Broadband can help fix financial woes

Broadband played a part in creating current economic turbulence, but it can also help rejuvenate the global economy, says Alcatel Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen

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By  George Bevir Published  October 2, 2008

Broadband played a big part in the downfall of the global economy, but it can also be its lifeline to recovery, according to newly installed Alcatel Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen.

The former BT boss acknowledged the “stormy weather” affecting the global economy when he addressed delegates at the Broadband World Forum in Belgium earlier this week, as Alcatel Lucent unveiled a new system for ad targeting that it says could give operators a financial boost.

“It is important for economies to respect the impact that broadband has had, not just on your local community, not just on your household,” Verwaayen said.

“It has had a severe impact on the creation of the world economy – there would be no globalisation – broadband has created the essence of globalisation,” he added.

Just as broadband played a key role as an enabler in bringing financial markets around the world to their knees, he insisted that it will also provide the means for rejuvenating it. “Technology can take us to the next stage,” he added.

President of Alcatel Lucent’s carrier business activities, Michel Rahier, said that service providers face a “tough reality”, but he suggested that revenue from advertising could be a way for operators to generate additional revenue.

“Successful service providers are those that are prepared mentally to radically change the way they see the demands of the end user,” he said.

The French infrastructure vendor hopes to provide operators with the tools to generate extra income with a development to its triple play service that it says will allow the insertion into targeted advertisements into TV programmes.

It said that its “TPSDA 2.0” technology will make it easier for advertisers to reach “the most attractive” potential customers with ads that are more “timely and relevant”.

Rahier said that while traditional advertising forms such as print and terrestrial television may be suffering from tightening economic conditions, he did not think shrinking credit markets would have the effect of reducing advertising spend on the internet.

And he dismissed security concerns regarding the collation of personal data. “All the data and all the profile remains completely anonymous. We absolutely respect all privacy laws,” he said.

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