Dots in the trend lines that are analyzed in depth in the weekly The Online Reporter
Facebook Gets 20 Gbps at 8 Miles from Its Fixed Wireless Technology
Facebook has achieved fixed-wireless broadband speeds of 20 Gbps technology at distances up to eight miles by using millimeter-wave technology, according to Abhishek Tiwari of Facebook Connectivity Labs. Facebook used custom-built components in the transmitter and receiver. Tiwari wrote in a Facebook Engineering Blog, “To put this in perspective, our demonstrated capacity is enough data to stream almost 1,000 ultra-high-definition videos at the same time.” Facebook said its next generation millimeter-wave technology will support 40 Gbps. It is also flight-testing an air-to-ground 20 Gbps link on a Cessna flying at up to 20,000 feet. Although 5G will in time probably become the dominant fixed-wireless broadband technology, the use of the current millimeter-wave technology is what is being deployed by some broadband services providers such as AT&T and Google’s recently acquired Webpass, which offers fixed wireless to residences in San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Miami.
Altice Reportedly Negotiating to Buy Portugal Cableco Media Capital
France-based Altice, which recently acquired US cablecos Suddenlink and Cablevision, is reportedly negotiating to buy the Portuguese cableco Media Capital from the Spain-based Prisa. Media Capital owns the Portuguese national broadcaster TVI, the production company Plural and Radio Comercial. Altice owns the cableco PT Portugal.
Another Germany Cableco Adds Broadband Subs
Germany’s cablecos keep adding broadband subscribers. Tele Columbus, the third largest German cableco, added 15,000 broadband subscribers in Q3 to bring its total to more than 500,000. Over two-thirds of them took speeds of 120 Mbps or more, an increase over the prior quarter.
Ericsson Expects 5G Deployments in 2017 by Verizon and SKT
Ericsson expects that some 5G networks will launch in the second half of 2017 but doesn’t expect large scale deployment until 2020, according to Arun Bansal, SVP of Ericsson’s network products business unit speaking at Ericsson Investor Day in New York last week. Bansal said 5G will be deployed simultaneously in China, Japan, South Korea and the US in 2020. He said, “Initial deployments will start in the second half of next year ,” suggesting that Verizon would deploy fixed wireless 5G and SKT would deploy 5G for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Bansal said that 27 cellcos worldwide are in trials with 5G.
Nokia Lands Major LTE-R Mobile Broadband Deal in South Korea
Nokia said the Korea Rail Network Authority (KRNA) has selected it to provide equipment and services for what it called “the first LTE-R mobile broadband network to support railway operations and employee services.” The network will be deployed on a railway line that has commercial trains operating at speeds of up to 250 km/h. The line will be heavily used during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. It will also interoperate with other LTE networks that support public safety and maritime operations plus legacy VHS (very high frequency) and TRS (trunked radio system) radio networks.
Telco Pay TV Continues Bout of Sub Losses in Q3
The number of US pay TV subscribers declined by 486,000 in Q3 – about 1.4% – about the same as Q3 2015, according to MoffettNathanson. Cablecos continued to slow their losses from 1.7% a year ago to a 0.4% loss this year. Two years ago cablecos were losing pay TV subscribers at a rate of 2.7% per year.
Telcos are another story. They have gone from up 2.6% a year-ago to an 11.7% decline this year. As for satcos, AT&T’s DirecTV doing much better than a year ago and Dish is doing much worse. DirecTV’s improvement is helped by AT&T migrating its U-verse pay TV subscribers to DirecTV. MoffettNathanson said, “The transition of U-Verse customers to DirecTV at AT&T naturally makes satellite look better and the telco category look worse than would otherwise be the case” and “the share shifts here are breathtaking,” saying that two years ago, telcos were adding subscribers at a rate of 9.8%.
Two upcoming launches will likely accelerate the decline in US pay TV subscribers:
– AT&T’s recent announcement of $35 DirecTV Now that’ll launch in this quarter.
– Hulu’s streaming TV service that is expected in Q1 2017.
MoffettNathanson also said, “We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the coming post-election changeover in Washington. OTT has enjoyed an almost exalted status at the current FCC. Indeed, the current Title II regulatory regime is, at its core, a regulatory thumb on the scale in favor of OTT video providers (at the expense of physical infrastructure). Will Title II survive a Republican Congress that no longer faces the risk of a Democratic presidential veto? Similarly, Comcast’s attempted merger with Time Warner Cable was blocked because of the risk it could (theoretically) pose to OTT video providers like Netflix. Will OTT video be given the same voice in considering deals brought to a new administration?”
Related: Nielsen: Yes, Pay TV Is Declining
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