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Olympics drive the broadband development in China

Every household in Beijing will have access to high-speed internet by 2008 as part of the network development for the Olympiad, as a new report by Point Topic reveals. The Games, to be held in the capital city of China, are driving a major broadband expansion programme by telco China Netcom, appointed to be the exclusive fixed-line service provider for the 2008 Olympiad.

China Netcom is responsible for providing fixed-line, broadband and network infrastructure for 35 Olympic venues (32 of them in Beijing), as well as HDTV broadcast for the Games. Earlier this year, Netcom conducted a HDTV trial over a submarine cable as part of the scheduled network development for the event. Its partner BOB (Beijing Olympic Broadcast) predicts that 4 to 6 billion people will be watching the broadcasting during the Olympics.

By June 2006, the operator had 85,800 IPTV subscribers, an increase of 48.1% from Q1. China is expected to become the world's largest IPTV subscriber market by 2008, with various reports estimating a number between 5 and 12 million customers.

The total number of broadband subscribers in the country reached 48.5 million in September, with DSL lines accounted for 71% of all active broadband lines. As of Sep 2006, the overall broadband penetration rate stood at 3.7% - an increased of 1% compared to September 2005.

Another area benefiting from the investments for the Olympiad is mobile telephony. China Mobile, one of the largest operators in the country, is the official mobile communication service provider for the Games. It will supply 3G high-speed data service to support high-definition audio and video broadcast over mobile phones during the event.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.