The Applications Centre in Sydney is equipped with technologies such as DSL, Fibre to the Home (FTTH), and 3G/ Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS), which service providers and developers use to simulate different user environments.
Alcatel recently developed a multicast video-on-demand service which can be used by service providers to provide high definition video over existing DSL networks. m.Net Corporation and Alcatel's 3G Reality Centres are also developing 3G wireless applications.
Alcatel Australasia CEO Andrew Young said, "The intent is to take good ideas -- be they ours, our customers' or our partners' -- through a process of collaboration, testing and trial to deliver timely and affordable broadband services that people want."
Alcatel presented a demonstration on modern video compression technologies which can deliver high quality video over DSL and 3G mobile networks. Alcatel director for innovation Geof Heydon said that the advances in video compression techniques are allowing DVD quality video to be delivered or stored with about one-fifth of the data presently required.
"Today disk storage costs about AU$1 per gigabyte and a gigabyte is equivalent to a movie's worth of data at about DVD quality. Today a typical AU$100 disk drive can store about 100 movies for AU$1 each. Year by year this cost will continue to halve. By 2020 disk drives will cost about 0.1 cent per gigabyte. This technology is relevant to service providers interested in delivering video over broadband networks," he said.
Heydon also added that the modern compression techniques can have a big impact on service delivery to mobile devices.
Alcatel's internal projections shows that by 2008 all greenfield housing estates will have fibre access (FTTH) and brownfield trials will begin. By 2014, copper replacement will progress at 4 percent per year while fibre access deployment will be about 50 percent by 2020 in Australia and New Zealand.
Alcatel also projects that there will be a wide deployment of 3G technology between 2004-2008 which will start to be replaced by 4G sometime before 2012.
Commercial tests are being conducted in FTTH in Australia. Although it is just a concept demo at this stage, Young believes ISPs will soon be "desperately seeking for ways to add value to their services as the market mature."
"People are already downloading music, videos and data today but in an inconvenient way. We are trying to satisfy that demand in an easier way through convergence across fixed and mobile, market segments, devices and applications," Young said.