Govt called on to ensure analogue switchover meets 2012 deadline

20 Nov 2009

Ireland must switch to digital by 2012 and enable the country to benefit from the full impact of the digital dividend, the telecoms industry warned the Government last night.

Yesterday, members of the Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF) met to discuss the latest developments in mobile-broadband technology, including fourth-generation mobile technologies like Long Term Evolution (LTE).

The group is calling on the government to ensure analogue switchover occurs no later than the target date of 2012.

Great expectations

“With phenomenal growth in mobile broadband, users expect to have broadband access wherever they go. High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) modems, USB dongles and 3G phones are now in everyday use,” said TIF director Tommy McCabe.

“LTE mobile-phone technology will improve the consumer experience and allow for more demanding applications such as interactive TV, mobile-video blogging, advanced games and professional services. It is crucial that the industry is supported in developing these next-generation technologies. LTE networks will be commercially deployed around 2010-2012.”

Jos Grond of Nokia Siemens Networks said that mobile data traffic will increase 300-fold by 2015, so operators will need to migrate to the flat-architecture LTE technology to keep their business case positive.

“To cope with this challenge, we have designed an award-winning solution to seamlessly migrate systems from 2G to LTE while dramatically lowering energy consumption and footprint,” Grond warned.

Role of LTE

Brendan O’Reilly, O2 Network strategy consultant, said LTE will inevitably play a key role in addressing the growing demand for high-bandwidth mobile data services.

“However, the timing of deployment in Ireland will be dependant upon the release of a suitable spectrum and the development of the LTE ecosystem.”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years