Market Studies
Bandwidth Bonanza:
Bandwidth Bonanza: High-Speed Internet Access Technologies, Markets and Vendors

Published: July 1999

Overview | Table Of Contents

$2495 - Print copy


“The cable TV industry, with its broadband hybrid fiber-coax networks, and the wireless industry, with new spectrum and digital technology, are redefining local access markets,” said Ira Brodsky, president of Datacomm Research. “Traditional telcos, long regarded as harmful monopolies, will slowly wither and die as local access shifts from circuit-based, narrowband services to IP-based, broadband services,” he said.
Datacomm’s study examines, in-depth, nine leading candidates for high-speed Internet access: 1) cable data (cable TV), 2) xDSL (telco), 3) millimeter wave radio (primarily 24 GHz, LMDS, and 38 GHz in the U.S.), 4) third-generation cellular and PCS, 5) wireless cable TV (MMDS), 6) fixed satellite and other sky-based services, 7) data broadcasting, 8) wireless LAN-based access and 9) infrared-based access.

The report includes an Executive Summary that identifies the technology winners and losers and presents forecasts through 2003. The Technologies section traces the development of the nine major technologies, comparing their strengths and weaknesses. The Market section discusses the applications driving demand for high-speed Internet access and explores more than a dozen potential market evolution scenarios. The Vendors section profiles nearly 50 companies, with in-depth profiles of firms such as @Home, PairGain Technologies, Teligent Corp., Winstar Communications, Ericsson and Teledesic. The study contains more than 35 tables and figures.

The following are additional conclusions found in Bandwidth Bonanza: High-Speed Internet Access Technologies, Markets and Vendors:

A. The market needs access solutions that are affordable, widely available and qualitatively faster than 56 kbps dial-up modems. Demand will far exceed supply over the next five years. There will be multiple technology winners and losers.

B. Cable modems will outperform xDSL. Cable operators possess a mammoth, broadband infrastructure. They are upgrading their networks and cooperating with third parties. Despite some false starts, cable TV networks are well on their way to offering interactive voice, data, and video services to SOHO and consumer markets.

C. Wireless will slowly become the Number One broadband access platform. Wireless operators can provision service quicker, exploit the superior cost-efficiency of point-to-multipoint operation and continuously upgrade their infrastructure. The spectrum shortage is over.

D. Teligent and Winstar will finish at the top of the wireless winners’ list. Additional winners will include digital cellular/PCS operators, entrepreneurs employing wireless LAN technology and sky-based solutions such as the Teledesic broadband satellite enterprise.

E. The evolution to higher speeds will also provide the opportunity to redefine basic telecommunications services. Always-on connectivity, bandwidth-on-demand and mobility will become norms rather than exceptions.

F. The Internet will not crash and burn - backbone capacity will grow faster than high-speed access. High-speed access will, however, engender greater demand for multimedia content, virtual reality, telepresence, multi-player games, IP voice and video conferencing and other content-rich applications.

G. Digital cellular and PCS operators will provide both fixed and mobile Internet access at 64,000 bps and faster. The major battle for third-generation dominance will be fought using enhanced second-generation technologies.

H. Wireless LAN technology will emerge as a surprise winner in the high-speed access market. It will be employed by established Internet Service Providers (ISPs), a wireless-ISP cottage industry and get-rich-quick schemers.

Table of Contents


1.Why High-Speed Internet Access Will Succeed
2.The Technology Horse Race: Winners and Losers

A. Cable Modems
C.Millimeter Wave and LMDS
D.Wireless Cable
E.Wireless LANs
G.Third-Generation Cellular and PCS
H.Data Broadcasting
I.Fixed Satellite Service
3.High-Speed Internet Access Market: How Big, How Soon?
4.Business Models That Will Succeed; Business Models That Will Fail
6.Quantitative Forecasts


1.Cable Modems
A.Cable TV Industry History & Track Record
B.Structure & Likely Evolution of Cable TV Networks
a.Traditional Cable TV Networks
b.Transitional Cable TV Networks
c.Convergence Cable TV Networks
C.Cable Data Technology Assessment
A.The Emergence of DSL Technology
a.High Bit Rate DSL (HDSL)
b.Symmetric DSL (SDSL)
c.Asymmetric DSL (ADSL)
d.Rate Adaptive DSL (RADSL)
e.Universal DSL
f.DSL Lite
g.Consumer DSL
i.Unidirectional HDSL (UDSL)
j.Very High Rate DSL (VDSL)
B.Assessment of DSL Technology
3.LMDS & Millimeter Wave Radio
A.Technical Challenges
B.Market Challenges
C.Millimeter Wave Radio
4.Wireless Cable (MDS, MMDS and ITFS)
A.Wireless Cable Data Architectures
B.Competitive Analysis
5.Wireless Local Area Networks
A.Recent Wireless LAN Developments
7.Third-Generation Cellular/PCS

A. The 3G Market
B. The Quest For 3G Standards
8. Data Broadcasting
9. Broadband Data Networks in the Sky
A. Assessment of Broadband Networks in the Sky


1. Introduction
A. Applications
a IP Telephony
b. IP Video conferencing
c. Scenarios for High-Speed Internet Access
B. The Cable Data Market: Scenarios for Cable Data Market Development
C. The xDSL Market: Scenarios for xDSL Market Development
D. LMDS & Millimeter Wave: Scenarios for LMDS/Millimeter Wave Market Development
E. Wireless Cable (MMDS, ITFS and MDS): Scenarios for Wireless Cable Data Market Development
F. Wireless LANs: Scenarios for Wireless LAN Market Development
G. Infrared: Scenarios for Infrared Market Development
H. Third-generation Cellular/PCS: Scenarios for Third-generation Cellular/PCS Market Development
I. Broadband in the Sky: Scenarios for Broadband Satellite Market Development


1. Cable Data Vendors@Home Network
Bay Networks
NextLevel Systems/General Instruments
Scientific Atlanta
Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI)
2. xDSL Vendors
Broadband Technologies
Covad Communications
Dspeed Networks/Interactive Planet Inc.
PairGain Technologies
Texas Instruments/Amati
US West Communications
Westell Technologies, Inc.
3. LMDS & Millimeter Wave Radio Vendors
Advanced Radio Telecom Corp. (ART)
Bosch Telecom
Lucent Technologies Inc.
P-com, Inc.
WIC Connexus
Winstar Communications
4. Wireless Cable (MDS, MMDS and ITFS) Vendors
CAI Wireless Systems Inc.
Hybrid Networks
Slip.Net (WavePath)
UltimateCom LLC
Warp Drive Networks LLC
Wireless One Inc.
5. Wireless Local Area Network Vendors
Internet Media Corp.
Lucent Technologies Inc.
Metricom Inc.
Proxim Inc.
WaveRider Communications Inc.
6. Infrared Vendors
7. Third-Generation Cellular/PCS Vendors
NTT DocoMo
Qualcomm Inc.
Sprint PCS
8. Broadband Data Networks in the Sky Vendors
Sky Station International
Hughes Spaceway
Tables and Figures
Tables I-1 High-Speed Internet Access Technologies: Winners & Losers
I-2 High-Speed Internet Access Business
II-1 Cable Data Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-2 Comparison of Data Rates for Wireline Transmission Technologies
II-3 ADSL Data Rates and Ranges
II-4 Vendors Supporting DMT and CAP Transmission Standards
II-5 xDSL Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-6 Comparison of Cable Data and xDSL
II-7 Millimeter Wave/LMDS Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-8 Comparison of Millimeter Wave/LMDS and Fiber Optic Cable
II-9 Wireless Cable Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-10 Wireless LAN Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-11 Infrared Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-12 3G Cellular/PCS Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-13 Comparison of 2G+, 3G Wireless and xDSL
II-14 Data Broadcast Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-15 Fixed Satellite Service Technology and Business Attributes, At-a-Glance
II-16 Comparison of FSS and LMDS/Millimeter Wave
III-1 Factors Driving and Inhibiting the Cable Data Market
III-1 Best, Worst and Most Likely Cable Data Subscriber Forecast
III-2 Factors Driving and Inhibiting the xDSL Market
III-3 Factors Driving and Inhibiting the Millimeter Wave/LMDS Market
III-4 Factors Driving and Inhibiting the MMDS Market
III-5 Factors Driving and Inhibiting the Wireless LAN Access Market
III-6 Factors Driving and Inhibiting the Infrared Access Market
III-7 Factors Driving and Inhibiting the 3G Cellular/PCS Market
III-8 Factors Driving and Inhibiting the FSS Market
I-1 Forecasted Total Number of Cable Data Subscribers, North America, 1998 - 2003
I-2 Forecasted Total Number of xDSL Subscribers, North America, 1998 - 2003
I-3 Forecasted Annual Revenue, Millimeter Wave/LMDS Operators, North America, 1998 - 2003 ($millions)
I-4 Forecasted Total Number of Cellular/PCS Subscribers Using 2G+, 3G Data, North America 1998 - 2003
I-5 Forecasted Total Users Employing Wireless LAN-Based High-Speed Access, North America, 1998 - 2003
I-6, Forecasted Users with Individual Versus Shared High-Speed Access, Worldwide, 1998 - 2003
I-7, Forecasted Total Users with Wireline Versus Wireless High-Speed (Individual) Access, North America, 1998 - 2003
II-1 Vertically Integrated Versus Horizontally Integrated Businesses
III-2 Best, Worst and Most Likely xDSL Subscriber Forecast
III-3 Best, Worst and Most Likely 3G Cellular/PCS Subscriber Forecast