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Showing posts from October, 2017

FCC to Authorize Another 1700 MHz of New Millimeter Wave Spectrum

You can credit Moore’s Law for allowing commercial use of millimeter wave communications in the mass markets, bringing an order of magnitude (10 times) to two orders of magnitude (100 times) more usable mobile and fixed wireless capacity to the U.S. market.
The simple reason is that, in the past, it has been too expensive and difficult to use millimeter wave spectrum for access networks. But cheap processing and memory now mean we can process signals affordably enough to use millimeter wave frequencies in the access network.
But there are many other implications. So much new spectrum is coming, and so much unlicensed spectrum will be made available, that the economics of the access business will change.
The huge trove of new capacity, dwarfing all present mobile and Wi-Fi spectrum, will reshape the economics of the access business, allowing new competitors and business models to arise, revaluing spectrum licenses, enabling fixed wireless to compete with fixed networks and positioning …

37% of Comcast Customers Buy 3 or 4 Products

One set of numbers from the Comcast third quarter 2017 results is instructive: Comcast details the number of customers taking single, dual-product and three-product or four-product packages.
About 30 percent of consumer customers buy just one product, a third buy two products, while 37 percent buy purchase or four products.
That matters for revenue, as a buyer of multiple products produces more revenue than an account purchasing just a single product, all other things being equal (such as the unit price of each type of product).
More significantly, purchases of bundles determine the viability of the business case itself.
Stranded assets are big problems in highly-competitive fixed network markets. Assume a typical local market where the local telco and the local cable operator are equally skilled, but where cable has an advantage in the internet access and sometimes video product segments.
Assume a typical market share structure has the cable operator getting about 60 percent market sh…

Advanced Technology is Indistinguishable From Magic

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“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” Arthur Clarke famously said. Just as certainly, even an advanced technology that is a general purpose technology (like electricity, computing, internal combustion engine), once ubiquitous, recedes into the background and is not commonly referred to as “advanced technology” any longer.

That happened with electricity, computing, the internal combustion engine, steam power, railroads, automobiles, the domestication of plants and animals, the wheel, writing, printing and mass production, none of which is generally considered to be advanced technology in the same sense as artificial technology now is viewed.

One normally hears artificial intelligence mentioned as one of three forms of machine learning, with deep learning and neural networks often said to be more-intense forms of AI, where machines learn on their own, without direct and specific programming by humans, or where computers are able to recognize new patterns…

Will Internet Access Prices Double?

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Some believe internet access prices are going to climb substantially--possibly doubling--over the next decade, in some markets, even if the longer-term trend has been for prices to fall.

Since 1997, U.S. internet access prices have fallen, but there have been other changes. Mobile plans have tended to be priced based on buckets of usage, so as usage has climbed, consumers also have tended to buy bigger usage plans, which cost more. Fixed internet access has been priced on speed, so as consumers have shifted to faster-speed plans, their spending has climbed.

That argument, in the U.S. market, is that the leading suppliers (cable TV companies) will have to raise internet access prices to replace lost video revenues.

But “supplier need” always has to be balanced against  “end user demand” and market dynamics. No amount of supplier need has lead to price increases for voice services or text messaging, for example.

Perhaps video entertainment service trends will prove instructive, as linea…