A View from Asia
Taken from the foreword to the book by
Office of the Telecommunications Authority
Like many parts of the world, the Asia-Pacific region is experiencing a mobile service boom brought about by its recent economic successes (especially in its newly industrialized economies), increasingly liberal regulatory environments and the availability of new technologies. Although the major demand for mobile service is in the cellular and paging services, cordless access services (CAS) such as in the telepoint application still have an important role to play in many markets in this region. In places with high population densities, like Hong Kong, "low mobility" mobile services based on CAS technology can be set up with good coverage at relatively low cost and are suitable for public transport or pedestrian oriented communities. In countries where the fixed telecommunications infrastructure is inadequate, CAS based wireless local loop is increasingly becoming a viable means for implementing fast rollout of fixed networks. Over the past few years, cordless telecommunications technology has evolved from that used in simple analogue home cordless phones to complex digital public network access systems capable of handling both inbound and outbound traffic with "handoff".
To policy makers and telecommunications regulators, the evolutionary changes of CAS pose a challenge because they continue to blur the traditional boundaries between mobile and fixed network services. Difficulties also arise in keeping abreast of the various new and often incompatible standards in cordless telecommunications and in providing spectrum for competing technologies. However, the changing CAS technology may open up new market opportunities and applications and is definitely of interest to the telecommunications industry. Our experiences in Hong Kong, where the early success of CT2 telepoint services has dissipated in the face of rapid developments in digital cellular services, indicates that commercial CAS operators will need to position themselves more as adjuncts to the fixed networks rather than as direct competitors to cellular services. This we attempt to facilitate in Hong Kong with our policies of technology-neutrality, spectrum allocation and open licensing processes.
This book on "Cordless Telecommunications Worldwide" edited by Walter H W Tuttlebee contains invaluable contributions form distinguished experts in the associated disciplines and is a timely work for telecommunications practitioners. I congratulate the editor and his contributors for producing such a clear and comprehensive volume of this exciting field.