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HD Voice getting Golden Spike Jan 6 in Las Vegas
Sunday, 28 December 2014 16:01

Original Golden SpikeDan Berninger making it happen. “All major operators offer HD voice to at least a segment of direct customer,” Dan writes, ”But there remains no interoperability across operators.” More than a decade ago, Dan, Jeff Pulver and friends convinced everyone in  the industry HD voice made phone calls much better.

Broadband allows doubling the frequency range and better codecs improve everything. The additional cost is trivial, something like ten cents/month all in for better mics and network gateways. The gear is so cheap that many phones the last two years include HD. Carriers included Telstra in Australia are turning it on.

The bottleneck: no one carrier could make HD effective. Both ends of the call need to be HD and most calls go from one network to another.

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960-1200 Megabit Cable Modems Ready to Go
Friday, 30 August 2013 13:22

Could but won't be offered for $5/month more than today's cable. Rogers Cable in Canada is deploying Hitron/Intel 24 channel modems that reach a (shared) speed of around a gigabit. By this time next year, some cable companies will be offering 600+ megabit down service. (Update 8/31 Com Hem in Sweden is already offering 500/50 using 16 channels bonded. Jeff Baumgartner reports the price is SEK 899 (US$138.03) http://bit.ly/15ggRid.)

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Cisco VNI: Broadband Traffic Growth Down by Half
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 20:14

U.S. wired growth down from 40% to 20-25%; wireless, from 100% to 40-60%. We've actually entered an era of bandwidth abundance. The biggest problem at major telcos is selling the capacity coming on line, not shortages or congestion. (That was mostly a lobbyist myth.) Across the world, growth is slowing. Cisco's projections for Western Europe and Eastern Asia are similar. Eastern Europe and Africa/Middle East will grow faster, with more people currently unconnected. China's wired future is like richer countries, but there's growth coming in wireless as more people acquire smartphones.  Africa will be the outstanding growth story, with inexpensive smartphones The figures are from Cisco’s VNI data, the most accurate picture of Internet use publicly available

The cost per customer per month for broadband data is now falling. For a decade, wired bandwidth demand had been growing consistently at ~40% per year. The cost of delivering that bandwidth has been going down as a similar 40%/year as Moore's Law brought declines in the cost of routers and other gear. I've checked repeatedly with the major equipment makers (Cisco, Alcatel, Juniper) and they are confident the cost per bit will continue plummeting. Equipment like home gateways is also coming down in price. Customer support costs are down, as fewer newbie users tie up support lines. 

    On wireless, I've been reporting since 2009 that the FCC and lobbyist projections were much too high. The "100%" growth was an artifact of the introduction of smartphones.

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Politics Limiting China to 5M Cable Modems
Saturday, 17 August 2013 14:04

Despite a Politburo decision two years ago to increase competition, the Chinese telcos are succeeding in keeping the cablecos out of major markets. As broadband lines approach 200M, only 5M are cable. Jeff Heynen of Infonetics, an analyst I respect, writes, "After last year's turnover among Communist Party leadership, as well as in key positions within SARFT, the emphasis on China's NGB (next-generation broadband) network project has been called into question." 

   The new MIIT plan sets national goals of 270M connections in 2015 and all rural areas served by 2020, but little about encouraging cable to provide competition.

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Voice Falloff Leads Revenue Down at Sweden's Com Hem
Friday, 29 November 2013 12:38

Wireless substitution cutting fixed voice subscribers. Cablecos, like telcos, inevitably will lose voice customers, probably soon at rate between 5% and 10% per year. Com Hem, which covers 39% of Sweden, had 359K voice lines a year ago. That fell to 347K the next quarter, 339K the following Q, 333K and now 330K, down 8%. Revenue also fell, from 1,133M krona to 1,104M krona. TV subscribers fell 1% while broadband grew 1%.

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400 Megabit Cable Boxes Shipping
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 17:15

Liberty Global delivering 10's of thousands of Horizon boxes. Intel's latest cable modem chip bonds eight channels for 400 megabits shared downstream.

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