'It's the services, stupid': identifying killer applications for next-generation networks

Year of publication: 2013
Author(s): De Vlieger, L.; Evens, T.; Seys, C.; Boudry, E.; Verdegem, P. & De Marez, L.
Appeared in: Telematics and Informatics, vol.: 30, issue: 2, 121-131


Cities and countries all over the world are currently in the process of developing large-scale broadband projects in order to upgrade their Internet access infrastructure. They justify this costly endeavor of rolling out fiber to the home (FTTH) networks in believing that state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure will function as a growth engine, bridge the digital divide and increase quality of living. In the meantime, they believe it to be simply indispensable because an ever increasing demand for bandwidth-intensive applications is anticipated. The former goals, however, can only be achieved if citizens and companies alike migrate to this new technology. Hence, it is essential to consider the utility of fiber networks for future users and to explore applications that can convince end-users to migrate from their current connections to high-bandwidth networks. By means of an international expert survey, this paper tries to identify value-added services that benefit from fiber’s network potential and that can stimulate users to switch to fiber. Health monitoring, online content storage and management services, and desktop sharing were identified as the most promising fiber applications in the short term based on a combination of technological feasibility, time to reach the mass market and overall persuasiveness. Augmented video applications such as health monitoring and virtual classrooms on the other hand were deemed very persuasive but long-term oriented.

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