The Broadband Roadmap to 2030
Broadband networks have already developed vastly since the initial deployments in the early 2000s, evolving from networks offering hundreds of kilobits to today’s fibre-based networks with a global average speed of 200Mbps. In the last five years alone, the average broadband speed has increased by over 500% – in some countries, such as China, by as much as 3000%.
However, the demands on broadband networks are set to accelerate even further, driven by a continuous increase in the number of connected devices, the evolution of ever higher video quality standards and other bandwidth-hungry applications, as well as the shift of intelligence to the cloud.
Moving forward though, high speed will not be the only key indicator of network performance. Tomorrow’s consumer and enterprise applications will also demand ultra-low latency, high levels of reliability, and service consistency. Networks will also be expected to operate with enhanced autonomy, and advanced environmental awareness achieved via improved sensing technology, while also being highly secure and sustainable.
The required evolution of broadband networks is therefore complex. The WBBA whitepaper Next-Generation Broadband Roadmap [link] sets out a detailed strategy for achieving the future of broadband networks in the run-up to 2030 and beyond.
Key findings from the whitepaper include:
- The evolution of broadband is largely driven by IoT – and the number of connected devices is going to increase exponentially.
- The types and capabilities of connected devices will evolve as new technologies such as 8k video, XR and 3D screens enter the mass market.
- This increase, multiplied by the trend for increasingly bandwidth-hungry applications, plus a greater reliance on the cloud, will drive the need for multi-gigabit networks.
- As the telecom industry evolves in the lead-up to 2030, the focus for operators will no longer be just on top-line speed. Although important, broadband networks must be capable of handling the traffic of a large variety of applications, ensuring that each is delivered in the best possible quality.
- The next generation of networks will be highly reliant on advanced broadband network capabilities. Countries that lag behind in rollout will find themselves at a disadvantage that could severely hamper their socioeconomic development.
- In addition to broadband being essential to our daily lives as consumers, enterprises in all verticals will also become heavily digitized – adopting cloud services and technologies, as well as industrial variants of consumer technology, to help their business.
- The WBBA roadmap defines broadband generation 5.5 (BB5.5) and broadband generation 6 (BB6) and shows the various characteristics of those generations in performance, quality, operational improvements, energy-saving, as well as adaptation to increasingly diverse application needs.
- With the migration to all-fibre networks, the phase-out of copper will be vital to achieving return on investment, as well as lower energy usage.
Dr Marcus Brunner is the WBBA Generational Roadmap Chair. Rewatch the WBBA webinar ‘How can broadband networks meet the needs of tomorrow’s applications?’ on Tuesday 18 July – hosted by Dr Brunner, alongside industry experts from Omdia, WBBA, and more HERE.
Download the whitepaper, ‘Next-Generation Broadband Roadmap’ HERE.