The Online Reporter |2 Nov 2016|

Dots in the trend lines that we analyze in depth in the weekly The Online Reporter.

Cosemi Launches HDMI 2.0 Active Optical Cables for Consumers

Cosemi Technologies has announced that its OptoHD HDMI 2.0 active optical cables (AOCs) are now available. The OptoHD AOCs are plug-and-play fiber optic connections between devices in the home that deliver “true 4K 60 4:4:4 Ultra High-Definition (UHD) resolution.” They replace traditional copper cables that, it said, cannot provide the speed and power required by new HDMI video standards. It said that copperwire cables “are simply no longer good enough” and that UHD video, including 4K and 8K, has created the need for faster, more reliable communications over increasingly longer distances. The new resolutions require uncompressed data for full fidelity A/V data transfers.

The OptoHD AOCs are plug-and-play fiber optic connections between devices in the home that deliver “true 4K 60 4:4:4 Ultra High-Definition (UHD) resolution.” Image source: Cosemi

The OptoHD AOCs are plug-and-play fiber optic connections between devices in the home that deliver “true 4K 60 4:4:4 Ultra High-Definition (UHD) resolution.” Image source: Cosemi

Cosemi said its optical cables have been deployed by tier one datacom and telecom companies for years. They use its optical cables for increased bandwidth capacity, faster speeds – up to 6 Gbps per lane and 18 Gbps aggregate, longer distances – up to 100 meters and greater security and reliability. Its fiber cables allow for full color and frame rate video transmission with no compression – “making true 4K 60 4:4:4 UHD resolution at a higher bandwidth and with deep color rendering a reality.”

 

AT&T’s ‘Zero Rating’ Practice Could Prevent Its Acquisition of Time Warner

Wireless and wireline broadband service providers have implemented the practice of not counting data from their approved video sources against their subscribers’ data caps – often called “zero rating.” The FCC has objected to the practice of broadband services favoring their own content. AT&T’s proposed acquisition of the content giant Time Warner may be jeopardized by AT&T’s practice of exempting its streaming video services from data-usage caps. The FCC and other regulatory agencies plus AT&T’s competitors are likely to object. Whether or not a major broadband service should be allowed to own a major content producer most recently surfaced when Comcast, the States’ largest cableco, proposed to buy NBC Universal, one of the world’s largest content producers.

Related: ‘Zero-Rating’ Spreads: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint & Comcast So Far

 

New Report Helps Cellcos Estimate the Costs of Deploying Small Cells for 5G

5G has much higher speeds that 4G/LTE but 5G’s antennas have a shorter range. For 5G networks cellcos will have to deploy hundreds of thousands of small cells. Today most “remote radio heads” (RRH), as they are called, sit at the top of tall macro cell towers that are widely spaced out. The RRHs are connected to baseband units (BBUs) at the base of the tower, where they are typically connected by fiber to a central office. 5G networks will require that cellcos deploy many more RRUs and much more densely on existing and newly installed utility poles, roofs and building sides.

Every cellco in the world must be asking, “How much does it cost to roll out, operate and maintain these remote radio heads when they are deployed as small cells?” The market research consultancy iGR, which has focuses on the wireless and mobile industry, has answered this question by modeling remote radio head costs over a five-year period. iGR made cost estimates for all four possible locations and assumed that 50 RRHs would be deployed at one time in an urban market. It also provides cost estimates for deploying over existing fiber and deploying new fiber.

iGR did not say what those cost estimates are so interested companies will have to purchase the report at: www.iGR-inc.com

Related: Nokia: Drones Can Be Used to Deploy Small Cells

 

iPass Adds Wi-Fi Hotspots in Mexico and Russia

– Now has 57m Hotspots

iPass, which says it’s “the leading provider of global mobile connectivity,” has announced it will offer more Wi-Fi hotspots outside the States as a result of two new deals with:

  •  The Mexican Wi-Fi service SitWifi to provide iPass users with access to Wi-Fi hotspots at 36 airports, 46 hotels, all major bus stations and a number of shopping malls throughout Mexico including in Mexico City International Airport, Cancun International Airport and Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaria Airport in Costa Rica. Available by year end, the service will allow iPass users to have Wi-Fi access while travelling in Mexico. John Walker, COO at SitWifi, said, “Being part of the worlds largest Wi-Fi network also enables us to raise the profile of SitWifi internationally, presenting us with additional monetization opportunities in the future.”
  •  ER-Telecom, Russia’s “leading independent telecom services provider,” which will allow iPass customers to access more than 4,500 new Wi-Fi hotspots in St. Petersburg and other major Russian cities. ER-Telecom has 11% of the Russian broadband market and its Wi-Fi footprint includes hotels, restaurants, cafes and convention centers across Russia. ER-Telecom marketing director Andrey Chazov said, “Bringing together MVNOs and fixed operators is the modern worldwide trend. We are very happy to start our partnership with iPass, and we are sure that its customers will be glad to use the DOM.RU Wi-Fi network, while traveling in Russia.”

ER-Telecom is an interesting company. Its Quadro Play services – broadband, analog and digital TV, fixed-line, mobile telephony and video surveillance – are accessed in 566 towns over an all-fiber network, which it built from scratch, supplemented by radio-access technology. It estimates it offers broadband access in 26% of Russia’s broadband market and 36% of Russia’s pay TV market.

As a result of the two deals, iPass said it now has more than 57 million hotspots in more than 120 countries.

Related: Wi-Fi Is the Achilles Heel of Broadband

 

Comcast’s Gigabit DOCSIS 3.1 Service Come to Detroit

Cablecos continue to raise the broadband standard to speeds that telcos will have to match.

Comcast said it has gigabit-capable DOCSIS 3.1 broadband service in Detroit – 1 Gbps down, 35 Mbps up for $70 a month for subscribers that take a three year contract – month-to-month is $140 per month. The $70 price matches the $70 price that Google Fiber offers in locations where it has built all-fiber networks – except that Google Fiber offers 1 Gbps up and down. Comcast said it has “the advanced technology in place to meet the growing demand” for bandwidth and plans to roll the new service to surrounding metro areas and across Michigan in 2017.” Comcast said in March that it will offer DOCSIS-based gigabit service in parts of Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit and Miami this year – and then ramp up its deployments in 2017. Its Web site says that future gigabit broadband deployment will include Seattle, Salt Lake City, Knoxville, Portland, Atlanta and others. DOCSIS 3.1 allows cablecos such as Comcast to use their existing hybrid fiber/coax networks instead of installing fiber all the way to the residence. Major telcos, except for Verizon, seem to be mainly focused on fiber to a neighborhood or MDU and then using G.fast over existing phone wires – a network architecture that does not currently offer gigabit service.

Related: Hello Telcos! Comcast Is Field Testing 3.1 Version of DOCSIS

 

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