Thoughts after PITA 2014

Group photo of 18th PITA AGM participants outside Warwick Le Lagon Resort's Farea Pacific Conference Centre

As PITA 2014 concludes here are three take outs from Kacific:

It‘s a mix-and-match world

The Pacific Islands represent a set of unique challenges to telcos and ISPS. The physical geography of the islands and the widespread distribution of populations means that no single technology can meet all needs. To provide broadband services to the outer islands, rural areas and other remote locations consistent with a universal services obligation will require a mix of technologies – fibre, cable, and MEO and GEO satellites. The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Moana Carcasses Kalosil (who is also Minister responsible for Information and Communications Technology), made a commitment at PITA, when he opened the conference that all schools and hospitals in the country would have broadband access by 2018 at speeds of 21 Mbps up and 12 Mbps down. Those speeds cannot be achieved on 3G networks, but they can be achieved using Ka band transmission. We believe other nations will make similar commitments, as governments recognise that these promises can be met in the short term, with relatively little risk by deploying s set of complementary technologies.

Ka-Band finds a home

That leads to our second observation: Ka Band has found truly its niche in the Pacific. It provides increased spectrum compared to C-band and Ku-band, enabling greater volumes of traffic to be transmitted. And the smaller end-user antennas, higher reach and greater bandwidth and speeds make it a very attractive offering.

Coming soon, faster, cheaper, easier broadband

Our third observation is that the Pacific will not be without good high reliable, high speed broadband for much longer: demand is surging and governments and larger customers are willing to commit for a service that can be delivered in the near term.