'In South Korea, for example, they are providing things like online games and e-business portals and VOD. The object is to provide content that the users will pay more for,' Liu says.
This is less of an issue in China, where users chiefly use the Net for Web surfing and email, but this also means competing on price, which will have to change once operators start adding services like IPTV.
In any case, he notes, broadband providers regardless of access technology face the same issue, and will be unable to rely solely on cutting costs to stay profitable.
'Broadband service providers will have to bundle value-added services to increase their revenues, and shift to a tiered pricing model rather than the all-you-can-eat access model. Maybe they can do this on their own or maybe they'll need to cooperate with a VAS provider. But at the end of the day, you need a proper business model to charge enough money to cover the cost of that bandwidth.'