The future of Wired Telecommunications in NZ

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16 years 2 months ago #179666 by Clods
Telecom's new technology is great for the environment - involves recycling and no electricity!

2 horses, 15 Chickens, 1 goat, 2 pigs, 1 cat

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16 years 2 months ago #179676 by GrantK

swaggie;151179 wrote: Firstly what I cannot get my head around is most Pay TV signals are satellite, and we as customers can draw down the "signal" to watch it whenever we want to, baring incidents or storm interference, and it costs the same every month..... and no one talks about satellite costs being expensive for that service.

So, why cannot telecommunication giants do the same for telephone and internet at reasonable costs?

Here's the difference:

- With Pay TV, everybody gets the same signal which equates to millions of viewers sharing the bandwidth and the traffic is receive-only (one way)

- With Telephone or Internet via satellite, the traffic is two way and it is just servicing one customer per packet of information sent or received.

Consequently, in the Telephone or Internet case, all the costs of that bandwidth must be paid by one customer instead of being shared by everbody. Obviously it makes a huge difference to the cost as part of the satellite's bandwidth is effectively reserved just for one customer during the time the phone call or internet traffic is taking place.

With phone conversations, the bandwidth is actually reserved, whether or not anybody is talking at the time. This is why phone calls are charged by the minute.

Whereas with internet, each time you send or receive a packet of data, you are consuming part of the satellite's bandwidth at that instant, however, if you are sitting there reading a web page which has previously been downloaded, you are not consuming any more bandwidth, regardless of how long it takes you to read the page. This is why internet traffic is charged by the packet (= around 1500 bytes or a very small piece of a Megabyte).

I hope that makes sense Swaggie :)

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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16 years 2 months ago #179684 by KiwiOverseas
just to back up what Grant is saying - there's also quite a difference in cost for the equipment. A satellite TV connection being receive only - does not require very expensive equipment - simply a dish and a decoder. Even sky digital (which is partly marketed as interactive) uses a connection spliced into your local phone line to "upload" or send messages back to sky

A two way satellite connection has both a receiver and transmitter - and it is the latter which is the more expensive and grunty piece of equipment (so to speak). If you think about it - trying to beam a signal a few thousand miles into the sky and bounce it off a piece of orbiting metal takes a fair amount of power and technology. Simply receiving a beam from a satellite takes considerably less.

Oh - and for a while there was (and still is) a receive only satellite internet service in NZ. Used to be called Ihug Ultra - and in its day was quite good (the comparison DSL service at the time was Jetstart - which was a slug). Pricing for the service was quite good - $300-400 for kit, and then $50 per month for 256k download (upload via the phone line). Jetstart was 128k.

The service never took off. Eventually Ihug pulled out - and its now sold out of australia as Bordernet.

If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

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16 years 2 months ago #179688 by max2
Gawd I am testing the brain capacity now Grant!

I can understand the "one way" flow of information for Pay TV services, but where I find the confusion is although everyone (with Pay TV) is getting the signal, we are (generally) watching different things at different times.

We are not being forced to watch the one and the same programme.

For example I might be watching the lifestyle channel upstairs using my decoder, whereas the SOH will definately be watching Rugby downstairs using his, all off the same dish.

So, whilst we are using the same satellite signal, we are still using it for our "purpose" to view what we want, or turn it off.

(The SOH's decoder is = to "my Sky" he can rewind, pause live TV, record etc so there are more one way variables there to consider and the charges remain the same for that package regardless of how long he keeps storing a saved programme).

So apart from the one way signal aspect which surely some brain down the track can fix, can't the same type of constant "signal", beam down to subscribers for use for individual telephone calls or internet use when we wish? Why does it have to be "reserved" per individual?

Its all probably very silly questions on my behalf because I am not techo, and its not quite the end of the world, so don't worry too much about them Grant, but I don't see why the equipment and signal type is designed to worry about the "individual" use for items such as telephone calls, and not worry about the individual requirements/use for Pay TV...

There has to be a way...

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16 years 2 months ago #179700 by GrantK
We are almost there -- I will explain it a little further:

swaggie;151209 wrote: ...where I find the confusion is although everyone (with Pay TV) is getting the signal, we are (generally) watching different things at different times.

It doesn't matter which channel you are watching because ALL channels are transmitted to your decoder regardless. The Smart Card in your decoder then determines which channels you are allowed to access.

swaggie;151209 wrote: (The SOH's decoder is = to "my Sky" he can rewind, pause live TV, record etc so there are more one way variables there to consider and the charges remain the same for that package regardless of how long he keeps storing a saved programme).

Once the signal from the satellite has been received, it is saved on the Hard Disk inside your SOH's decoder for later viewing. No further information is needed from the satellite once the programme has been stored.

So, to summarise:

- Selection of which channel to watch is a local function
- Storing programmes on a Hard Disk is a local function

Nothing changes so far as the satellite is concerned when local functions are used at your decoder. The satellite doesn't know or care what channels people are watching. It just sends all channels all the time regardless.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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16 years 2 months ago #179726 by jeannielea
Another question Grant. I heard today that there are different kinds of decoders to get Freeveiw TV. But the person said that due to changes soon to be made some of the decoders won't be any use and people who currently have those that won't, will have have to buy the one that will work. What do you know about it?

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16 years 2 months ago #179737 by max2

GrantK;151224 wrote: We are almost there -- I will explain it a little further:

It doesn't matter which channel you are watching because ALL channels are transmitted to your decoder regardless. The Smart Card in your decoder then determines which channels you are allowed to access.

Once the signal from the satellite has been received, it is saved on the Hard Disk inside your SOH's decoder for later viewing. No further information is needed from the satellite once the programme has been stored.

So, to summarise:

- Selection of which channel to watch is a local function
- Storing programmes on a Hard Disk is a local function

Nothing changes so far as the satellite is concerned when local functions are used at your decoder. The satellite doesn't know or care what channels people are watching. It just sends all channels all the time regardless.


Hmmm, many thanks, with you again! :D [;)]

So is it possible then as a new way of thinking for telecommunications, a major signal comes from a hosting satellite, say for example, to a receiver at Skytower.

Because of the height of this place, it can then on-send the satellite signal around to various other points in the North Island (the southerners may have to pick another structure for the sake of this example) and the bounced general signal can be picked up by telecommunication type "decoders" which are then used by subscribers for their individual needs.

The reverse occurs for the return portion of the telecommunication requirement.

That way, one "main" signal is coming down from the satellite for all subscribers, and the telecommunications decoder works like Pay TV and distributes to subscribers on various plans for their communication needs at a reasonable cost because the individualised distribution is being done at the local level, and not at the satellite.....[8D]

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16 years 2 months ago #179738 by GrantK

jeannielea;151256 wrote: I heard today that there are different kinds of decoders to get Freeview TV. But the person said that due to changes soon to be made some of the decoders won't be any use and people who currently have those that won't, will have have to buy the one that will work. What do you know about it?

During April, a new FreeView service will be launched from land-based towers around the major cities. It is called DTT (Digital Terrestrial TV) and if you can currently get a clear picture on Prime TV via UHF, you should be able to receive it OK if you have the appropriate decoder.

DTT decoders are currently priced at around $550 [:0] so I wouldn't rush out to buy one just yet. However, the price is bound to come down once a few months have passed.

The advantages of DTT are as follows:

- No satellite dish required
- HD (High Definition) TV is supported

The person who told you that existing decoders will become useless is misinformed because this is a new service which will run alongside the existing satellite-based FreeView. HDTV is unlikely to be supported on the satellite service due to bandwidth constraints.

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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16 years 2 months ago #179871 by jeannielea
Thanks, I guess this is how rumours start!

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16 years 2 months ago #179952 by KiwiOverseas

swaggie;151209 wrote:
So apart from the one way signal aspect which surely some brain down the track can fix, can't the same type of constant "signal", beam down to subscribers for use for individual telephone calls or internet use when we wish? Why does it have to be "reserved" per individual?

Good questions. I'll try to help Grant here by giving a bit of an explanation (he's the expert).
a) first off there is the delay inherent in satellite signals. This is purely a result of distance (i.e - the amount of time it takes for the signal to travel from a ground station - up to the satellite - then back down to the user). A round trip of anything from a few to several thousand miles. Even at the speed of light (which is what the signal is travelling at) there is going to be a delay. This is the reason why a satellite phone calls will have pauses/ echoes/ and sound a bit like a two way radio conversation. Sometimes if you make an overseas phone call from and landline and the carrier is at capacity they will shunt some of the voice traffic on to back up satellite links - so suddenly a phone call you've made previously that sounded fine - sounds really terrible.

b) most internet traffic is not time sensitive. So if it takes a few hundred mili seconds more to down load and email or a web pages you'll really never notice it. In addition all the different types of traffic on the internet is "mixed up". What you get depends on what is received first - there's no order to it.

Unfortunately - if you're trying to send voice over the internet (VoIP - voice over internet protocol) - you really want it to arrive first. This is called quality of service or QoS. Very hard to implement on the internet as you really need it to happen all the way across. Since no one entity owns the internet - getting that sort of agreement or cooperation hasn't happened. The end result is that if your voice over the internet phone call takes longer than 400 milli seconds - you'll need to say "over" at the end of each sentence.

c) and in addition to all the above of course - the satellite connection would still need to be two way for a voice conversation (unfortunately). However, in recent years satellite performance has gotten better and costs have come down. At present it is possible to make a satellite voice call with almost no delay since the signal is being bounced off a low earth orbit satellite (so the round trip isn't as great).

If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

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16 years 2 months ago #180004 by max2
Many thanks for the thoughts....

I remember when I was little (not too long ago[;)]) and we used to telephone the UK from Aussie, and we had those sorts of "delays" in conversation, we just expected it as part of the deal and of course the huge cost (then) of dialling o/s. Reserved for special occasions!

It didn't take long for the quality of calls to improve and the costs to come down....

So in regard to satellite service and the time delay/costs issues involved, I tend to think the way technology is moving today that it could be vastly improved and at better costing, if the telecommunication giants really wanted to.... but whilst the majority of the population are being fed their services without hinderence, public demand isn't going to get the telecommunication mobs moving on improving things for those who are not getting the same deal.

Perhaps this is where Govts need to step in and boot up these companies into being more sensitive to all user needs, not just the concentrated smaller area pockets of consumers.

and I do think those same telecommunications companies could become more "global" and look at the general region for growing their business.

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16 years 2 months ago #180349 by KiwiOverseas
I remember when I was a kid (and geez that seems a long time ago) [;)] you had to wait several months to get a phone line installed, and you had to make a booking to phone overseas at Christmas! Yes - communications has come a long way.

I think you're right - there is more that could be done, but I'm sure as GrantK and Wyseyes would testify there is only so much the technology can do. There are some physical limits you can't over come (i.e - satellite signals travelling at the speed of light - having to cover a few hundred thousand kilometers of outer space - means data/ voice is going to be delayed, and there simply isn't anyway to make it faster).

I think the bigger problem is money - specifically investment. Developing new technology to get around this sort of stuff is expensive - and for NZ at the end of the day you're talking about what, 2-3 million bill paying consumers in total (and of course as a business you can only have a portion of that). Here in India - the large multinationals are flooding, but then they would. 1 percent of the population here will get you 10 million subscribers. That's what NZ is up really up against.

If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

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