The Online Reporter

Research, Trends and Insight into the Digital Media, Consumer Electronics & Broadband Industries

Is This the Future? Free Local TV Stations & Low Cost OTT Apps

- LG, Antennae Direct & Local Stations’ Association Spread the ‘Gospel of Free Broadcast TV’
– Add a Low-Cost TiVo DVR for $50 plus $14.99/Month
– Could This Combo Accelerate the Decline of Linear Pay TV?

Looking at the almost 150,000 fewer pay TV subscribers that Leichtman Research Group reported for 2014’s third quarter, we have to ask: in three years, how many residences will have a combination of free TV via antennae that receive 20-40 local TV stations plus several low-cost OTT services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and the occasional movie rental or purchase from iTunes, Vudu or Amazon? Having cut the cord and watched only local OTA TV stations for six months, we always thought that there’d be a lot more cord-cutting if more consumers could see how many channels they could get for free with antennae and how good the video quality is. The combination of free TV from the local channels and low-cost OTT services is a powerful combination, especially when a DVR, also low cost, is added that records the local channels and has apps for most of the popular OTT services.

Antennas Direct, TVfreedom.org and LG will kick off a 25 city “Broadcast TV Liberation Tour” with 1,000 antennae being given away on Sunday, November 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. The tour’s objective is to show consumers the variety and video quality of local broadcast channels. See: http://www.tvfreedom.org/docs/antennaGiveaway.pdf

Antennas Direct says OTA broadcasts to antennae mean “No contracts, no commitments, no monthly fees…just free HDTV.”

The first 1,000 who attend the event will receive a free digital broadcast TV antenna (C2-V model) and will be able to enter a drawing for an LG 42-inch LED flat-panel HDTV.

TVfreedom’s members are mainly associations of local TV stations that the networks do not own. See: http://www.tvfreedom.org/members.php

Antennas Direct makes it own line of patented antennae. Its founder and president, Richard Schneider, started the business four years ago in his basement. He said his company “has sold more antennas in September this year than we did our first four years combined in business.” He added, “One of the fastest growing trends in video content right now is an increasing demand for free, high-definition broadcast television. We can’t wait to spread the gospel of free broadcast television across the country.”

The ClearStream 2V Long Range UHF/VHF Antenna that Antennas Direct
Is Giving Away on the Road Show

Antennas Direct’s $89.99 ClearStream 2V has a range of 50 miles and can be installed outdoors or indoors, such as in the attic. It’s a compact 20-inch x 12-inch (35-inch with raised dipoles for VHF signal reception). The company said, “No other antenna exists can rival its dual-band [UHF/VHF] performance” and it “offers the power and efficiency normally found in antennas up to 10 times its size.”

The Online Reporter asked Schneider how many antennae the company had sold in September. He said, “We shipped a little over 70,000 antennas in September. And yes there is a ‘wave’ for over-the-air. Our year-to-date units shipped are double versus 2013. There has been a growing demand for an alternative to pay TV, and digital over-the-air is a big part of that.”

Let’s see. During the third quarter the major US pay TV services lost almost 150,000 subscribers — an average of 50,000 a month — and Antennas Direct sold over 70,000 antennae in one month of the quarter. Perhaps there is a wave.

So much for Aereo!

The “cord never” crowd may not be buying antennae to watch the local TV stations but it’s certain that most “cord cutters” still want to get programs from the big four national TV networks, major sporting events plus local sports, news, traffic and weather — live TV. (Or, are they getting those on the Net?)

Most new TVs have an on-screen guide for local stations. However, one of the first things cord cutters will miss is a DVR and an advanced on-screen TV guide that lets them specify in advance to record a show or season of shows. The antenna tour could have invited TiVo, which has a DVR that is designed specifically for over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts including an on-screen TV guide and a unified search function that looks for programs that are broadcast, already recorded on the DVR or available on the most popular OTT services, not including iTunes and Vudu. It’s $49.99 with a one year commitment to TiVo’s service at $14.99 a month.

Up Front Costs $s
Antenna                    89.99
TiVo OTA DVR       49.99 optional for those wanting a DVR

Monthly Costs
TiVo service            14.99 optional for those wanting a DVR
Netflix                      8.99
Hulu Plus                7.99
Amazon Prime       8.25 99.99 a year including free shipping on thousands of items at Amazon.com
YouTube                 free

Plus the occasional purchase or rental from iTunes, M-Go, Vudu or Amazon
Many consumers will not subscribe to all three OTT services.

Consumers can register many…

 

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 905

 

TOR905front

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Is This the Future? Free Local TV Stations & Low Cost OTT Apps

Kaltura Sees Content Owners Look for OTT Opportunity Off YouTube’

UHD

Roku Adds NanoTech’s Iron Dragon TV Channel

DirecTV Names Its First UHD Titles

Best Buy Set to Sell Lots of UHD TVs in Q4

Best Buy’s UHD TV Efforts

OTT SERVICES, APPS AND SCREENS

OTT

Vimeo Funds Its First Original Series

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES

BROADBAND BEAT

Comcast Wins the Speed Race over AT&T in South Bay

Broadband & Phone Services Costs Substantially Less in Toulouse, France than in North Oakland

Wave Offers 1 Gbps in Parts of Seattle

Cox Lights up Several Thousand Wi-Fi Hotspots

ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

More on M-GO’s UHD Offering

Mobile Devices to Get USB that Streams 4K to a TV

Amazon: Fire TV Stick Is Sold Out!

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

Will Broadband Networks Be Ready for 706m Internet TV Households by 2020?

Netflix Accounts for 35% of Wireline Broadband Traffic

Service Providers Add 700k in Broadband Subs, Lose 150k in Pay TV Subs

75% of NBC’s Gotham’ Audience Time-Shifted First Episode

YouTube Usage Spurs UPC Hungary to Roll out App to All STBs

OTT Services to Reach $10b in Revenue in 2018

DIGI GRAMS

UHD TVs to Help Best Buy’s Sales during Holidays

Intel Merging Mobile Processors Operation into PC Unit

Digital Screens Touts CDN in OTT Launch

Nielsen: Viewers of All Ages Are Leaving Traditional TV

The Bald-Faced Falsehood That Localism Is a Myth’

Network TV Could Get Smarter with New Nielsen Data on OTT Views

Netflix Launch Could Boost Awareness and Demand for Other Streaming Services

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Two 200+ Mbps Copper Technologies Available to Telcos

What telco with a copper-wire based broadband network wouldn’t love to be offering 200/100 Mbps down/up right now?

Cablecos’ DOCSIS broadband technology currently offers subscribers much faster speeds than the telcos’ xDSL copper wire speeds, which is helping cablecos take market share in the lucrative broadband market everywhere they compete against a telco’s copper wire networks. Many cablecos have begun increasing the speeds they offer to 100 Mbps and higher at no additional charge. Until recently, it appeared that telcos with copper wire networks had only these choices:

– Build all-fiber networks, a very expensive, disruptive and time consuming task but one that is certainly future proof.

– Deploy vectored VDSL2, which requires fiber to within about 200 meters of the residence, is available now and gets them into the 60 to 100 Mbps range, probably good enough for the “4K era” but not for the longer term.

– Quietly and over time exit the lucrative broadband service market as most of their subscribers switch to a cableco’s faster speeds — something that’s not likely.

– Wait until 2016/2017/2018 when they can start upgrading to G.fast networks that have gigabit potential. G.fast requires telcos to run fiber to within about 200 meters of the residence.

 

Vplus – filling gap between VDSL2 Vectoring and G.Fast

 

Telcos will soon have two copper wire broadband technologies that have the same physical architecture — fiber to within about 200 meters of the residence and the existing copper phone wires from there to inside the residence (no technician is needed to enter the residence):
Lantiq’s VDSL-based VINAX dp, which is available now
Alcatel-Lucent’s upcoming VDSL-based Vplus
G.fast from a number of chip and equipment makers with its 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps potential will be available in quantity in a year or so

There is a sizeable gap between the 80 to 100 Mbps capable vectored VDSL that’s shipping now and the 1 Gbps G.fast that’s coming in 2015/2016. The gaps exist in availability, speed and costs.

Chipmaker Lantiq and equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent have each developed technologies that cost less than G.fast to deploy and offer speeds of at least 200 Mbps…

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M-Go Is the World’s First 4K Digital Download Service

-Beats iTunes, Vudu and Amazon Instant Video to the Punch
-Offering UHD Titles on Samsung 4K TV Sets

Between Netflix’s growing 4K Ultra HD library, Amazon promising to offer 4K content by year end, and now M-Go’s announcement to offer 4K videos for purchase and download, the body of 4K content available to any and every consumer with a 4K TV set and a sufficient broadband connection is growing. Naysayers may not have much longer to claim there’s no UHD content available to consumers.

M-Go, the joint OTT venture from Technicolor and DreamWorks Animation, made history this week by becoming the first OTT download service to offer 4K video. M-Go, which launched in 2012, is widely available on connected devices, and is in fact integrated into Roku net-top boxes as the digital download store.

The 4K titles will initially only be available on Samsung UHD TV sets. The service only offers a few titles at launch, but said it will add new titles each week, and hopes to reach 100 videos in 4K resolution by the year end. The 4K films will be priced $1-$2 more than regular HD titles to rent and $3-$5 more to buy.

“The image quality of M-Go 4K Ultra HD content delivered through Samsung’s market leading UHD TVs will truly impress viewers with unprecedented picture quality,” said M-Go chief operating officer, Christophe Louvion. He said the 4K service offers a “best-in-class streaming experience for movie buffs and TV lovers.”

M-Go didn’t mention which titles would be available in 4K at launch, but noted that the library will include “content that is either authored and post-produced in UHD, or pre-processed from licensed content partner source files and optimized for image clarity, detail and texture on televisions.”

The OTT space is warming up to the idea of launching 4K services. Netflix, the first to market in delivering 4K video services, continues to add to its growing 4K library, including adding “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 4K most recently. It also plans to offer a number of its upcoming original series in4K definition, and we’re betting the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” to which Netflix acquired exclusive rights earlier this year.

Amazon is also working on a 4K video service, though it has faced some delays. It has said previously that it would offer some of its originals in 4K resolution by year end, and may offer other titles in UHD, too.

The partnership with M-GO is another win for Samsung, adding to its recent UHD deal with DirecTV, and a helpful differentiator for Samsung in the UHD set market…

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 904

 

TOR904 cover

 

 

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Linear TV May Lose One of Its Last Pillars More Quickly than Predicted

M-Go Is the World’s First 4K Digital Download Service

BSkyB Becomes Sky

ULTRA HD

Vizio’s 60-inch UHD TV Selling for $998

Netflix Adds another UHD Movie

Amazon: 4K Content by Year End

DirecTV CEO: 4K VoD This Year; Linear TV in 4K Next Year

London Gets an Internet-Capable 4K Studio

The Sweet Spot for 4K TVs Is Coming Faster than Anyone Expected’

4K UHD’ It’ll Be Then

48m UHD-capable STBs by 2020

OTT SERVICES, APPS AND SCREENS

Pay TV Players Talk OTT Opportunity

BT Launches Cord Cutter Dream’ Package

Sony Is Now a Virtual Pay TV Operator

Netflix App to Appear WOW Pay TV STB

ORIGINAL ONLINE VIDEO

Amazon Has 7 New Pilots for 2015

MUSIC STREAMING SERVICES

YouTube Offers Subscription Music Streaming

ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

BROADBAND BEAT

Two 200+ Mbps Copper Technologies Available to Telcos

AlcaLu: 9.4m Vectored VDSL2 Line Cards Shipped

Alca-Lu: Large Scale G.fast Deployments in 2016

Lantiq: 200/100 Mbps Broadband Is Available Now to Telcos

AlcaLu’s Vplus to Provide 300 Mbps at 200 Meters of Copper Wires

ARRIS Happy with Broadband Demand

Copper Wire Telcos Are Losing the Speed Race to the Cablecos

Liberty Global Upping Its Speed to 152 Mbps

WIRELESS BROADBAND

Comcast Now Has 5m Wi-Fi Hotspots in States

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

Growth in Public Wi-Fi and Cellular Data

UHD Sets Driving Growth in Sales of TVs in States

DIGI GRAMS

Best Buy to Open 5AM on Thanksgiving

Dish’s Ergen Predicts More Diversity in Pay TV Bundles

4K Will Be a Differentiator

Ad-Supported TV in Early Stages of Decline’

Sky Declares Itself Top Dog in OTT in UK

Verizon: Title II for the Internet Is Just Ridiculous’

Opportunity beyond the Cable Bundle

Shift to Digital Threatens Every Business

AT&T Pauses Fiber Rollout

Verizon CFO: 1 Gbps Not Needed Now

 

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CBS Wants to Become a Streaming Juggernaut

-Launches Digital News Network

-Showtime a la Carte Coming in 2015

CBS is signaling loud and clear that it sees its future online. A few weeks after launching a subscription-based streaming video channel that competes with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, CBS has launched an online news network to compete with such pay TV news sources CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

The network, called CBSN, is an ad-supported streaming service for its CBS News property. It’s available at www.CBSNews.com via a browser on PCs, smartphones and tablets; it’s s also available on Rokus, Amazon Fire TVs and select smart TVs. Apps for mobile devices are slated to become available by year end.

“Our audience and other audiences besides are available in other places at other times,” said David Rhodes, president of CBS News. “The discussion we had is people are interested in our offering and are available on these platforms. We are going to meet them with a product, or someone else is.”

CBS head Les Moonves said the CBSN will “allow us to take all of the content we create across our news division and distribute it across the leading digital platforms without the costs associated with the cable news network,” speaking at the company’s recent quarterly earnings call.

With the tagline: “CBS News. Always On,” the online channel offers live streaming programming with two anchors, and selections of videos to watch on-demand. Advertising partners include Amazon and Microsoft at launch.

“This service will provide programming 24/7 to a whole new audience, and along with [CBS’s subscription OTT service] All Access, demonstrates the way we are following our viewers with CBS content wherever they are,” Moonves said.

Showtime OTT Service Is on the Horizon

Viewers will likely be able to stream Showtime, CBS’ premium pay TV channel, sometime next year, according to executives. “We see the same opportunity HBO does,” said Joseph Ianniello, chief operating officer at CBS, speaking during the quarterly earnings call. “To not make our programming available is certainly doing a disservice to those consumers,” Ianniello said, referring to …

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Ikanos: Broadband Market Is Rapidly Going Gigabit G.fast

Chipmaker Ikanos Communications first showed its G.fast technology at last year’s (2013) Broadband World Forum, saying it is “the next-generation DSL platform” and that it has been designed “to support gigabit rates over standard copper lines.”

During an earnings call this week, Ikanos president and CEO Omid Tahernia said, “The broadband market is moving rapidly to gigabit service. Pressured by competition, telcos are accelerating their efforts towards ultra-broadband deployment, including VDSL2 vectoring, bonding and the latest node in the evolution of fiber copper access G.fast.”

On September 29 of this year, Ikanos announced that Alcatel-Lucent and Tallwood Venture Capital would invest $16.25 million in Ikanos as the first component of a $45 million financial commitment by Alcatel-Lucent and Tallwood Venture Capital.

 

Telcos’ Copper Wire Broadband Technologies Will Achieve 1 Gbps by 2015

 

Many believe that AlcaLu’s main interest in Ikanos is Ikanos’s G.fast chips.

During the call Tahernia said, “Industry reports show Alcatel-Lucent holding the top spot in shipping VDSL and vectoring ports by a wide margin: 44% market share versus 18% for second spot. As a result of our partnership with this industry leader [AlcaLu], we expect our next generation of ultra-broadband products [G.fast] to be aligned with the requirements and timeline of the mainstream market and to be highly differentiated upon introduction.”

Asked when Ikanos would announce the availability of G.fast chips, Tahernia said, “We believe that the milestones that we have in mind in 2015 are in line with what we believe is the mainstream market deployment. And certainly our partnership now with our strategic partner Alcatel-Lucent further will provide confidence in the context of that alignment. So at the appropriate time, we’ll be making announcements in the context of product availability as well as market and carrier wins. We have to also recognize the fact that this [G.fast] standard is not completely ratified. So I think it’s more interesting to stay focused on what the carriers intent is around truly deploying as an end-to-end one gigabit service and we believe that 2015 is a time where some of the early testing and trials will happen and we expect that commercial deployments really be in the 2016 time frame.”

 

 

Telcos’ Copper Wire Broadband Technologies Will Achieve 1 Gbps by 2015

As to AlcaLu’s intent, Tahernia said, “The financial commitment by Alcatel-Lucent is broken down into three pieces, $5 million equity, $10 million in debt, and $7.5 million other financial commitments towards really the development of the ultra-broadband [G.fast] products.”

He said the exact timing of future AlcaLu investments “is confidential and is covered in the agreement, because fundamentally it highlights the timing of what we’re doing together and I think that would be problematic obviously for us as an entity as well. He said, “It is milestone-based and it is towards our collaboration and developments of ultra-broadband [G.fast] components.”

As to working with AlcaLu, Tahernia said, “You can see that we’re much joined at the hip and we’re way down the path of collaboration.”

Asked whether Ikanos could sell to other equipment makers the products Ikanos collaborates on with AlcaLu, Tahernia said, “I think the results and the outcome of our collaboration is not exclusive. And we’re in the semiconductor chipset business. We are selling our technology today. We will continue to sell those obviously as well as the results of what comes out of the collaboration.”

These excerpts are from Seeking Alpha at: http://seekingalpha.com/article/2626375-ikanos-communications-ikan-ceo-omid-tahernia-on-q3-2014-results-earnings-call-transcript?page=4&p=qanda&l=last

AlcaLu said in its Q3 reporting announcement: “We recently entered into collaboration with and made an investment in semiconductor company, Ikanos Communications, on the development of components for ultra-broadband products” — no doubt referring to G.fast.

 

G.fast Chipmakers

Three chipmakers so far have announced G.fast chips/chipsets:

Sckipio, which says it has small quantities of G.fast chipsets available for both CE and DP equipment.

Broadcom, which said its CE chipsets are shipping now and that it’ll have chipsets for DPs available in early 2015.

– Ikanos, which seems to indicate it’ll have prototypes of G.fast chipsets available in 2015.

- Huawei’s HiSilicon could also produce G.fast chips but has not said anything about it.

 

So?

So, it appears that a) AlcaLu is investing in Ikanos so Ikanos can complete the development of and produce its G.fast chips, b) the Ikanos G.fast chips will not arrive as originally promised in Q2 2014, c) the more likely time frame for sample quantities is 2015 with volume shipments starting at the end or 2015 or early 2016 and d) AlcaLu’s main and perhaps sole interest in Ikanos is Ikanos’s G.fast technology.

What we don’t know is:

– Whose chips AlcaLu will use in the dozen or so trials it has scheduled. Will it use pricey field programmable chips as it did during the early days of vectoring? Are those programmable chips running its own G.fast software or Ikanos’s G.fast software? Or will it use Broadcom’s G.fast chips?

– Why didn’t AlcaLu invest and/or choose Sckipio’s G.fast chips, which Sckipio said are the first G.fast chips to come to market and which Sckipio says are being shipped in limited quantities?

 

Ikanos’ Neos G.fast Architecture

Ikanos says its Neos G.fast architecture has its “state-of-the-art ultra-low-power analog technology” that enables it to have the lowest power-per-port usage performance while achieving the gigabit data-rate requirements outlined in the impending G.fast standard specification. Telcos prefer very low power usage at the distribution point (DP), where fiber meets the copper wires, so they do not need to install an electrical outlet. Instead the DP gets its power from a modem/gateway in the home.

Ikanos said the Neos architecture provides “high transmission reliability and line stability in high-data-rate vectored environments.” The ability to operate efficiently over connections that have both G.fast and VDSL2 wires seem to be a major differentiator among G.fast chips.

G.fast’s actual speeds depend on a number of factors but probably the most important one is distance.

Ikanos said it has demonstrated:

– An aggregate data rate of 150 Mbps at a distance of 500 meters in a 192-port DSLAM in multiple lab trials at equipment makers and telcos.

– 300 Mbps aggregate performance at 200 meters, which is ideal for short-loop FTTdp deployments especially in MDUs.

Ikanos says its Neos architecture meets the G.fast specification for both consumer premises equipment (CPE) and for the DP including getting its power from a CPE device, VDSL2 fallback and G.vector, configurable as single or multi-port. The result, Ikanos said, is that the Ikanos’ product portfolio “spans the full range of FTTx deployments with industry-leading rate-reach performance, as well as scalability in distance, throughput, and port-count.

Ikanos president and CEO Omid Tahernia said, “To us G.fast is …

 

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In This Week’s Edition of The Online Reporter…

The Online Reporter no. 903

 

 

TOR903 cover

HEADLINES

Ikanos: Broadband Market Is Rapidly Going Gigabit G.fast

YouTube Content and Channels Worth Their Weight in Gold

Sony Reports Increased Sales in its Home Entertainment Operations

Samsung Slams Door on OLED TVs, Goes To Quantum Dot Next

Wall Street Journal: Xiaomi Made $566m Last Year

ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION

Now Available in the UK: Samsung’s Entry-Level UHD Sets

3 UHD TVs on Display at JFK Airport

Two Sharp UHD TVs Are in Stores

OTT SERVICES, APPS AND SCREENS

Dish’s Egen: OTT and Broadband Are the Future

Mobile Players Use Content Sell Services and Devices

Two New Online Channels Target Niche Audiences

Vudu Joins TiVo’s App Library

Liberty Global’s Malone: HBO’s Streaming Service Won’t Be Too Popular

CBS Wants to Become a Streaming Juggernaut

WWE Network Is 2/3s toward Goal of 1m Subs

MLS’s OTT Service Sees Huge Growth in 2014

ORIGINAL ONLINE VIDEO

Hulu Orders another Promising Series

Ellen Jumps In on OTT Channel Craze

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES

BROADBAND BEAT

ADTRAN Solves the G.fast/Vectored VDSL2 Coexistence Problem

Actual G.fast Speeds Can Vary Widely

Broadcom Showed 1 Gbps G.fast Chips at WBF

HOME NETWORKING

New Amped Wireless Wi-Fi Range Extender Covers 10,000 Square Feet

WIRELESS BROADBAND

Wi-Fi First about to Shake up Cellcos’ Apple Cart

People Want to Be Connected Even on a Cruise Ship

LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS

Copper Wire Broadband Will Be around for “a Long, Long Time’

340m Hotspots Will Be Available in 4 years

DIGI GRAMS

70% CAGR Predicted for UHD TVs

30m UHD Sets to Be Shipped in 2015

It’s October so Where Is Amazon’s 4K

Thanks to the Internet, Missing CNN Isn’t the End of the World

TV Ad Money Is Moving to Digital

Moonves: OTT Is Additive to CBS Biz

Cablevision Preparing for More Channels Going Online

Netflix Will Expand Movie Windows Globally

G.fast Deployment Most Likely in 2016

Google Fiber Exits; AT&T Fiber Enters

 

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Bye-Bye Wires: Qualcomm’s 11ad WiGig Platform Will Revolutionize In-Room Connectivity

- Mobile & Stationary Devices Can Be Placed Anywhere in the Room…
– …And Connected to the TV by Pressing a Button

Imagine not having all the connecting wires behind the stack of entertainment devices under the TV set. In a new world that’ll start arriving next year, consumers will be able to place their mobile and stationary devices anywhere in a room that has a TV and stream flicker-free videos wirelessly. No wires will be needed between devices. Installations of equipment will be much easier and there’ll be fewer hairballs.

A new and different but very high-speed Wi-Fi technology is coming, called 11ad or WiGig. It’s capable of speeds up to 7 Gbps — yes, Gigabits, not Megabits. WiGig is an in-room network technology, as opposed to a whole home technology such as the 11ac, 11n and prior versions of Wi-Fi. Over time it’ll replace the wires that connect the TV set to devices such as the pay TV companies’ STB, the Blu-ray player, gaming consoles and streaming media devices.

11ad will radically simplify the way consumers connect their entertainment devices to the TV set and even allow smartphone and tablets to stream data-rich UHD videos to a UHD TV or HD videos to an HD TV. Both sending and receiving devices will need the 11ad technology but in many cases that could come in the form of an 11ad dongle that plugs into the TV and serves as the receiver.

 

11ad-Mobile-Use-Cases

11ad uses 60 GHz spectrum rather than the 5 GHz band and 2.4 GHz band that the 11b/g/n/ac versions of Wi-Fi use. However, it doesn’t go through walls very well so it provides very high data rates at short distances. It’s a replacement for connector wires, not for whole-home Wi-Fi.

Here’s what will happen in the 11ad future: a consumer buys a new Blu-ray player, say the one that plays discs with 4K content. Because the player has 11ad, the user can sit it anywhere in the room, plug it into the electrical outlet and press the player’s Connect button. The unit is ready to start playing, even if the TV is across the room.

Dell’s 11ad/Wi-Gig Docking Stations

 

How close is 11ad to being available? Qualcomm Atheros (QCA) has the jump on other chip makers. It is already shipping 11ad chips and Dell already has put its 11ad chips in a laptop — the Dell Latitude 6430u laptop, which is available now along with an 11ad docking station for the desktop or server.

QCA has been demonstrating prototypes of smartphones and Android tablets that’ll have 11ad integrated in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processors. Two weeks ago in New York it showed 11ad models of the Sony Xperia Z3, the new Moto X, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG G3, OnePlus One and several other smartphones. Two tablets were wirelessly connected to each other and one tablet was receiving a 4K stream that was stored on the other tablet.

In addition to streaming 4K and HD videos, 11ad can also be used for peer-to-peer content sharing, networking, wireless docking and backing up entire media libraries in seconds.

QCA expects 11ad capable smartphone and tablets to be available in 2015, according to Tal Tamir, Qualcomm’s VP of product management for the mobile, computing and location business unit. He said 11ad is a completed IEEE standard and the Wi-Fi Alliance conducts certifications. Tamir said that 11ad will also be used as part of the Internet-of-Things because homes will eventually have 20 or more sensors, some of which need quick Internet access and others that will need lots of bandwidth such as medical monitoring.

The Wi-Fi Alliance confirmed that 11ad devices will become available in 2016 and says they will be capable of delivering “multi-gigabit speeds, low latency, and security-protected connectivity between nearby devices.” It lists as applications: cable replacement for I/O and display extensions, wireless docking between devices like laptops and tablets, instant sync and backup and simultaneous streaming of multiple, ultra-high definition and 4K videos.

Dell said its Wireless D5000 is the world’s first commercially available 11ad dock. In addition to 11ad, it also supports multiple screens, USB 3.0 and has an audio output. The Dell laptop connects to the PC via the D5000 dock by the user pressing a pairing button and then hitting connect in Dell’s Connection Manager software.

Samsung is a large producer of devices that will need 11ad chips: TVs, mobile phones, tablets, Blu-ray players and the like. It has said it intends to produce 11ad chips. Qualcomm’s very public displays of devices with 11ad chips and the fact that it is shipping 11ad chips seems to have Samsung so concerned that it recently preannounced its 11ad chips and did so in a manner that lead some people to think it’s a proprietary Samsung technology, which it isn’t.

 

The Wilocity Connection

Qualcomm accelerated its entry into the 11ad chip market by acquiring Wilocity, which had been the early leader in the development of 60 GHz wireless chipsets based on the IEEE 802.11ad standard, also known as WiGig.

Qualcomm has gone beyond 11ad by incorporating its 11ac and 11ad technology into what it calls a tri-band (triple band) platform that’s capable of concurrently supporting Wi-Fi’s three bands: 60 GHz for 11ad, 5 GHz for 11ac and 2.4 GHz for 11n. In combination, it said, 11ad and 11ac “create the most powerful and efficient wireless solution in the market; coupling the whole home coverage of 11ac with the in-area multi-gigabit connectivity of 11ad.” Its initial tri-band platform is a reference design based on the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor, which it says is “the world’s first mobile platform designed to support WiGig to enable applications such as 4k video streaming.”

Qualcomm said that by integrating 11ad into its mobile platforms, mobile devices will have near-instantaneous access to the cloud and allow for greater offloads from the cellular network to Wi-Fi networks. That’ll be useful if and when the industry moves to a “Wi-Fi First” protocol in which mobile devices first look for available Wi-Fi networks before connecting to a cellular network. It is a strategy that the cablecos seem to be pursuing with their growing network of hotspots and homespots that their subscribers can access for free.

At the time that Qualcomm announced it had acquired Wilocity, the then president of Qualcomm Atheros Amir Faintuch said, “WiGig will …

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EE Offers 90 Mbps Cellular Service

EE, the UK’s largest cellco, has launched in London its cellular 4G+ service (also known as LTE-Advanced), which according to EE allows for “real world mobile data speeds of 150 Mbps to a smartphone.” and calls it “even faster than fibre-based broadband.” EE plans to make it available in 2015 in greater London and other major UK cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

EE currently offers two 4G+ capable devices: Samsung Alpha and the Samsung Note 4.

 

EE Shoot, London - 29 Oct 2014

EE: “Customers will see speeds as high as 150 Mbps”

EE said, “Mobile data speeds in 4G+ areas will regularly be up to 90 Mbps, and customers will see speeds as high as 150 Mbps for users with a compatible device on a 4GEE Extra or Corporate 4GEE plan. The theoretical maximum speed is 300 Mbps.

EE said the additional airwaves used for 4G+ add new capacity for all EE customers — like adding extra lanes to a motorway.

EE’s slower than 4G+ but still fast Double Speed 4G, which it’s also expanding throughout the UK, provides wireless broadband speeds up to 60 Mbps.

It’s currently available in 20 locations that have more than 35 million residents — 50% of the UK population, and will be expanded to cover 20 more large towns and cities by the end of the year.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said, “The UK is now back to being a world leader in mobile networks. Just two years we were behind every developed market from the US to Japan. We’ve invested in innovation, driven competition and given people in London a mobile network that’s faster than almost any other in the world, and even faster than most fiber broadband available here.”

90 Mbps Is Not Faster than Fibre & Cellular Bandwidth Is Shared by All Users Connected to the Same Cell
EE is to be commended for its 90 Mbps mobile speeds that will be available regularly — and its subscribers will love them for it.

However, 90 Mbps is not fibre speeds. The all-fibre networks that a few telcos and cablecos (and Google) are building are capable of 1 Gbps and higher speeds. Most people say that “fibre broadband” means an all-fibre network — all the way to the residence. But the definition of “fibre broadband” is different in the UK because BT calls its hybrid fibre-to-the-neighbourhood/copper-to-the-home broadband network fibre — and perhaps coincidentally BT says it achieves speeds in the 80 to 100 Mbps range. Perhaps that’s where EE got its comparison numbers.

Also, subscribers on all-fibre and even on telcos’ hybrid fibre/copper networks do not share bandwidth with others in the neighbourhood as they do with cellular and cable TV services. When the phone company promises 80 Mbps, the user gets 80 Mbps unless there is some network failure. When a cellco says 90 Mbps, that’s assuming no other cell phone is connected to the same cell. If 100 people on the same cell started watching UHD movies simultaneously, each person’s speed would drop dramatically.

The 4K Connection
As we have seen so many times recently in an announcement about broadband or home networking, EE used the coming of 4K as justification. EE CTO Fotis Karonis said, “We’re building a network for the future. We’re making sure that there is enough speed, enabled by enough capacity, to let our growing 4GEE customer base do all the amazing things that are just breaking through now — 4K video over 4G, wearable technology and increasingly sophisticated mobile business apps..

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