Ahmed Ossama, Managing Director of Telecom Egypt’s ISP subsidiary TE Data, on planned improvements to the company’s broadband network, the challenges of rising data traffic flow, and the evolution of multi-screen TV services in Egypt.
What improvements have you made to your network architecture to enable the delivery of HDTV via IP?
In greenfield areas, we started resorting to new technologies like fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in order to accommodate higher speeds and much better quality. In brownfield areas, we are working on replacing the current ADSL infrastructure with VDSL, especially in the high end potential areas.
What are some of the best practices you have discovered for managing large data requirements?
Growing data requirements is really a global concern for data operators (fixed and mobile). The evolution of applications to become more bandwidth intensive, and HD content increasingly being the normally acceptable quality for viewership, pose capacity pressures on operators.
This implies customers are demanding higher speeds to be able to cope with the evolving bandwidth requirements, while at the same time customers don’t expect to pay more, but actually expect a reduction in prices.
H.264 compression is one of the popular techniques to deliver high quality content in lower bit rates, but metered and capped services might eventually be the only means to cope with the ever growing bandwidth demand.
What role has adaptive streaming played in achieving high QoS levels?
Adaptive streaming technology in detecting the customers speeds has ensured that every customer will be able to watch our online content with the best quality his connection speed allows: we currently use Microsoft smooth streaming technology.
How do you think multi-screen services will evolve in Egypt?
We believe multi-screen TV services will evolve fast in Egypt. With Egypt’s 115% mobile penetration, smartphone penetration is growing fast, followed by tablets, followed by smart TVs.
With the technology enabling all types of services to be delivered on all types of screens, screen size is becoming the only difference between different types of devices, and multi-screen services become the natural evolution for entertainment services worldwide, regionally and nationally in Egypt.