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Telcos new LAA takes over WiFi spectrum
Sunday, 01 March 2015 16:21

Do we really want to give away 25%-75% of WiFi spectrum to the incumbent telcos? For a system not likely to work very well? Ericsson & Qualcomm, backed by the telcos, are spending $millions to spin this one. Do email me daveb DSLPrime.com if you have information or opinions. 

Verizon, T-Mobile, Ericsson Want WiFi Spectrum for LTE http://bit.ly/KillingWiFi

Other Reporter's Comments http://bit.ly/othernews Qualcomm Responds http://bit.ly/Frqual

Qualcomm leads the key committees.http://bit.ly/Qualrules




Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 02:09
10 Gig - repeat, 10 gig - to 800K apartments in Hong Kong
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 10:11

Bruce Lee's Hong Kong statueSoon, the cost to the telco for 10 gigabits will be little different than the cost of ten megabits.  1 gig service over fiber costs the carrier very little more than 10 or 100 megabits. Equipment going in today is almost all ready for a gig. There's rarely any savings using obsolete gear that tops out at lower speeds. PCCW's Hong Kong telco has now upped the ante, bringing a ten gig - presumably XGPON - to all 800,000 fiber customers. Trials have begun and they expect to cover nearly all 800K by the end of 2015. 

Hong Kong consumers are among the luckiest in the world. Despite wages often as high as the U.S., prices both for wired and wireless service are typically half what they are in the states. Pricing for the gig service isn't announced and will be determined by what the market requires. Even with the low revenue base, HKT is going fiber or vectored VDSL to nearly all the city while investing less than 10% of revenue. Their LTE is going to 300 megabits.

Hong Kong HKT's cost should be somewhere between $400 & $1,000 per home - probably closer to $400.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 15:44
Ikanos: Still waiting on chips
Friday, 23 January 2015 09:39

Very limited sales of ADSL, VDSL chips for now. Ikanos was the first with VDSL2 DMT, today's standard. They've incorporated Globespan-Conexant, once the largest ADSL chip provider. But until their vectored & G.fast chips ship, sales are dismal. With investments from Alcatel and Tallgrass, they have time to turn things around - when the chips get out the door.  Tallgrass and management bought an additional $12M in equity early in February.

    They are particularly enthused about G.fast. On their investor call http://bit.ly/1BcvVC1, "One is that G.fast is obviously the flagship of the 1-gig push forward, if you will. We expect that market to be -- as the percentage of the total to be around 25% of the mix of the balance of the DSL technology, but one of the things that interesting around G.fast is an end-to-end replacements or deployment takes place.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 February 2015 16:48
Ten days to nominate DSL pioneers for the IEEE Ibuka Medal
Monday, 12 January 2015 00:00

Wiegand's other award

The 2012 Ibuka Medal went to three people on the video standards committee for H.264/MPEG4-AVC. The 2013 award went to three on the High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding committee. For more than 20 years, the DSL Standards group has been advancing broadband from 1.5 megabits in the pre-DMT days to G.fast’s hundreds of megabits. It’s time to put together a nomination. This year's nominations are due January 31. The chair of the committee is Kenneth Wiegand of Fraunhofer, one of those who won the award for video standards. Balan Nair, also on the committee, installed millions of lines of DSL as CTO of Qwest.

The 2014 Award went to Marty Cooper, cell phone inventor and friend to many of us. Marty’s Marconi Panel in D.C. in October upended many people’s thinking about spectrum. Two dozen of the most influential in D.C. were in the audience to hear “We’ve never had a spectrum shortage and we never will.” The video is well worth watching http://bit.ly/Marconispectrum

For information on the award, http://www.ieee.org/about/awards/tfas/ibuka.html If we don’t get this together for this year, let’s make sure to do it next year.


Last Updated on Friday, 23 January 2015 22:16
$45 Billion for Spectrum? Cheap!
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 23:06


"Even on a cost avoidance basis, the AWS3 bids could reflect economic values," a reliable source emailed me. More spectrum makes it cheaper to add wireless capacity, especially now that LTE-A aggregation is widely available. I ran some numbers and to my surprise even $45B is plausible - if not exactly cheap!

AT&T certainly didn't intend to pay $15-20B for about 40% of the 50 MHz available. John Stankey put $10B on the table for the auctions. That seemed like enough to scare off smaller bidders.  Someone wasn't scared, probably Charlie Ergen, and pushed the bidding up. 

Telcos need to keep up with traffic increasing at 30-70% per year. They can increase capacity with more cell sites, more antennas, and network efficiencies instead of spectrum. They calculate how much less they could spend on capex if they had additional spectrum available. They calculate cost avoidance numbers from that and develop a maximum bid range. Then they hire nobel-calibre game theorists and auction economists to ensure they spend much less.

The savings in capex just might justify the high prices. AT&T has just cut capital spending by $4B, the largest decline in the last decade anywhere in the world. Just a quarter of that, $1B, would support over $30B in spending on spectrum, at 2.8% effective interest rate.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 January 2015 15:59
Last Bow for "The DSL Committee"
Thursday, 18 December 2014 23:44

Starr's novelAmerica's role changes. DSL speeds would be much lower and tens of millions of current DSL customers wouldn't be served without the extraordinary work of Tom Starr and dozens more on "The DSL Committee." We'd have far more problems with interference if the T1E1.4 committee hadn't developed a set of rules 20 years ago. Tens of millions of homes that today get 3-6 megabits would probably have been capped at 1.5 megabits if they didn't create competition for the first ADSL modem. Literally hundreds of problems were prevented or resolved by the work they've done.

     America is no longer the center of the telecom world, so perhaps it was inevitable that the American standards committee would fade away.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2015 13:19
From Lantiq: Intel deal "is great"
Saturday, 28 February 2015 22:18

Lantiq"It's great for us," Christoph von Schierstädt of Lantiq tells me. I compared the company at merger with the hopes of a few years ago. http://bit.ly/lantiqbye Christoph is looking forward and writes,

"Honestly, I don't really agree that the Lantiq / Intel story isn't a good one. In fact it's a great proof of everything we did to bring the company back on track  - We made the company faster, lean and nimble. Dan Artusi installed four key principles which we are acting under since then: customers, speed, simplify, participation. He furthermore demanded and successfully installed the 'see a problem, fix it' mentality; means we all care for the success of the company and remove roadblocks faster. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 11:41
Goodbye, Lantiq. Hello, Intel
Monday, 02 February 2015 12:24

Goodbye LantiqLate arriving chips push DSL pioneer into Intel deal. Intel is back in the DSL business more than a decade after losing about $2B without bringing a DSL chip to market. Lantiq is a solid company with excellent engineers around the world.

Not long ago, CEO Christian Wolff was planning for a $1B IPO. Imran Hajimusa was exhibiting spectacular demonstrations of world-beating performance WiFi, some of the first publicly shown vectored VDSL and more. The chips haven't made it to market. Update 3/03 Vectored VDSL chips for modems are shipping, although other chips are not. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 10:45
Obama's Seven Percent Broadband Plan
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 21:19

Obama in the Oval Office Program will help far fewer than 10%. Barack has a delightfully folksy video chat about needing better and more affordable broadband. http://bit.ly/WHbunkum He flew out to Ceder Falls to make a second speech. http://bit.ly/WHCedar Unfortunately, his proposals are highly unlikely to impact 5% of Americans and almost certainly won't reach 7%. (Proposal below)

The only item of apparent substance is Obama's plan to override state laws in a minority of the country that prevent cities from building municipal systems. That's the right thing to do, but won't affect many people. Even if the proportion of municipal broadband in the states affected doubles or triples, that's less than 5% of U.S. homes. Doubling or tripling would be a surprise.

If you want to help more than 10% or 20% you therefore have to make the incumbent bring down prices. This is very hard politically in the U.S. and Obama didn't even try. 

Which means that Obama's plan will help very few. I'm calling it the seven percent solution, because it probably won't have any impact on more than 7% of homes. Almost no one in the U.S. is willing to look at the kind of policies that help even a third of the U.S. population.
To really make a difference, you have to find policies that work when competition has and will fail. Possibilities go far beyond the obvious price controls and unbundling. The FCC right now can bring the cost for a reasonable service down to ~$10/month for millions of poor people. Comcast already offers that; AT&T should as well. Wheeler should look AT&T CEO Randall in the face and say, "If you want your $50B AT&T merger, you have to match Comcast's $10 offer for the poor."

Not getting that concession from AT&T would be unconscionable.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 January 2015 22:14
CEO: Verizon Dumping DSL for LTE
Friday, 09 January 2015 03:07

Verizon LTE claims Dropping 10M wired homes, 50-75% of territory. Please don't shoot the messenger - I still support DSL. CEO Lowell McAdam intends to shut most copper served homes, 10-15M. This is not because those homes aren't profitable, but they will be even more profitable if served by Verizon's LTE. 

Here's what Lowell told the CITIBANK conference.

"We're moving a lot off of copper onto wireless, as well, especially for voice services and lower speed DSL. And that allows us to have the maintenance savings and gives the customers frankly better service than they would on antiquated copper. So we're doing a number of things to sort of prune the assets down and be a bit more focused."  

Last Updated on Friday, 23 January 2015 22:16
300 Megabit 3 Band LTE in Korea
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 00:00

SK hundreds of meg LTEThe world is on the way to gigabit LTE. Using 40 MHz, Korea's largest mobile company is upgrading 26,000 cell sites over the next few months. The maximum speed is 300 megabits, shared; if the cell site is crowded or you're far from the tower, the speed is lower. 95+% of the time, however, you can expect 50-100 megabits. SK is using 20 MHz in the 1.8GHz band, 10 MHz in the 800MHz band, and 10MHz in 2.1 GHz band. 

SK claims this is the first commercial 3 band deployment, but there are dozens to come. LG, Korea's #3, intends to deploy next month and KT is in trials. http://bit.ly/1BoDP7N. SK's 26K cellsites for 51 million people is about three times  the density of AT&T or Verizon's network. The American giants have < 50,000 cellsites for 315 million people.

Verizon was first, after Scandinavia, to LTE but now has a distinctly inferior network. While Germany has peak speeds often at 100 megabits, Verizon is still advertising 5-12 megabits. England, France, Finland and many others soon roll out common speeds of > 100 megabits.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 12:59
AT&T U-Verse slows when watching 2 TVs, trouble at 4K
Monday, 01 December 2014 19:04

4K for 699Doesn't always happen. AT&T U-Verse was designed so most customers can get 25 megabits. HD channels use 3-6 megabits each at AT&T, probably closer to three. When streaming 2 HD signals, a 25 megabit line cannot deliver AT&T's promised 16-24 Mbps services and TV. Two and more HD TVs are becoming common in the U.S. as prices plummet. Fry's is selling a 32" HD TV this week for $250.

    Fry's is also selling a 4K, 40" TV for $699. The day U-Verse turns on 4K TV, problems will become fierce.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 13:02
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