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Point-Topic: Egypt Growing 17%, China 8% and much more
Thursday, 21 August 2014 18:50

40 free research summaries worth examining. Point-Topic's broadband data are the best available. They've been at it more than a decade and constantly refining their methods. Their service is professionally but fairly priced. I assume nearly all the companies in the business subscribe. Point-Topic always have been generous releasing free data as well and just made 40 country summaries available. http://bit.ly/PTbroadband A wealth of data.

   I commend the data to all those in the U.S. government who are spending $millions to create an Internet Governance framework that excludes China and Russia. China began this year with  189M broadband subscribers, twice America's 95M. The gap is getting wider. Russia is growing at 13% to 23M. China's growth was 8%, which is far down from previous years. 3G and now 4G will limit landline growth in China. The U.S. is at 4%. The fastest growth is from developing countries. Egypt grew 17% in 2013 despite economic chaos. 

Last Updated on Sunday, 24 August 2014 22:14
New York, Los Angeles Getting 400 Meg Cable
Saturday, 16 August 2014 09:37

300-400 Meg (shared) now standard off the shelf. I've heard from an engineer that the gear for New York is being installed and tested. They've been losing customers to both Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse in LA, Time Warner Cable  is upgrading download speeds. My 15 down, 1 up service ($63/month) is set to go to 50/5 for the same price.

Going from 160 shared to 300-400 shared in DOCSIS 3.0 is only a software change on most equipment. Extra backhaul costs are minimal. Now that the analog switch-off has freed spectrum channels, expect that change almost everywhere. Giant Liberty Global is upgrading across Europe and offering 200-250 meg service routinely.

Time Warner has also committed to a gigabit (shared) in 2016, per this strong LAT article by Paresh Dave http://lat.ms/1rEQZrY.  No one except the engineers believed John Chapman of Cisco in 2004 when he promised the gigabit in DOCSIS 3.0 but now equipment is starting to ship. Last year, TWC also offered a gig in 2016 to North Carolina.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 August 2014 09:45
"This argument is utterly farcical."
Friday, 15 August 2014 09:36

Straight talk in a DC world of obfuscation. The automakers want to restrict users of WiFi despite having 75 MHz of monopoly spectrum of their own. That's enough to build two Verizon sized networks, far more than makes sense to monopolize in 2014. TIA, the manufacturers' group, is right to call it farcical. http://bit.ly/Autofarce  The car guys want to hobble the WiFi band near the spectrum they control above 5850 MHz. I'm tempted to petition the FCC to return 40 MHz of the auto spectrum to the public domain. 35 MHz is plenty for even safety-related car communication.

     Denise Coffey and Dileep Srihari of TIA were blunt, "The Automakers state that the FCC must protect the 'reasonable interests and expectations of its operators' – with which TIA, of course, concurs. However, what the automakers assert to be their “reasonable” expectations is entirely unreasonable, bordering on unbelievable."

     In five or ten years more people will understand that we already have too much monopoly spectrum. WiFi provides enormous benefits with much more to come.  Soon, adding WiFi to today's 100 megabit vectored DSL would allow nundreds of megabits to most homes without needing expensive construction. (The tech works although the business side needs to be developed.) Requiring car makers to add 50 cents or so of parts to make their radios work right is a very small price for major public benefits.

    'Use it or share it" - Mike Calabrese's compelling slogan, is the way to go on all spectrum.


Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 10:10
How to lie with statistics, part 243
Thursday, 14 August 2014 18:52

Any conclusion you want. In France in the first quarter, 3 of the 4 DSL providers grew faster than cable. But if I look at the prior twelve months, cable beat 3 out of 4 DSL companies. Without lying, I could say either DSL is beating cable or cable is beating DSL. I just have to choose which period to use.  In fact, the data is too sparse to firmly support any conclusion.

     9 out of 10 “studies” about telecom policy are similarly weak and prove nothing. Or, as Teresa Mastangelo promises clients, “I can guarantee my report finds you #1.” As she explained to me, she simply looks carefully at the data until she finds some way to slice it to come to that conclusion.

   The classic example in broadband was when Copper Mountain reached a market cap of $1.5B on sales of $120M/year and losses every quarter. Brilliant pr woman Molly Miller invented a new category of “business DSLAMs” in which they were #1. Actually, they were far behind DSLAM makers like Alcatel and went broke a few years later.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 August 2014 11:43
Verizon, truth, and what's really going on with the network
Monday, 28 July 2014 13:45

Earned a remarkable reputation. When someone on Dave Farber's IP list criticized Verizon for lying, I spoke up. Verizon's comment that there was congestion at the point where they peered to the Internet was accurate. That, and not congestion on the network, is the current battleground. Fortunately, problems at peering points can be resolved in a few weeks and at minimal cost. That's what happened when Netflix agreed to the carrier demands for money. 

​​Based on 15 years of reporting, I believe it's wildly inappropriate to say "anything VZN​ says in public is a self-serving lie based on a poor understanding of the Real World" I'm often extremely critical of Verizon's policy, including this one. But Tom Tauke and Ivan Seidenberg overwhelmingly were truth tellers.

Covering dozens of Verizon stories,  I only once heard a Verizon policy person tell me something he had reason to believe untrue. Even in that case it may be that the D.C. policy person really didn't know but should have.

In my experience, Verizon stands out as virtually the only lobbying shop that persuasively makes its point while not distorting the truth. In this case, Verizon is accurate saying the problem is "there is [not] adequate capacity for the traffic to enter our network."

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 13:52
Deutsche Telekom Installing Millions of Vectored Ports
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 17:44

Still not turned on and not all 100 megabits. Deutsche Telekom has promised 24M lines of vectored DSL at 100 megabits in three years. They are taking delivery on several million ports, many from Adtran. Adtran had a surprising increase in DSL sales this quarter, with profits also up. Adtran's financial call also announced a Tier 1 customer is cutting sales. That's AT&T, which I've separately reported has nearly frozen U-Verse builds to influence D.C. on the DirecTV merger.

   German regulator Matthias Kurth told me five years ago that DT had no choice but to upgrade where they face cable, but they've been delaying in hopes of persuading the government to cripple their competition. Deutsche Telekom loses 89K subscribers because they delayed VDSL upgrades. Cable offers twice the speed for the same price as DT and covers 2/3rds of Germany. They finally blocked most unbundling in 2013 and began the build of fiber/DSL hybrids. CEO Tim Hottges,"The fiber is the answer on what we are doing," but of course he means fiber/DSL. 

   German regulator Jochen Homann and EU Commissioner Nellie Kroes are doing what politicians do, claiming their policy of raising prices created the build when everyone in the industry knew DT would do it anyway. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 17:58
3.5 GHz Spectrum: Bells want it but WiFi clearly a better choice
Sunday, 17 August 2014 19:33

China Mobile giving up after $3B, 4.3M small cells. 100 MHz of spectrum - enough to build 3 networks the size of Verizon - will become available in much of the U.S. The military has agreed to share the 3550-3650 MHz spectrum in much of the U.S. They primarily use the frequencies on the coasts so they don't need the MHz. The high frequencies have a short range so can't be used from towers but are great for WiFi and other small cells.

     Bill Smith, now of AT&T, taught me "The sooner the bit gets to a landline, the less it costs us." Every plan for the urban wireless future is based on WiFi, small cells or short range high frequency transmitters. You can usually have 10-30 small cells in the space covered by a tower, each reusing the same spectrum. The most efficient method turns out to be public WiFi rather than monopoly use, which is becoming obsolete.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 August 2014 11:42
50 MHz of Spectrum Creates 500 megabit DSL
Friday, 15 August 2014 13:22

Today's 100 megabit DSL combined with today's gigabit WiFi, driving to a gigabit. 50 MHz of newly available spectrum may be diverted from sharing to private use, particularly LTE small cells the Bells probably won't build anyway. I'm headed to Colorado for the TPI conference where the 3.5 GHz spectrum will be a hot topic. I wrote this quickly because I wanted a dramatic example of what could be done with that 50 MHz.

How DSL + WiFi can get to hundreds of megabits and more. Nobody believes John Cioffi (yet) but it's easy to understand why it will work. Vectored DSL is delivering 50-100 megabits reliably in Europe. ~40M lines are on order at Deutsche Telekom and others. Vectoring is ready although not all the problems are solved.

Because DSL isn't shared, that means six apartments or nearby homes receive a total of 600 megabits (at 100 megabits/home.) Most places, 99% of the time the total demand will be less than 200 megabits. The result: 400-500 megabits will usually be available to share with neighbors. With WiFi now going into the gigabits (links), that can be shared between 5 - or 25 - families.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 August 2014 09:51
5M U-Verse Homes on Hold
Thursday, 14 August 2014 22:06

Biggest current U.S. broadband build virtually stopped  I haven't confirmed Paul de Sa's suggestion that the AT&T/DIRECTV deal is a cause. 

"Prior to the DTV deal, Project VIP (announced November 12, 2012) planned to expand AT&T's U-verse video footprint from 24.5m customer locations as of 4Q12 to 32.9m by 4Q15.6 At the end of 1Q14, we estimate the project was ~45% complete, with ~28.2m locations offered U-verse video." 

    I have double confirmation that the AT&T neighborhood DSLAM (FTTN build) is barely moving forward. I've asked AT&T if they'd release the actual deployment figures for the last three quarters to get a precise measure of what's going on. 

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 14:38
DSL beating cable yet again
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 19:12

Winning in Canada and England.  DSL upgraded since 2005 goes 25-50 megabits (VDSL2) and competes well with cable. 1998 ADSL (3-6 megabits) gets clobbered by cable. The dismal results from areas with obsolete equipment, especially in the U.S., have convinced many that the race is over. It's a different story where the DSLAMs aren't 10 years out of date.

    British Telecom "added 104,000 retail broadband customers." Cable competitor Virgin Media actually lost 300 subscribers. Bell Canada added 18K and Telus 15K. Rogers and Shaw cable added only 14K, combined. In a recent quarter, AT&T actually beat cable in U-Verse homes, about 60% of their network.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 14:58
Verizon ends unlimited service
Friday, 25 July 2014 18:35

Verizon until now hasn't imposed caps on some of their older customers, knowing many would leave if they did. Customers hate caps and limits are not required most places most of the time. They've changed that now, with what could be very modest restrictions that would have little impact on customers. There's not immoral - or neutrality breaking - about modest limits honestly related to actual congestion and costs.

    Fortunately, technology is improving so fast that today networks can be built for reasonable cost with truly minimal congestion. That should continue well into the 5G future and next decade despite steadily rising traffic. Very few traffic limits limits are necessary for network purposes today. The caps are for raising prices by collecting more from heavy users, not avoiding congestion.

    Verizon's actual proposal should be rejected by the FCC because it actually doesn't disclose what they are doing. How often would I be throttled? How much slower would I go? In nearly 4,000 words, Verizon doesn't answer those basic questions. Comcast's similar plan in times of congestion reduces some customer up to 30% but no more. 12 meg would fall to 7 meg when one of their engineers described it a while back. The fall would only be for 15 minutes and very rarely even several hours/month. That's so unobtrusive I don't think anyone has even noticed it in practice. I certainly would accept it, especially because the minimum speed on most Comcast networks has gone up.

    Nowhere in the 3,779 word document below does Verizon tell you how much your speed would be reduced or how often. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:04
Berlin, Paris, Palo Alto, Brooklyn Gigabits everywhere
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 17:25

As I travel, world class engineers are telling me what's coming is almost ubelievable. Palo Alto 6 February �Wireless capacity will go up 50 times in the next 5-10 years,� Stanford Professor Andrea Goldsmith predicted at a Marconi webinar. Her Stanford colleague A.J. Paulraj and Broadcom�s brilliant Henry Samueli thought 50X reasonable. Both have won the Marconi Prize, the "Nobel Prize" of communications.

Berlin. 8 April 2014 G.fast came out for the first time at the Informa Fixed Access Summit.  Deutsche Telekom, British Telecom and France Telecom all described active programs and an intent to deploy. European and American telcos want the hundreds of megabits from G.fast to match cable speeds going to a gig. I�ve been skeptical: the cost is nearly as high as fiber all the way home, it will take until 2016 or 2017 to get the kinks out and the coverage is more like 100 meters than 500.

Brooklyn, 30 April Ted Rappaport�s NYU 5G Summit had an amazing group of speakers. AT&T #2, John Stankey, keynoted and is damned serious about moving to 5G before the end of the decade. CTO Seizo Onoe of giant NTT Docomo was also there and soon after the event announced plans for 5G in 2018 with Ericsson, Samsung, Alcatel & Huawei. (3 of which sent CTO level speakers to Brooklyn, flying from around the world.) The enormous support for Ted and his NYU Brooklyn Institute has made him �The Prince of the 5G World.�Rappaport is concentrating on 28 GHz, a top down build which needs access points on nearly every crowded urban block. Others raised the possibility of WiFi �bottoms-up� to deliver similar capacity. The debate is raging, with FON, Free in France and probably the U.S. cablecos on the �bottom-ups� side.

Paris May 20-22 2014 A dozen of the absolute top engineers developing G.fast came together at the outstanding Upperside G.fast Summit. Les Brown provided an in-depth overview of the 300! page standard. CTOs and their peers from Sckipio, Broadcom, Ikanos, Lantiq and more spent three days trying to resolve the details. Top folks from BT, FT, Alcatel & Adtran joined in. Sckipio promises full standard chips in 2014. Broadcom�s customers are being told they will have something in 2014, probably far less than the standard. Some folks thought deployments were possible in 2016. Others thought later. (Deutsche Telecom�s CTO has said trials in 2014. He misspoke.)

Paris May 21 At that same G.fast event, John Cioffi introduced his remarkable plan to get to a gigabit using 100 meg vectored DSLs and gigabit WiFi. It sounds impossible but it definitely could work. In my apartment I see 20-25 WiFis. There�s no technical reason we couldn�t all share bandwidth; WiFi is already at 1.3 gigabits and going higher. Even if 25 homes were watching 2 HD TV and surfing, there�s over a gigabit unused that could be shared. Check http://bit.ly/GIGADSL   

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