The more bandwidth, 'the better'

Anton Ferreira

Anton Ferreira

Hosting the 2010 World Cup will speed up the provision of massive bandwidth in South Africa and should bring down the price of telecoms services, an industry analyst said yesterday.

Will Hahn, a principal analyst at international IT consultancy Gartner, told a symposium in Cape Town that the Fifa requirement for high definition television (HDTV) had major implications for South Africa's telecoms infrastructure.

"HDTV is the most bandwidth hungry, the most powerful application of television that you can have today," said Hahn.

South Africans were unlikely to be able to watch 2010 on HDTV, "but the broadcast itself will be HDTV-capable and that has implications for the broadcasting infrastructure.

"It must be brought up to speed, so certainly it will accelerate the day when you will be able to see things in HDTV."

Hahn said the big screens at fan parks would be an ideal opportunity to introduce South Africans to HDTV.

Other benefits of generous bandwidth included video casts to cellphones and television delivered via the Internet.

"Casual use of enormous amounts of bandwidth - which unfortunately you guys can't contemplate yet - is part of what you want to change in South Africa," Hahn said.

He said delegates should take the initiative themselves and not wait for government.