Engaging with the industry's dialogues

16 March 2021

With the conclusion on 3 December of the GVF-Satellite Evolution 2020 Webinar Series we are now planning the 2021 schedule. Whilst 2021 may at some point see a return to the joys of the visa applications, airport security queues, busy departure lounges, and boarding delays associated with international travel, I doubt a full return to the world as it was pre-pandemic: busy schedules of international travel to attend exhibitions, contribute to meetings, and address conferences.

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‘Zoom’ing in on a Global Digital Ecosystem

10 February 2021

Martin Jarrold, chief of international programme development, GVF

Martin Jarrold, chief of international programme development, GVF

In my last column published here I began with the words “The Digital Divide remains despite years of debate about solutions to bridge it.” I was reflecting on the opening statement of the pre-event description for a dialogue in the GVF Webinar Series, organised in association with the Satellite Evolution Group (https://www.satellite-evolution.com).

In this contribution I would like to draw attention to a discussion facilitated by another of GVF’s webinars to consider the problem of a variation, or rather an extension, of that divide… A divide with consequences and implications far beyond those encompassed within the usual framework of discussion about inadequate access to the technologies and services of modern digital communications… This is what I describe as the digitisation divide.

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Network automation: learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic

10 February 2021

The use of collaboration tools has increased dramatically. For instance, Microsoft alone saw an increase of 12 million new users on Teams as companies shifted to remote work during the pandemic. This change, together with the increased use of video streaming, gaming, and social media platforms, has driven bandwidth needs up abruptly.

Telia Carrier owns and operates one of the world’s most extensive fiber backbones and recently reported that “every day of the week now looks like a Sunday” in terms of backbone network load, with Sunday evenings being the traditional traffic peak. Verizon has revealed that its overall data volume increased by 19% when compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, with peak web traffic increasing by 30%. Data demand spikes have been documented in India and in Malaysia as well.

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Mobile data: the challenges ahead

10 February 2021

Southern Asian telecom operators, like their counterparts across the rest of the world, have been preparing for 5G for some time. After all the hype, 5G is here. Yet the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the upsurge in traffic usage might prove to be a valuable learning experience as operators ready themselves for 5G.

The most obvious difference for operators came about as countries in Southern Asia imposed strict lockdown measures limiting people’s movement. From Bangalore to Bangkok and from Karachi to Kula Lumpur, businesses switched almost overnight to remote working, leisure and social activities went online and school children in many countries in the region joined virtual lessons – or worse still, had their education put on hold altogether.

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