Showing posts from 2018

Vodafone Upgrades 1 Million Berlin Homes to Gigabit in 3 Months

Vodafone has upgraded--in just three months--one million Berlin households to gigabit internet access speeds. Already having upgraded six million German household passings, Vodafone expects to reach 11 million gigabit passings by the end of 2019 and more than 12 million households passed by 2021.
That the gigabit upgrade is happening so fast is testament to the use of hybrid fiber coax cable TV facilities, among whose advantages has been lower cost and faster upgrades than switching from copper telephone networks to fiber-to-home.
Liberty Global has estimated the cost to upgrade to gigabit speeds at about €20 ($22) per passing.
source: Vodafone

Ofcom Wants Customers to Get Best Price

Unless they work at it, most consumers are probably unaware whether they are getting the best deal on their mobile or fixed network services, when not under contract for those services.
That can result in an anomaly: the more-loyal customers pay more for the same services than new customers just acquired on promotions.
Ofcom notes that out-of-contract prices vary based on the type of products purchased.
Mobile phones and subscriber identity modules, as well as fixed network voice prices, can range from six percent (fixed network voice) to 27 percent lower when contracts have expired.
But costs for out-of-contract dual-play or triple-play services on fixed networks can range between 19 percent and 26 percent higher, Ofcom notes.
source: Ofcom
That is the backdrop for possible Ofcom action requiring that service providers notify customers when their contracts have ended, as well as notifying such customers of the best prices available for the types of service they already are buying.
In so…

Eco-Friendly Buildings Make Indoor Communications Worse

A recent report by the Ireland Commission for Communications Regulation  finds that the use of modern building materials,windows, block materials and roofing can have an extraordinarily detrimental effect on the propagation of radio waves into buildings constructed using these materials, reducing indoor signal strength three to seven orders of magnitude (100 times to 1,000,000 times weaker signal).
The losses suffered by radio waves penetrating these materials is on the order of 20 decibels to 60 decibels.
The basic math is that a 3 dB reduction in signal is a loss of half. So 20 decibels of loss represents seven consecutive reductions of 50 percent. A loss of 60 dB is 20 consecutive reductions of half the signal strength.
source: ComReg
The problem is that  thermal insulation or windows with aluminium or metallic frames, designed to help reduce heat loss from inside, also reflect incoming radio signals.
That is why some believe new forms of supplying indoor mobile coverage are a signif…

AT&T FTTH to Pass 14 Million Homes by End of 2019

AT&T says it will have connected 14 million U.S. homes with fiber-to-home facilities by the end of 2019.  If AT&T passes a total of 62 million homes, that implies FTTH will be about 23 percent of total passings.
You might wonder why AT&T apparently has been so slow to upgrade, given recent evidence that, where it chooses to build optical fiber access facilities, it can get 50-percent take rates, as well as higher dual-play revenues (video entertainment plus internet access).
But AT&T is opportunistic about FTTH for good reasons: the upside is not as great as you might think. Look at cash flow.
The mobility business unit represents about 50 percent of AT&T’s adjusted cash flow (EBITDA).
WarnerMedia represents about 17 percent of the company’s revenue and adjusted EBITDA. Business Wireline represents about 17 percent of the company’s adjusted EBITDA, while the Entertainment Group (consumer fixed network internet access, voice and entertainment video) represents about …

In UK, BT has the Market Share, Cable has the Speed

BT might only have about 30 percent market share of the UK fixed network internet access market, but it has about 80 percent share of that market when considering both retail and wholesale market share. In other words, 80 percent of all fixed network internet access connections rely on BT’s network.
source: Morningstar
And though the whole point of the wholesale regime is to promote competition through use of a single access network, Morningstar analysts say that in the fixed networks segment of the communications business, “competition is increasingly between telecom companies and cable-TV operators.”
source: Ofcom
In principle, once Virgin Media completes its Project Lightning network upgrade, Virgin Media will be able to sell services to about 70 percent of UK homes. As has been the case, that likely will mean that Virgin Media begins to grab more of the share of demand by consumers for the fastest access speeds.
source: Virgin Media
source: Ofcom
In the U.S. market, cable operators hav…

Australian Regulators Question Mobile Market Consolidation, Possible Impact of 5G

Mobile market consolidation from four to three now is an issue in Australia. At least partly at issue is whether the combination is a vertical merger between companies that operate in different parts of the communications business, or a horizontal merger that combines firms in the same lines of business.
But regulators also are signaling they might consider the merger in the context of converged networks combining fixed and mobile elements, something rather new in such competitive evaluations.

Also, the change in markets potentially caused by 5G seems a clear issue as well, as the ACCC believes 5G has potential to create a single functional market where traditionally there have been two.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says the proposed merger of Vodafone and TPG will lessen competition, as it will remove a competitor from the mobile market and because Vodafone might be removed as a competitor in the fixed services market.
“A mobile market with three major players ra…

Will 5G, Network Slicing Help Create New Services?

One can hope that 5G, network slicing and private 5G bring new opportunities to create and sell services that are not based simply on usage or best effort speeds; that are 

Video Streaming Increases Content Fragmentation

In the streaming era, ability to offer unique content, and lots of new content, has emerged as a strategic advantage. And that has lead to a new emphasis on production of new and unique content.
About $43 billion is spent every year by Disney and Comcast to create new content. Altogether, some $116 billion is spent to produce new video content in the United States each year, according to Ampere Analysis.
Such spending on unique content matters now that Netflix has dramatically changed the economics of the content business.
For decades, virtually all suppliers of linear subscription video services offered the same fare: a big bundle of channels. Differences were at the margins, namely the specific mix of channels offered to customers on each tier of service.
In the video streaming business, content exclusivity is the norm. And that emphasis on unique content is going to increase in the future.
source:, Business Insider
The same pattern holds for TV series content. There is s…

Internet Access Speeds Increase 36% in One Year

Fixed broadband speeds in the United States are rapidly increasing, according to Ookla. Over the last year, average (mean) download speeds grew 36 percent, while upload speeds increased 22 percent.
In the third quarter of 2018, the average download speed over U.S. fixed networks in the U.S. was 95.25 Mbps. Average upload speed was 32.88 Mbps, Ookla says.
“On average, U.S. consumers should have few complaints about recent increases in internet speeds,” says Ookla. Of course, rarely is anything “average” relating to the internet. There are wide variances by state, rural and urban areas, anyone would note.
source: Ookla
Comcast was was the fastest provider in the United States as a whole, in nine states and in 17 of the country’s largest cities. Cox tied for second fastest at the national level and was fastest in three states and 19 cities. Charter Communications tied with Cox at the country level and was fastest in six cities, tying for a seventh. Charter was also the fastest provider in …

App, Content Providers Have Invested $300 Billion in Internet Infrastructure Last 4 Years

In the four years since 2014, app and content providers have invested over US$300 billion in internet infrastructure. This amounts to US$75 billion per year, which is more than double the 2011– 13 average annual investment of US$33 billion, says Analysys Mason.  
Some 90 percent of that investment has been for hyperscale data centers and third-party data center colocation.
The balance of investment includes including terrestrial transport networks and international submarine cables and edge content caching.
The goal of the growing investment in infrastructure is to move content and services ever closer to end users, which helps to optimise service quality while controlling costs, Analysys Mason says.
There is a good reason why all wide area and local access network have become computing networks: most computing now occurs at cloud data centers, which requires communications with edge devices.  
source: Cisco source: Cisco
In substantial part, content and app performance also drives demand…

IoT Devices Already Half of Global Connected Devices

Most observers might agree that the internet of things is a future opportunity for most participants. But at least by the measure of “devices in use,” IoT already constitutes a huge share of connected devices. In fact, IoT devices might already represent half of all global connected devices, far outstripping mobile phones, according to StorageNewsletter.
source: RBC Capital Markets

Appliance-Based SD-WAN Market Perhaps $2 Billion in 2019

Appliance-based SD-WAN suppliers sold about $284 million in the third quarter of 2018, according to IHS Markit, implying an annual market in excess of $2 billion in 2019.
If managed SD-WAN services are about half the market, that also implies a service provider SD-WAN market of about $2 billion in 2019.
If the U.S. market accounts for about a third of global activity, then U.S. service providers might expect 2019 sales of perhaps $667 billion.
source: IHS Markit

8% of U.K. Customers Buy Fastest Internet Services

Supply is different from demand. Though perhaps obvious, it is an often-confused principle when looking at the ways people buy and use internet access services. This illustration of actual fixed network internet access take rates in the United Kingdom, sorted by speed tiers, provides an example of the demand picture.
In every market, it seems, the percentage of customers who buy the fastest tier of service--typically the most expensive as well--is a small percentage of total buyers. In the U.K. market, about eight percent of buyers choose the fastest tier of service, perhaps 14 percent buying the fastest tiers.
Still, 42 percent buy the slowest tiers of service, with 21 percent paying for 10 Mbps or slower service, while another 21 percent buy speeds between 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps.
In the U.S. market, those 42 percent of customers, though buying internet access service, are not buying “broadband” service, defined as a minimum of 25 Mbps. About 44 percent of U.K. customers buy services wit…

How Big a Deal is Video in 5G Era?

Just how big a revenue driver mobile video will be for mobile operators in the 5G era is an open question.
That video will drive mobile data consumption seems not to be contentious. By perhaps 2024, 75 percent of mobile data consumption will be video, most would agree. Of course, consumption and revenue for various participants in the ecosystem is not the same thing.
Connectivity providers learned long ago that though a symbiotic relationship exists between demand for use of internet apps creates demand for internet access services, there is no necessary and direct relationship between use of the internet and revenue generated by provided connectivity.
Quite the reverse, in fact, is most often the case: supply has to be increased without incremental revenue being earned. source: Cisco
Still, many service providers have found that the most-tangible new sources of significant present revenue--troublesome as growth trends might be--come from video subscription services. There simply are not …