Operators focus on bandwidth provision

Network operators in Asia are adopting bandwidth provision technologies such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), in a bid to keep up with traffic demands.

As Web 2.0 applications like video sites put a strain on network bandwidths, many operators in the Asia-Pacific region are focusing on bandwidth provision technologies to help cope with demands, according to a Juniper Networks executive.

Adam Judd, senior vice president for Juniper Networks Asia-Pacific, said operator networks in the region are "steadily transitioning" to implementing MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) technology, which is touted to help applications perform more smoothly by prioritizing which packets of data get delivered faster over the network.

And investing in such bandwidth provision technologies is more important than simply building huge pipes, said Judd. "Everyone thinks that having the fastest connection will win the game, but having more bandwidth does not necessarily mean more throughput," he told ZDNet Asia in an interview.

According to a recent global Network Instruments study, MPLS adoption appears to be steady, with most organizations still in the nascent stages of implementation.

Asia's operators are keeping up pace with global trends. Japan and Hong Kong, in particular, are leading the region's deployments, he added. Both economies have aggressively pursued applications over IP such as IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) and gaming--services which cannot afford to have latency issues, he said.

But overall, video is the main application driving the adoption of bandwidth provisioning, Judd noted. Reflecting on Juniper Networks' business in India, he said it is the fastest-growing in the region, largely due to the country's bandwidth explosion, aided by demand for Web 2.0 applications.

Furthermore, as countries in the region embark on large-scale projects such as next-generation networks (NGN)--consolidating the role of network carriers--operators have to move up the value chain and begin providing content services in order to stay in the game, he said.

The opportunity for them, again, lies in MPLS technology, where operators can price differently for various levels of service, to offer price packages to customers.

"There are people who would pay more to service providers for better quality service...better quality video over YouTube, for example," he said.

As to whether this poses issues with Net neutrality, Judd said the market exists for premium content which service providers should capitalize on.

"[Networks without MPLS technology] are like big roads, which are fine if there isn't much traffic. But if it's a big NGN supporting all these IP services, that will jam up quickly...Busy but more 'intelligent' roads have toll gates to prioritize traffic," said Judd.

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