Korea Australia New Zealand (KANZ) Broadband Summit
18th –20th June 2008 – Hosted by Korea
Convention and Exhibition Centre (COEX), Seoul, Korea
Participating in some of the events taking place in Seoul over June 2008 was a fantastic opportunity, as Seoul put on a show like none other, hosting multiple world leading conferences, conventions and summits continuously over the month.
I really enjoyed Simon Bureau’s presentation during the ICT evening – marking the end of the OECD Ministerial Meeting and the start of the Broadband Summit – there was a exceptional opportunity here, to learn more about Korea’s Digital Content Industry. Having the opportunity to personally meet Minister Cunliffe after his enlightening talk was also a highlignt and I thought Minister Cunliffe gave a great opening speech the following day during the keynote speeches. Speeches were also given by Hon See Joong Choi, Chair, Korean Communications Commission, and Hon Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Australian Minister Department of Broadcasting, Communications and the Digital Economy – these opened the Summit with a great deal of positive energy to a full house.
I was personally introduced by Michael Stephens to a network of people in the Korean creative digital industry who are pushing their converging sectors rapidly forward in Seoul, including the kind team at Macrograph.
It was great to also connect with some of the bigger visionary Economic developments which are happening in Seoul, Korea, including key people at ETRI and the Incheon 2009 Global Fair & Festival. Not to mention learn more about the fascinating vision for Korea’s global city of the future – called “Songdo International City”.
During the summit there was the opportunity to connect with like minded companies from Australia such as LAMP, who appear to have some amazing research, and Horden Wiltshire, who’s company M.net have just completed a fantastic mobile portal website for the Australian Olympic Campaign where Australians can keep up-to-date on their mobile phones to get all the latest details about how their athletes are competing in the games.
Of course the World IT Show was running in parallel – and this proved to be an unforgettable experience on a scale I’ve never seen before. The display of current and future gadgets was phenomenal.
The KANZ Summit
It was a rewarding experience to participate at the KANZ summit, and have the opportunity to discuss briefly, some of the issues that NZ is about to face for Mobile and Broadband economic growth, with industry experts from New Zealand, Australia and Korea.
I would like to put the following couple of points forward as key issues and trends which struck me as the most important issues coming out of the KANZ summit:
- Convergence is the way forward. Convergence in digital content has its strongest implications when referring to the merging of Film, Television, Social Networking, Online Services, Mobile and Gaming – a merging in both the content, the business models the payment models and the interaction models, through combining peoples expectations of each of these previous separate sectors into a new form of “interactive content services”.
- The hottest space for convergence is taking place over Broadband Internet and over the Mobile Internet. Both of these bandwidth channels have their own unique set of hurdles, standards and solutions for creating optimum business opportunities within each area.
- Both Korea and now following them, Australia, have dropped their mobile bandwidth charges down to negligible amounts, enabling customers to better use their mobile phones to access the mobile internet. This opens up mobile surfing, mobile gaming, and mobile video watching, and will lead the way for the growth of the exciting new space of “rich mobile interactive media convergence”. Both countries have telcos that don’t rely on mobile bandwidth charges to reinforce their Telco business models.
- ‘How and when will the mobile bandwidth charges in New Zealand drop?’ – is the most important question to ask ourselves as a nation. It could be argued that our “highspeed internet” is not too far behind the rest of the world, with some minor enhancements, it could be adequate; (you would still never want to host a global “Facebook style” internet application from New Zealand) but it is our expensive mobile internet pricing plans and lack of mobile infrastructure that will hold our countries digital innovation back from now into the future.
- If New Zealand is to keep up with digital innovations, and potentially offer a country that has similar mobile audience usage habits, and a country that can provide an opportune market for international Blue Chip companies to invest their mobile innovations, strategies, and technologies into; then this issue must be addressed, with dynamic new outcomes achieved. One likely way we will achieve this change, is for the mobile bandwidth charges to drop to negligible amounts per megabyte, this will then lead the way for a shift in New Zealand’s mobile usage behavior and allow us, as a digital content producing country, and as a digital test-bed offering country, to secure international investments into the economy and to be part of the global mobile media economy.