Making plans for 10 Gbps

Staff writer
Telecom Asia Awards

Best Broadband Carrier

PCCW-HKT

Last year's winner: Hong Kong Broadband Network
Major shareholder: PCCW
Business segments: Fixed-line, broadband Internet access, IPTV, mobile, IT solutions, data centers, contact centers, integrated global communications, infrastructure, advertising and interactive services
Group Managing Director: Alex Arena
Key stats (2014):

Revenues of HK$19.9 billion ($2.57 billion) up 3% year-on-year; mobile subscribers up 177% (including pre-paid and post-paid).

Hong Kong incumbent HKT wrests the broadband crown from perennial rival Hong Kong Broadband Network this year. The firm credits greater bandwidth, infrastructure investment and even interior décor savvy with helping them score the award.   

No, really. Paul Berriman, group CTO for HKT, says that in the push to roll out fiber broadband services over the years, one thing the telco has learned from its installation experience is that many customers have expensive decorations in their home. “So we work closely with architects, interior designers, and decorators” to ensure that the CPE can be installed without disturbing the décor.    

Of course, Berriman stresses, that level of experience is the product of HKT’s continuous investment in broadband technology. “We’ve taken an aggressive approach to FTTB roll-out over the last ten years, and once we reached around 85% of all buildings in Hong Kong, we proceeded to run fiber to those buildings in readiness for FTTH.”   

Berriman says HKT now has over 530,000 FTTH PON-enabled customers, representing about one-third of its residential broadband base, and has the ability to install FTTH on demand to over 80% of homes in Hong Kong.

In February, HKT announced plans to roll out a 10-Gbps fiber broadband service for residential and commercial customers. The telco plans to offer the service to all premises within its FTTH footprint.

But that doesn’t mean customers who live outside of that footprint will be left behind in the broadband curve. “To satisfy the demands of customers in harder-to-reach rural areas,” says Berriman, “we rolled out vectored VDSL to give those customers a much improved service over copper - in areas where ADSL was the only prior option and the laying of fiber was not practical or viable at the time.”   

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