How does a SME select an ICT Provider? Consider the 3 C’s Commercial Model: Is the pricing structure transparent? Complexity: Does the provider remove the complexity away from the business? Convenience: Is it a one stop shop? Or does the SME have to source additional systems or equipment from other providers? Source: John Lincoln (2010)
Broadband Benefits to SME Affordable and Accessible Broadband has opened up the market scope for SMEs to compete in. Up until the technological revolution many SMEs only traded on a regional basis. This had a negative impact on the possibilities for expansion and development within the SME. Businesses were inhibited by the inability to communicate with potential customers and suppliers. Fast communications made possible by advances in broadband technology has allowed SMEs expand beyond their regional marketplaces and interact on a global level. In order for SMEs to remain solvent thy must ensure a rapid return on their investment – broadband facilities allow for this Source: Susan Lee (2003)
Types of BroadbandWired & Wireless Source: BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8069768.stm
Types of Broadband Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Fibre transmits digital information through forms of light signals. They are not subject to the same noise issues as seen with DSL technology. Providers are currently laying fibre across selected areas of Ireland to offer the service. It is a costly operation, but one which will allow great speeds of data transference – between 50Mbps-100Mbps. ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. This form of wired broadband is the most popular in Ireland. On a global scale it accounts for 58% of fixed broadband subscriptions. It is delivered through existing Eircom telephone lines and does not interfere with voice calls. Competitive rates are offered by multiple providers in Ireland.
Types of Broadband WIMAX Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. The next stage of Wi-Fi, WIMAX can send wireless data over much longer distances. This method of Broadband will become the dominant infrastructure in providing broadband access to developing and remote countries. WIMAX can deliver speeds of 70Mbps over distances of 50km Satellite Another method of delivering Broadband to remote and undeveloped areas. Satellite Broadband has been made possible by two broadband satellite firms, UK firm Avanti and French firm Eutelsat. Considering the technology employeedwoth Satellite technolgy monthly prices will by competitive, a monthly average of €50.00. A disadvantage of Satellite is its speed, the average upload speed is currently 384kb.
Types of Broadband Cable 3 types of Cable: Customer Cable Modem – Connects directly to PC/Laptop Cable TV Network – Signal flows through TV network Main Cable Router – Signal taken from the Cable TV and passes to the Internet A mixture of fibre and copper cables are used. Majority of cable is fibre, meaning it has the potential to offer far greater speeds compared to DSL. Every person connected into the cable network receives the same speeds – unlike ADSL. Mobile Broadband Delivered through 2G and 3G technology. Coverage is largely intermittent – can be easily blocked. Data availability is also quite low, however Vodafone have recently launched a 10GB download allowance package for business users. Current speed averages 7.2Mb. Mobile broadband is constantly changing, it has become a feature of daily lifestyles. 4G technology and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) will increase speed limits.
Wired vs Wireless Wired - Generally controlled by larger telecommunication companies. Their vision is to create infrastructure connected to all households and business through copper wires and fibre optic cables - Currently an upgrade on telephone lines to support fibre technology is underway in many countries, including Ireland. The installation of this infrastructure is a costly exercise but it is to be believed that the data transmission rate will inspire a wave of new products and services all aimed at improving current productivity levels in businesses across the globe. - E.g. Cable, ADSL, Fibre
Wired vs Wireless Wireless - Highly accessible, local regional telecommunication companies are equipped to set up wireless infrastructure networks. Far more cost effective model which allows broadband access to remote areas. - Largely inexpensive to install and maintain - E.g. Satellite, Mobile, WIMAX - Wireless infrastructure can also deliver voice services through the internet, allowing the customer save money through bundle packages Irish Broadband Subscriptions Source: OECD
Wired vs WirelessGlobal Perspective
Wired vs WirelessGlobal Perspective
Contention Ratios “Contention Ratio” refers to the maximum number of people you will share the connection infrastructure with. The contention ratio on a line will affect the pricing structure in a Broadband package. The lower the contention ratio is the faster the download speed becomes.
Which Broadband Package? Considering all of the previous information deciding on which package is most suited to the SME will be the next step. In order to reach this decision I will carefully consider the 3C’s, as mentioned by Lincoln. Other Factors to consider Package Deals, inc Business Phone Fixed Rates Speed Location & Availability
Companies Providing Broadband in Dunlavin Digiweb Eircom Emobile Home Vision Perlico 3 Mobile Vodafone O2 Business
Companies Providing Broadband in Dunlavin *Eircom Next Generation and DigiwebFibre Broadband are not available in Dunlavin *Since time of research Perlico have ceased operations.
What type of Telecommunication Company are they? HomeVision were removed from the list as they do not offer Business packages. Packages offered by 3Mobile are not suitable, therefore they will not be further pursued.
Best Options Available Considering my criteria for selection these three providers offer the best packages which cater for my needs Eircom Vodafone Digiweb
Suitable Eircom Business Packages
Suitable Vodafone Packages Wired Packages Mobile Broadband Packages
Which Package? After further deliberation over which package would best suit my needs I have decided to chose an Eircom package. I made this decision by considering the Pro’s and Con’s related to each provider and also by considering Lincoln’s 3C’s In the area Eircom has the best track record and the speeds associated with Mobile & Satellite are not fast enough to cope with the demand of an SME. Commercial: The pricing structure, listed below is transparent. The monthly package deal and the line rental are the only costs to the customer – there does not appear to be any hidden costs Complexity: The installation process is simple and an Eircom operator is available for a callout fee. There is also a telephone customer support service Convenience: Eircom supplies all of the equipment and systems, we can also subscribe to Eircom for telephone rental, allowing us to keep all communication requirements with only one provider.
Eircom’s Best Deal Eircom Broadband 12/1Mb Business Plus
References Reports/Articles/Statistics Lee, S. (2003) Broadband Access – Meeting the Needs of SMEs throughout the World. Connect World: Article No. 10 Issue Asia-Pacifichttp://www.connect-world.com/index.php/article/item/2483-wireless-broadband-access-%E2%80%93-meeting-the-needs-of-smes-throughout-the-world Lincoln, J. (2010) More Bang for you Buck. SME Advisor: Middle Easthttp://www.smeadvisor.com/2010/12/more-bang-for-your-buck/ OECD Broadband Portal, 2009 http://www.oecd.org/document/54/0,3746,en_2649_34225_38690102_1_1_1_1,00.html The face of future broadband. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8069768.stmBBC News Website: Technology. 27th May 2009
References http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ThinkBroadband.com: The UK’s largest independent broadband news and information site http://www.getbroadband.ie/ GetBroadband.ie: Ireland’s independent broadband news and information site. Offers comparative search of Irish Providers http://www.callcosts.ie/home/default.asp ComReg’s interactive website providing information on Irish Broadband providers. Offers comparative search options also.