capabilities of wireless and satellite technologies. The report considers the technical capabilities of wireless and satellite broadband networks in detail, and sets out how the costs of deployment vary across the UK, especially in the 'final third' (where the availability of broadband services typically lags behind the rest of the country).
Antony Walker, Chief Executive of the BSG, describes the work as , "a detailed and comprehensive report that we hope provides a significant step forward in helping to understand how fixed and wireless technologies can be best utilised to deliver a truly ubiquitous next-generation broadband Britain".
The report considers scenarios of low, medium and high demand for broadband (each with different levels of on-demand content). It suggests that terrestrial wireless technology can cost-effectively deliver the medium demand scenario to the final 15% of UK homes, although this would require a large increase in the number of base stations deployed. If more spectrum can be made available, then terrestrial wireless technologies could deliver broadband access to a greater proportion of UK homes at reasonable cost, potentially to the whole of the final third.
The study also shows that while satellite is more expensive to deploy than terrestrial wireless, it can still play an important complementary role by delivering broadband services to homes that lie outside the coverage area of terrestrial wireless and those that are located in 'notspots' within the coverage area.
Commenting on the report, Philip Bates, Senior Manager at Analysys Mason says, "Much of the discussion about superfast broadband in the UK has focused on the deployment of new fibre networks. This report shows that emerging wireless and satellite technologies can also meet some likely consumer demand scenarios in a cost-effective manner, particularly in rural areas."
"This report should help to raise awareness about the many factors that have an impact upon the cost and performance of wireless and satellite technologies; provide a basis for a more informed comparison of different technologies; and help stimulate a more detailed and nuanced policy debate," states Walker.
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