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Showing posts from April, 2017

Verizon "Goes Gig" for 8 Million Locations

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Verizon has launched “Fios Gigabit Connection,” said to be “the nation’s largest deployment of gigabit Internet connection service.” to eight million U.S. homes. Comcast has pledged to upgrade all of its customers on all its networks, to gigabit levels of service in the near future, but Verizon is the only operator that now has done so across its entire footprint of fiber-to-home connections, and has done so using a symmetrical bandwidth approach.
AT&T has been adding gigabit access across its footprint of metro areas, but on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.
Fios Gigabit Connection provides downloads as fast as 940 Mbps and uploads as fast as 880 Mbps.
Priced at $69.99 a month standalone and starting at $79.99 a month for a triple play bundle when ordered online, Fios Gigabit Connection for the first time in some years allows Verizon to argue that “no cable provider comes close to offering the speeds and power of Fios Gigabit connection on this kind of scale.” In addition to s…

Threat and Reality of Common Carrier Regulation Reduced U.S. telecom investment $150 Billion to $200 Billion

Between 2011 and 2015 (the last year data are available), the threat of reclassification reduced telecommunications investment by about 20 percent to 30 percent, or about $30 to $40 billion annually, according to George Ford, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies chief economist.
In other words, over the interval 2011 to 2015, another $150-$200 billion in additional investment would have been made “but for” Title II reclassification, he argues.
Actual investment averaged $126 billion annually. But the average investment over the five-year window would have been about $160 billion (or more) annually, in the absence of concern over the rules, Ford argues.
“Notably, I find no decline in investment following the release of the FCC’s “Four Principles” to promote an Open Internet in 2005, suggesting it is reclassification—and not neutrality principles—that is reducing investment,” says Ford.
In other words, rules that ensure that consumers have access to all l…

Internet of Things Tops Mobile Executive LIst of "Most Important" Apps for 2017

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With the caveat that we might all turn out to be very wrong, a survey of executives conducted by GSMA suggests that internet of things is, far and away, the area of greatest mobile operator interest for 2017.
Conversely, 50 percent  of respondents said that voice is a “low value, bundled service.” About  16 percent of respondents said voice “has no future and revenues will dwindle” as users turn to other communications formats.
Asked which new business areas will be the most attractive in 2017, 48 percent of respondents said internet of things would be most important, not only for access account potential, but also for additional roles in the value chain.
No other category ranks that high. The next largest opportunity, for example, was mobile payments, chosen by 14.5 percent of respondents as important in 2017.

Will Customer Service Ever Cease Being an Issue for Access Providers?

Comcast customer service scores are improving--apparently by substantial amounts-- in Oregon, where Comcast has been testing new procedures and processes to improve customer service, the company says.  Comcast says complaints have dropped 25 percent in two years.
Oddly enough, one of the changes involves a new use for an old trouble-detecting mechanism. Decades ago, a cable operator would learn it has a problem because trouble calls started to pour in. Now, in a new way, Comcast monitors one specific behavior--customers using speed test apps--as an indicator it might have a problem in a neighborhood.
It really is not easy being a network-based service provider of any type, whether the service is electricity, mobile or fixed phone service, internet access or linear subscription video.
For years, customer satisfaction scores for internet access service and linear TV have been at the bottom of industry rankings, though there are signs of improvement, recently. That seems to always be the…

How Soon Will Use Cases Beyond "Capacity" Emerge for 5G?

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Coverage is not likely going to be the primary reason for deployment either of Release 15 or Release 16 5G networks, according to GSMA. The early 5G networks based on LTE Release 15 will be deployed in dense urban areas to boost capacity for human users of mobile networks and will use macrocell architectures, GSMA predicts.  The emphasis there is capacity and smartphones.

Those early deployments, in all likelihood, will allow operators of 5G networks to experiment with other potential new revenue sources and use cases. Still, the early deployments will not primarily support new revenue sources to a major extent.

It is possible that specialized low power, wide area platforms separate from 5G will be early to emerge as enablers of many new applications.

With a few exceptions, 5G is the first mobile platform developed with new categories of lead apps in mind. Most significantly, it is the first mobile next generation platform intended to support sensors and other machine applications.

Bu…

70% Market Share in Internet Access is Too Tempting a Target to Ignore

In a new research note, New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin says cable providers controlled 65 percent of the overall consumer internet access market at the end of 2016, possibly growing to as much as 72 percent by 2020.
It might not be unreasonable to predict a problem of high prices, were that situation to develop, all other things being equal. But all other things are highly unlikely to remain “equal.”
Sure, telco digital subscriber line has proven an inept competitor to cable TV internet access using the DOCSIS platform and the hybrid fiber coax physical platform. And, as Google Fiber and Verizon both have discovered, ubiquitous fiber-to-the-home, in a competitive market with two or three facilities-based providers, is difficult at best.
For the most part, successful fiber-to-home deployments with scale have happened in markets with significant government support, small compact markets and histories of close collaboration between government and private industry.
In most mi…