LightCounting: Silicon Photonics chip market to hit $3 billion in 2029

Sales of silicon photonics chips will increase from $0.8 billion in 2023 to just above $3 billion in 2029. Sales of PICs with TFLN modulators will grow from almost zero now to $0.75 billion by 2029. Sales of bulk LiNbo3 modulators used in legacy DWDM transceivers will continue to decline, becoming negligible by 2029.
Surging demand for optical connectivity in AI Clusters has reversed a decline in market share of GaAs VCSELs. Nvidia purchased close to 2 million 400G SR4 and 800G SR8 transceivers and plans to buy 4 million more this year. These modules use 100G VCSELs, which many experts expected not to be reliable enough for deployment. It is a true comeback story for VCSELs, but it will not last. Nvidia is prioritizing silicon photonics technology for its next generation transceivers.
The Figure below shows sales data of lasers and photonic integrated circuits (PICs) used in optical transceivers, sorted by technology.
LightCounting expect gradual declines in market shares of GaAs and InP based transceivers, while silicon photonics (SiP) and Thin Film Lithium Niobate (TFLN) PICs will gain share. Adoption of LPO and CPO will also contribute to the market share growth of SiP and possibly even TFLN devices.
Companies manufacturing TFLN products are joining forces in accelerating supply chain development. Advanced Fiber Resources (AFR), HyperLight, Fujitsu Optical Components (FOC), Liobate and Ori-Chip as well as their partners organized a special workshop on TFLN at OFC 2024, which was very well attended. We expect more companies to invest into an infrastructure needed to scale up production of TFLN wafers and PICs.
Silicon photonics will provide an integration platform for TFLN. If we include TFLN in a broader definition of silicon photonic PICs, sales of these products will reach close to $3.8 billion by 2029.
About the Author:
Vladimir Kozlov, Founder and CEO of LIGHTCOUNTING, an optical communications market research company.
References:

T-Mobile to acquire UScellular’s wireless operations in $4.4 billion deal

T-Mobile will buy almost all of regional carrier UScellular’s wireless operations including customers, stores and 30% of its spectrum assets [1.] in a deal valued at $4.4 billion, the company said on Tuesday.  The announcement comes nearly ten months after UScellular and its parent company TDS disclosed that they were undertaking a strategic review of the mobile business, suggesting a possible sale.

Note 1. UScellular stated that it will retain around 70% of its spectrum assets following the T-Mobile deal “and will seek to opportunistically monetize these retained assets.”

The transaction, which is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and receipt of certain regulatory approvals, is expected to close in mid-2025.

T-Mobile’s 5G SA network will expand to provide millions of UScellular customers, particularly those in underserved rural areas, a superior connectivity experience, moving from a roaming experience outside of the UScellular coverage area to full nationwide access on the country’s largest and fastest 5G network. Additionally, UScellular customers will have the ability to fully participate in the T-Mobile’s industry-leading value-packed plans filled with benefits and perks, and best-in-class customer support with the opportunity to save UScellular customers hundreds of millions of dollars. T-Mobile customers will also get access to UScellular’s network in areas that previously had limited coverage and the benefit of enhanced performance throughout UScellular’s footprint from the addition of the acquired UScellular spectrum to T-Mobile’s network.

“With this deal T-Mobile can extend the superior Un-carrier value and experiences that we’re famous for to millions of UScellular customers and deliver them lower-priced, value-packed plans and better connectivity on our best-in-class nationwide 5G network,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “As customers from both companies will get more coverage and more capacity from our combined footprint, our competitors will be forced to keep up – and even more consumers will benefit. The Un-carrier is all about shaking up wireless for the good of consumers and this deal is another way for us to continue doing even more of that.”

“T-Mobile’s purchase and integration of UScellular’s wireless operations will provide best-in-class connectivity to rural Americans through enhanced nationwide coverage and service offerings at more compelling price points,” said Laurent Therivel, CEO of UScellular. “The transaction provides our customers access to better coverage and speeds, as well as unlimited texting in more than 215 countries, content offers, device upgrades and other T-Mobile benefits.”

Best-in-Class Network Experience
The combination of both companies’ spectrum and assets will provide UScellular customers a superior connected experience on T-Mobile’s industry-leading nationwide 5G network that offers best-in-class performance, coverage, and speed. Customers of both companies, particularly those in underserved rural areas, will receive access to faster and more reliable 5G service they would not otherwise have.

Value-Packed Plans
UScellular customers will have the option to stay on their current plans or move to an unlimited T-Mobile plan of their choosing with no switching costs, which include beloved Un-carrier benefits such as streaming and free international data roaming. If UScellular customers choose to switch to T-Mobile, they could save hundreds of millions of dollars combined annually. Some will also have access to plans with increased savings previously not available to them, including T-Mobile’s 5G Unlimited 55+ plans. All customers will be able to take advantage of T-Mobile’s award-winning customer service team, and have better, more accessible in-person and digital retail support.

More Choice and Increased Competition
This transaction will create a much-needed choice for wireless in areas with expensive and limited plans from AT&T and Verizon, and for those that have been limited to one or no options for home broadband connectivity. By tapping into the additional capacity and coverage created through the combined spectrum and wireless assets, T-Mobile will spur competition and expand its fast-growing home broadband offering and fixed wireless products to communities without competitive broadband options, further bridging the digital divide for hundreds of thousands of customers in UScellular’s footprint.

Proven Un-carrier Playbook
T-Mobile has a proven industry-leading track record of bringing companies together in the name of enhanced connectivity, choice, and value for consumers. The integrations of MetroPCS in 2013 and Sprint in 2020 have been noted as two of the most successful merger combinations in wireless history that resulted in competition-enhancing shifts benefiting millions of consumers. Leveraging its tried-and-true playbook for successful integrations, T-Mobile will continue to deliver exceptional value and experiences to more people across the country, while forcing others to follow suit, for the good of customers.

Transaction Details and Financial Profile
T-Mobile will pay approximately $4.4 billion for the assets being acquired from UScellular in the transaction in a combination of cash and up to $2.0 billion of debt to be assumed by T-Mobile through an exchange offer to be made to certain UScellular debtholders prior to closing. To the extent any debtholders do not participate in the exchange, their bonds will continue as obligations of UScellular and the cash portion of the purchase price will be correspondingly increased. Following the closing of the transaction, UScellular will retain ownership of its other spectrum as well as its towers, with T-Mobile entering into a long-term arrangement to lease space on at least 2,100 additional towers being retained.

T-Mobile does not expect the transaction to impact the company’s 2024 guidance or 2024 authorized shareholder return program. T-Mobile expects this transaction will yield approximately $1.0 billion in effective total opex and capex annual run rate cost synergies upon integration, with total cost to achieve the integration currently estimated at between $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion. The company plans to reinvest a portion of synergies toward enhancing consumer choice, quality and competition in the wireless industry.

References:

https://www.t-mobile.com/news/business/uscellular-acquisition-operations-assets

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/t-mobile-buy-uscellulars-wireless-114507766.html

UScellular adds NetCloud from Cradlepoint to its 5G private network offerings; Buyout coming soon?

Betacom and UScellular Introduce 1st Private/Public Hybrid 5G Network

UScellular’s Home Internet/FWA now has >100K customers

UScellular Launches 5G Mid-Band Network in parts of 10 states

 

Ghana’s Next-Gen Infrastructure Company to deploy shared 5G network

The Government of Ghana announced a partnership with seven tech companies to deploy a new shared infrastructure for affordable 5G mobile broadband services across Ghana.  The seven partners are Ascend Digital, K-NET, Radisys, Nokia, and Tech Mahindra and two telcos – AT Ghana and Telecel Ghana.

The partners have established the Next-Gen Infrastructure Company (NGIC), which has been awarded a 5G license and is expected to launch 5G services across Ghana within the next six months, followed by expansion to other parts of Africa.

The company will be the first 5G Mobile Broadband Shared Infrastructure Entity to build a nationwide 4G/5G network. It will also work with the telcos to launch affordable 4G/5G-enabled FWA CPEs and smartphones in Ghana within this calendar year.  Ghana’s largest telco, MTN Ghana, is missing from this all-important shared 5G infrastructure.

The partnership aims to enhance the lives of Ghanaians by introducing digital services in education, healthcare, and digital payment transactions through P2P (peer-to-peer), P2M (peer-to-merchant) and M2M (merchant-to-merchant) systems, thereby reducing -digital divide and promoting financial inclusion.

Additionally, the multiplayer partnership will support NGIC in the entire deployment of network infrastructure and associated services, as communications service providers (CSPs) are looking to address enterprise and consumer markets with enhanced digital services. To achieve this, Tech Mahindra will build a Cloud Native Core Network powered by leading OEM (original equipment manufacturer) platforms.

NGIC plans to adopt India’s successful model of affordable handsets, digital platforms, and localized content and applications. The goal is to replicate this high-speed mobile data model across Africa, beginning with Ghana.

Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said, “The creation of a shared 5G Mobile Broadband Infrastructure is critical for delivering affordable, high-speed data access to the people of Ghana and help achieve our Digital Ghana vision. The creation of NGIC as a neutral, shared platform, accessible to all mobile network operators and tower companies, will help to expand 5G services rapidly across the country. We are inspired by India’s digital infrastructure and low-cost mobile data usage and keen to replicate it in Ghana.”

Senior Vice President, of Middle East and Africa at Nokia, Mikko Lavanti said, “Ghana holds immense potential for mobile broadband growth on the back of an unmet demand for connectivity. Establishing an Open Access Network like NGIC will foster innovation and create numerous opportunities across various sectors. We are proud of our partnership with NGIC in helping Ghana realize its digital vision and unlock its full potential.”

CEO of Radisys, Arun Bhikshesvaran said, “Connectivity for all, through the use of open and disaggregated multi-access solutions, is a key component of Radisys’ initiatives to bridge the digital divide. By bringing Fixed Wireless Access alongside 4G and 5G cellular services to help drive economic growth and digital inclusion, Radisys looks forward to helping Ascend and NGIC build a disruptive and affordable shared broadband infrastructure across Ghana. In addition, our communications platform and digital applications will help create new digital experiences that empower the Ghanaian community and foster sustainable and inclusive development.”

Chief Technology Officer, Telecom & Global Business Head, Network Services, Tech Mahindra, Manish Mangal said, “Our partnership with Next Gen Infra Co. is based on a shared vision for digital connectivity and providing Network-as-a-Service to innovate and bring cost efficiency to the telecom market in Ghana and Africa. Echoing our promise to scale at speed, we aim to rapidly advance operations by building a Cloud Native Core Network with leading OEM platforms combined with Tech Mahindra’s automation platform, netOps.ai. Together with NGIC, we will support the complete network infrastructure deployment and introduce high-speed 4G/5G services in the region.”

CEO of Ascend Digital and Executive Director, of NGIC, Harkirit Singh said, “NGIC intends to launch its wholesale 4G/ 5G Network as a Service and make it available to all mobile network operators within the next six months. We have proven the strengths of our partners – Radisys, Nokia, and TechM, to scale the network and deliver affordable mobile broadband services to all Ghanaians. We intend to gradually expand to other parts of Africa as well. We will tap the capital markets and bring in strategic investors as and when required.”

COO of Telecel Ghana, Mohamad Ghaddar said, “NGIC’s neutral and ‘Network as a Service’ model creates a level-playing field for all telecom operators in Ghana. As an MNO our focus will be to enhance customer experience through innovative services, localized content, applications, and affordable devices. We are excited to be part of this venture and looking forward to working with NGIC in a shared vision of universal access to broadband and transforming Ghana into a Digital Economy”.

CEO of AT Ghana, Leo Skarlatos said, “This partnership will enable us to leverage a neutral, shared platform and scale up our services across Ghana. We are confident that our customers will experience the enhanced network quality and affordable services that they deserve. We look forward to working with NGIC and the MOCD, to contribute to the country’s digital transformation agenda.”

References:

https://citinewsroom.com/2024/05/ghana-govt-seven-others-partner-on-5g-shared-network/

https://www.deccanherald.com/business/companies/ghana-ties-up-with-reliance-jio-arm-others-for-building-4g-5g-telecom-infra-3040314

InterSAT extends Pan-African satellite services via Ku-band on Eutelsat 70B satellite

Eutelsat Group has extended its partnership with African satellite network service provider InterSat to support its growth in the pan-African enterprise and retail segments. Under the new multi-year deal, InterSAT will add Ku-Band capacity over Central and Eastern Africa on Eutelsat’s Eutelsat 70B satellite to its current portfolio, which already includes Ka-Band capacity on the Eutelsat Konnect satellite. The Eutelsat 70B offers wide beam coverage and four high-performance fixed beams, with a high degree of on-board connectivity. The partnership extension highlights the role of VSAT services delivered through powerful, geostationary capacity to reach remote areas.

“We are delighted to be able to rely on Eutelsat capacity once again to support our growth ambitions in Africa, home to some of the world’s most remote and underdeveloped regions which represent a challenging environment for building terrestrial communication networks. Leveraging our VSAT service expertise and our teleport infrastructure, we are able to use satellite communication to deliver reliable and cost-effective connectivity to remote and underserved areas while assuring a high-end user experience for our customers,” said Hanif Kassam, Chief Executive Officer of InterSAT.

“We are honoured to be selected by our long-standing partner, InterSAT, to accompany the further roll-out of its services in Africa. The growth of VSAT services in Africa is a testament to the potential of this technology to transform the continent’s ICT landscape, connecting more people and businesses than ever before, as well as the ongoing relevance of our powerful geostationary in-orbit assets to deliver a compelling and reliable connectivity service to the remotest areas,’’ commented Ghassan Murat, Eutelsat’s Regional Vice President (RVP) of the Africa, Middle East, and Asia (AMEA) region

Image Credit: EUTELSAT GROUP

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On May 22nd, YahClick (the data solutions’ arm of UAE’s Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PJSC) and Eutelsat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for YahClick to leverage capacity on Eutelsat’s geostationary satellite, EUTELSAT KONNECT. The collaboration between the two leading satellite operators is in line with Yahsat’s efforts to elevate its offerings and drive growth across its satellite broadband footprint in Africa to provide enhanced services and expand into new markets in Africa and beyond. As part of the agreement. Yahsat will enjoy exclusive rights to Eutelsat’s KONNECT capacity over Ethiopia, one of the fastest-growing African markets.

Sulaiman Al Ali, Chief Commercial Officer of Yahsat said: ‘We are delighted to partner with Eutelsat and have access to state-of-the-art orbital assets, to support our satellite network. This partnership shall enable us to further enhance our portfolio and drive growth of our ‘YahClick’ broadband services to consumer and enterprise markets. Yahsat supported Eutelsat in the early years of its African Broadband journey, and we are happy to be collaborating once again to ensure our existing and future customers benefit from the highest level of service and availability.”

Ghassan Murat, Eutelsat’s RVP of the AMEA region added: “We are honoured to further deepen our ties with our long-standing partner, Yahsat. Yahsat’s strong presence in Africa and the Middle East through the successful deployment of its YahClick satellite broadband service, together with the uptake we are seeing as we progressively transfer EUTELSAT KONNECT capacity to Africa highlight the buoyant demand for robust broadband services in the market, and the pertinence of satellite in connecting users, even in the most remote locations.”

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About Eutelsat Group:

Eutelsat Group is a global leader in satellite communications, delivering connectivity and broadcast services worldwide. The Group was formed through the combination of the Company and OneWeb in 2023, becoming the first fully integrated GEO-LEO satellite operator with a fleet of 36 Geostationary satellites and a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation of more than 600 satellites. The Group addresses the needs of customers in four key verticals of Video, where it distributes more than 6,500 television channels, and the high-growth connectivity markets of Mobile Connectivity, Fixed Connectivity, and Government Services. Eutelsat Group’s unique suite of in-orbit assets and ground infrastructure enables it to deliver integrated solutions to meet the needs of global customers. The Company is headquartered in Paris and the Eutelsat Group employs more than 1,700 people across more than 50 countries. The Group is committed to delivering safe, resilient, and environmentally sustainable connectivity to help bridge the digital divide.

References:

https://www.eutelsat.com/en/news/press.html#/pressreleases/eutelsat-ku-band-capacity-selected-by-intersat-to-extend-its-pan-african-satellite-services-to-enterprise-and-retail-customers-3324324

https://www.eutelsat.com/en/news/press.html#/pressreleases/yahsat-partners-with-eutelsat-group-to-leverage-eutelsat-konnect-satellite-to-drive-growth-across-its-global-footprint-3324486

Highlights of IEEE Triple Milestone Event – May 20, 2024 at CHM

Three very significant IEEE Milestones were celebrated May 20th at the Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mt. View, CA.  They were as follows:

  1.  Google’s PageRank Algorithm and the Birth of Google. The PageRank Algorithm shaped our access to digital content and put Google on the map as an established web search company.
  2.  The 1974 IEEE Computer Society paper on TCP (“Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Enables the Internet”) authored by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn.
  3.  The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee which generated and maintains the standards for IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet), 802.11 (Wi-Fi®), 802.15 (early Bluetooth), among others.

Among newer and important IEEE 802 projects:

  • IEEE 802.1 Time Sensitive Networks Task Group provides standards for deterministic connectivity through IEEE 802 networks (i.e., guaranteed packet transport with bounded latency, low packet delay variation, and low packet loss).  It’s being used at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
  • IEEE 802.19 Wireless Coexistence Working Group deals with coexistence between unlicensed wireless networks. Many of the IEEE 802 wireless standards use unlicensed spectrum and hence need to address the issue of coexistence when operating in the same unlicensed frequency band in the same location.

In addition, four other ground breaking IEEE milestones were briefly discussed:

  1. Development of the Commercial Laser Printer, 1971-1977 Ron Rider, VP of Digital Imaging (retired), Xerox PARC
  2. Xerox Alto Establishes Personal Networked Computing, 1972-1983 John Shoch, Office Systems Division President (retired), Xerox PARC
  3. Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN), 1973-1985.
  4. ALOHAnet Packet Radio Data Network, 1971 Bob Metcalfe, Co-Inventor of Ethernet at Xerox PARC and Frank Kuo, University of Hawaii.

Dedication of the above 4 Milestones:

The first three milestones were dedicated at SRI PARC on Friday, May 17th.  The fourth milestone ALOHAnet led directly to the development of Ethernet.

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You can watch a replay of this four hour event here.

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Of particular significance to IEEE Techblog readers:

  • Vint Cerf, who co-authored the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) paper with Bob Kahn and is often called a “father of the Internet,” described the history of the Internet.  He said that Arpanet and ALOHAnet led the way to the Internet, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month with the IEEE Computer Society’s publication of the TCP paper.
  • In addition to new enabling technologies (e.g. hollow core fiber and LEO satellite connectivity) Vint said we need new policies for economic, social and legal frameworks to make the Internet safer and more secure. Also, to hold bad actors responsible for malicious behavior.  The Internet Society and others need to educate regulators to make these types of changes.
  • Past and present executives of the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee discussed the success of Ethernet (802.3), Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11),  Wireless Specialty Networks (IEEE 802.15), MAC Bridging (IEEE 802.1) which were developed by IEEE 802 LMSC.  The purpose and role of the Radio Regulatory Technical Advisory Group, which supports the work of various 802 wireless standards, was also explained.
  • Ethernet co-inventor Bob Metcalfe provided a genesis of Ethernet which he co-invented with David Boggs while at Xerox in 1973.  Working on Project MAC at MIT in 1970, Metcalfe used the Arpanet to connect dumb terminals to time shared computers. After he joined Xerox PARC, Bob read a paper about the ALOHAnet network at the University of Hawaii by Norm Abramson and was so intrigued that he visited there for one month to gain a deeper understanding of that innovative radio packet network.  It used randomized retransmissions after a collision.  The Ethernet MAC protocol (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) he developed used similar ALOHAnet concepts.  At 2.94 Mb/sec, the first Ethernet was 306.25 times faster than ALOHAnet (9.6 Kb/sec). That’s because it ran on 0.5 inch coaxial cable rather than radio airwaves.  The 2.94 Mb/sec rate (vs 3 Mb/sec) was chosen due to the size limitation of the Ethernet circuit card which could not include a 3 Mb/sec crystal oscillator. That first 1973 version of Ethernet was used at Xerox to enable Alto GUI workstations (predecessor to the PC) to share a networked laser printer and for Xerox PARC engineers to communicate via in house email.

Addendum: Metcalfe did not mention that the hardware for the 10M b/sec version of Ethernet, which in 1985 became the IEEE 802.3 10Base5 CSMA/CD standard, was designed at Xerox by Robert Garner and Ron Crane, RIP.

In April 2022, IEEE SV Tech History committee (founded and initially chaired by this author 2013-2015), presented an event on the history of Ethernet at Xerox.  The event description is here and the video is here.  Unsung Hero of Ethernet Geoff Thompson moderated this superb panel session.  It was originated by this author to provide well deserved recognition for another Unsung Hero- the late and great Ron Crane who (with Robert Garner) co-designed Xerox’s 10 Mb/sec Ethernet circuit card for the Xerox Star workstation as well as 3COMs breakout product –  Etherlink circuit card (product # 3C100) for the IBM PC, which shipped in September 1982.

References:

IEEE Triple Milestone Event – 50th Anniversary of TCP/IP

https://ieeetv.ieee.org/channels/ieeetv-specials/ieee-milestone-celebration-tcp-802-standards-and-google

https://ieeetv.ieee.org/event/ieee-milestone-celebration-50-years-internet

https://spectrum.ieee.org/ethernet-ieee-milestone

VOE-Geoff Thompson

https://ethernethistory.typepad.com/my_weblog/2017/08/in-memory-of-ron-crane.html

 

IEEE ComSocSV/SCU SoE New Event (free): Inside a Telecom Chip Start-up and its 4G+5G Base Station SoC

Date & Time: May 30th, 2:30pm to 5pm
Venue: Santa Clara University – SCDI 1308

Register at: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/421628

Agenda/Timeline:
⦁ 2:30pm-3pm Registration & Networking
⦁ 3pm Opening Remarks
⦁ 3:05pm-4pm Presentation
⦁ 4pm-4:30pm Panel Discussion/Conversation
⦁ 4:30pm-4:50pm Audience Q & A
⦁ 4:50pm-4:55pm Closing Remarks & Acknowledgements

Abstract:
As 5G evolves for both public and private networks, edge demands will impact the fluidity and constructs of 5G infrastructure. Mobile network operators (public 5G) and enterprises (private 5G) are confronted with a daunting fundamental challenge:

How to deploy a wireless infrastructure that can effortlessly scale across all future upgrades (e.g. 5G Advanced) and demands, without incurring the traditional capital and operating expense of a system redesign and rip-and-replace costs?

This talk will cover the starting point of all wireless infrastructure – the 4G+5G baseband System on a Chip (SoC). We will discuss: how a”soft modem” can scale with evolving infrastructural demands across small cells and macro cells, new application use cases, emerging megatrends (such as 5G non-terrestrial networks), market fundamentals impacting 5G deployments, and personal insights into the starting and evolution of a 5G semiconductor startup company in the era of AI.

About EdgeQ:

Five years in the making, EdgeQ emerged in 2018 as one of the very few semiconductor startups [1.] focusing on 5G wireless infrastructure. Led by executives from Qualcomm, Intel, and Broadcom, EdgeQ is pioneering converged connectivity and AI that is fully software-customizable and programmable. The company has raised multiple financing rounds, backed by world-renowned investors across all major continents.  See below for awards EdgeQ has received.

Note 1. There’s been a significant decline in funding for semiconductor startups over the past 10 years due to a maturing industry, high capital requirements, and fewer exits. In 2021, chip startups globally raised $8.3 billion in 263 deals, but in 2023, U.S. startups have only raised $262 million in 17 deals. There have been EVEN FEWER semiconductor startups focusing on wireless telecommunications as EdgeQ has done.

Speakers and Panelists:

  • Adil Kidwai, Head of Product Management, EdgeQ
  • Edward Wu, Head of Marketing & Market Development, EdgeQ

Moderator:  Alan J Weissberger, IEEE Techblog Content Manager, SCU SoE Scholar in Residence, IEEE GCN North American Correspondent

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EdgeQ Awards:

2023 GLOMO Award Winner

References:
https://www.edgeq.io/edgeq-debuts-worlds-first/
https://techblog.comsoc.org/2024/03/03/edgeq-demos-massive-state-of-the-art-o-ran-based-mimo-solution-at-mwc-2024/
https://techblog.comsoc.org/2021/08/19/edgeq-samples-worlds-1st-software-defined-5g-base-station-on-a-chip/

U.S. broadband subscriber growth slowed in 1Q-2024 after net adds in 2023

The pace of U.S. broadband subscriber growth slowed considerably in the first quarter of 2024 as fiber, fixed wireless access (FWA) and cable broadband service providers collectively turned in results that were worse than what they posted in the year-ago period.

Total industry net additions, including or excluding FWA and geosynchronous (GEO) satellite broadband providers, decelerated noticeably in Q1 2024. The total market’s growth rate decreased to just 2.3% year-over-year, the slowest since the COVID-19 pandemic, analysts at MoffettNathanson estimated in its latest broadband industry trends report (paid subscription required). When FWA and GEO satellite categories were excluded, the growth rate was much worse: -0.7%.

The overall number of  U.S. broadband market subscribers decelerated by 299,000 net adds versus the year-ago quarter.  “That was the most abrupt since Q2 2022,” said MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett.  “The bottom line is that penetration of home broadband stalled, and perhaps even declined in the quarter, particularly if one adjusts for the growth in homes passed in rural areas under RDOF [Rural Digital Opportunity Fund] subsidies and unsubsidized edgeouts,” Moffett wrote.

Here’s a breakdown of U.S. broadband subscribers by access type:

  • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) providers added 879,000 subs in Q1 2024, down from a gain of 925,000 in the year-ago period.
  • Fiber net adds also slowed – from 487,000 in Q1 2024 versus a gain of 517,000 in the year-ago quarter.
  • DSL losses of 560,000 in Q1 were similar to a year-ago loss of 571,000.
  • MSO/cable network operators shed 169,000 broadband subs in Q1, much worse than a year-ago gain of about 71,000 subs.

“The culprit for cable’s weaker broadband net additions was a slower market growth rate,” though lower new household formation and cessation of ACP enrollments in the quarter also played a role, Moffett noted.

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According to Statista, the total number of broadband subscribers in the U.S. stood at 114.7 million at the end of 2023,  This was an increase of over four million subscribers compared to the previous year.

Source: Statista

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In March 2024, Leitman Research found that the largest cable and wireline phone providers and fixed wireless services in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – acquired about 3,520,000 net additional broadband Internet subscribers in 2023, similar to a pro forma gain of 3,530,000 subscribers in 2022.

Leitman Research findings for 2023:

  • The top cable companies lost about 65,000 subscribers in 2023 – compared to about 530,000 net adds in 2022
  • The top wireline phone companies lost about 80,000 total broadband subscribers in 2023 – compared to about 180,000 net losses in 2022
    • Wireline Telcos had about 1.97 million net adds via fiber in 2023, offset by about 2.05 million non-fiber net losses
  • Fixed wireless/5G home Internet services from T-Mobile and Verizon added about 3,665,000 subscribers in 2023 – compared to about 3,185,000 net adds in 2022
    • Fixed wireless services accounted for 104% of the total net broadband additions in 2023, compared to 90% of the net adds in 2022, and 20% of the net adds in 2021

“Top broadband providers added about 3.5 million subscribers in 2023, similar to the number of broadband adds in 2022,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.  “Over the past four years, top providers added about 15.9 million broadband subscribers, compared to about 10.2 million net broadband adds in the prior four (pre-pandemic) years.”

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References:

https://www.lightreading.com/broadband/us-broadband-subscriber-pace-slows-across-the-board

https://www.statista.com/statistics/217938/number-of-us-broadband-internet-subscribers/

About 3,500,000 Added Broadband From Top Providers in 2023

Dell’Oro: Broadband access equipment sales to increase in 2025 led by XGS-PON deployments

Fiber and Fixed Wireless Access are the fastest growing fixed broadband technologies in the OECD

Verizon’s 2023 broadband net additions led by FWA at 375K

Charter Communications: surprise drop in broadband subs, homes passed increased, HFC network upgrade delayed to 2026

Altice USA transition to fiber access; MoffettNathanson analysis of low population growth on cablecos broadband growth

Hubble Network Makes Earth-to-Space Bluetooth Satellite Connection; Life360 Global Location Tracking Network

U.S. startup Hubble Network has claimed Bluetooth-based satellite communications is possible  after transmitting data from standard Bluetooth devices to its new satellite constellation, launched in March. The firm, with a $20 million funding round behind it, reckons it will extend Bluetooth transmissions from 10 meters to hundreds of kilometers. It wants to “connect a billion devices” on the “world’s first truly global, cost-efficient, and low-power network,” the company said in a press release.

“We’ve disproved thousands of skeptics,” claims Hubble Network co-founder and chief executive officer Alex Haro of his company’s milestone achievement. “By showcasing that we can send signals directly from Bluetooth chips and receive them in space 600km [around 370 miles] away, we’ve opened a new realm of possibilities.”

Hubble Network has successfully proven the core concept on which the company was founded: that a Bluetooth connection, typically thought of as exclusively for short-range wireless connectivity, can be made between a device on Earth and an orbiting satellite.

“We’ve disproved thousands of skeptics,” claims Hubble Network co-founder and chief executive officer Alex Haro of his company’s milestone achievement. “By showcasing that we can send signals directly from Bluetooth chips and receive them in space 600km [around 370 miles] away, we’ve opened a new realm of possibilities.”

Following its $20m Series A funding round in 2023, Hubble Network has been quietly working towards its most recent milestone. In early March this year it launched its first two satellites from the Vandenberg Space Force Base, to serve as a proof-of-concept test-bed for its core proposal: to use ground-to-space Bluetooth links for energy-efficient Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

“Our innovative approach allows existing Bluetooth-enabled devices to be retrofitted to transmit data to the Hubble Network without any hardware modifications,” explains co-founder and chief technology officer, “ushering in a new era of connectivity.”

According to Hubble Network’s internal testing, a device communicating with its satellites using Bluetooth could draw one-twentieth of the power of a similar cellular-based device — and be used at one-fiftieth the operating costs. This, too, using existing Bluetooth hardware, with no need to replace existing radio modules.

Two satellites, granted, is a somewhat limited constellation. Following its first successful Earth-to-space Bluetooth link, the company has stated that it will focus on increasing the number of satellites in orbit in order to boost capacity and increase coverage — and has opened a waitlist for those interested in experimenting with its official developer’s kit.

Separately,  Life360, a family connection and safety company, has announced a signed non-binding letter of intent with Hubble Network to become the exclusive consumer application of their groundbreaking satellite Bluetooth technology. Through this strategic partnership, Life360 will leverage Hubble’s global satellite infrastructure and Life360’s global network of over 66 million smartphones to introduce “Find with Life360,” a global location-tracking network. Hubble’s breakthrough achievement of connecting Bluetooth devices to a satellite tracking network avoids previous limitations of Bluetooth location-tracking devices. Find with Life360 has the potential to herald a new era in location tracking and surpass the finding network capabilities of Apple and Google.

References:

https://hubblenetwork.com/

https://www.hackster.io/news/hubble-network-beats-the-doubters-makes-its-first-earth-to-space-bluetooth-satellite-connection-1d05f8971283

https://www.prweb.com/releases/hubble-network-achieves-first-ever-bluetooth-connection-to-space-302134952.html

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/life360-partners-with-hubble-network-to-build-global-location-tracking-network-aiming-to-leapfrog-apple-and-google-302143503.html

AT&T deal with AST SpaceMobile to provide wireless service from space

AT&T and satellite network provider AST SpaceMobile are teaming up to provide wireless service from space — a challenge to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which struck a similar deal two years ago with T-Mobile US.  AT&T and AST SpaceMobile formalized the partnership following an earlier testing period. They said on Wednesday that their agreement to build a space-based broadband network will run through 2030.

AT&T head of network Chris Sambar will join the AST SpaceMobile board, deepening a relationship that dates back to at least 2018. Sambar said in an interview that his team is confident in AST SpaceMobile’s technology, as demonstrated by the performance of the BlueWalker 3 test satellite. The relationship is moving from “loose partner to a strategic partner,” he said.

Wireless providers are in a race to offer connections for the world’s estimated 5 billion mobile phones when those devices are in remote areas beyond the reach of cell towers. For consumers, these services hold the promise of connectivity along rural roads and in places likes national parks. The service is typically marketed as a supplement to standard wireless coverage.

The new satellite network will work with ordinary mobile phones, offering a level of convenience that’s lacking in current call-via-satellite services, which require the assistance of bulky specialized equipment.

“Space-based direct-to-mobile technology is designed to provide customers connectivity by complementing and integrating with our existing mobile network,” said Jeff McElfresh, Chief Operating Officer, AT&T. “This agreement is the next step in our industry leadership to use emerging satellite technologies to provide services to consumers and in locations where connectivity was not previously feasible.”

“Working together with AT&T has paved the way to unlock the potential of space-based cellular broadband directly to everyday smartphones. We are thrilled to solidify our collaboration through this landmark agreement,” said Abel Avellan, AST SpaceMobile Founder, Chairman, and CEO. “We aim to bring seamless, reliable service to consumers and businesses across the continental U.S., transforming the way people connect and access information.”

AST SpaceMobile this summer will send five satellites to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for launch into low Earth orbit. AT&T’s Sambar didn’t say when service to customers might begin. “This will be a full data service, unlike anything you can get today from a low-Earth orbit constellation,” Sambar said.

T-Mobile is working with the low-Earth orbiting Starlink service from Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. The mobile carrier earlier said that its calling-via-satellite service could begin this year.

SpaceX has roughly 6,000 satellites aloft in low-Earth orbit — far more than any other company. The trajectory, with satellites circling near the Earth’s surface, allows communications signals to travel quickly between spacecraft and a terrestrial user.

SpaceX in January launched its first set of satellites capable of offering mobile phone service. The service “will allow for mobile phone connectivity anywhere on Earth,” Musk said in a post on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, though he added that technical limitations mean “it is not meaningfully competitive with existing terrestrial cellular networks.”

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About AST SpaceMobile

AST SpaceMobile, Inc. is building the first and only global cellular broadband network in space to operate directly with standard, unmodified mobile devices based on our extensive IP and patent portfolio, and designed for both commercial and government applications. Our engineers and space scientists are on a mission to eliminate the connectivity gaps faced by today’s five billion mobile subscribers and finally bring broadband to the billions who remain unconnected. For more information, follow AST SpaceMobile on YouTubeX (formerly Twitter)LinkedIn and Facebook. Watch this video for an overview of the SpaceMobile mission.

References:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-05-15/at-t-strikes-space-broadband-deal-in-challenge-to-musk-s-spacex

https://about.att.com/story/2024/ast-spacemobile-commercial-agreement.html

AST SpaceMobile: “5G” Connectivity from Space to Everyday Smartphones

AST SpaceMobile achieves 4G LTE download speeds >10 Mbps during test in Hawaii

AST SpaceMobile completes 1st ever LEO satellite voice call using AT&T spectrum and unmodified Samsung and Apple smartphones

AST SpaceMobile Deploys Largest-Ever LEO Satellite Communications Array

 

 

An IEEE Communications Resource Designed for Telecom Engineers

by Danielle Novello, IEEE Associate Marketing Manager (edited by Alan J. Weissberger)

IEEE DiscoveryPoint for Communications is a machine-learning-powered, all-in-one platform specifically designed for engineers in the telecommunications industry.

Engineers designing communications products need access to the most up-to-date information—the latest research, lists of parts and components, and technical standards to help ensure that their design will work correctly and integrate seamlessly with other elements in the system. However, tracking down resources across multiple websites can be very time-consuming, the material might not be relevant or the sources could be questionable.

The IEEE DiscoveryPoint for Communications platform aims to solve those problems by providing one-stop access to searchable, curated content from trusted sources on just about any telecommunications topic. The platform library contains:

  • More than 1.4 million full-text research documents.
  • 14,000 technical standards.
  • 7,500 online courses.
  • 1,300 ebook titles.
  • 18.4 million parts and components data from manufacturers and distributors.
  • 1,300 industry and product news sources, blogs, and white papers.

The documents in our library are sourced from reputable publishers, including AT&T, the IEEE Xplore Digital Library, River Publishers, and John Wiley & Sons, Inc, ensuring the highest quality and reliability of the content. 

IEEE standards are also included in the library. The IEEE Standards Association has developed more than 900 communications related standards, including the popular IEEE 802.11 WiFi and IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standards.

With a single query users can find answers to technical questions by referencing relevant content from multiple high-quality sources, including full-text IEEE publications and standards.  IEEE DiscoveryPoint returns only the most applicable information to user search queries and then organizes the results in resource-specific channels, making it easier to browse different content types cohesively. It can also help accelerate project workflow with time-saving tools such as custom dashboards, alerts, saved searches, bookmarks, and collaboration tools to work through projects in less time and avoid duplicative queries.

“There’s nothing on the market right now that fully supports the design engineer’s workflow and delivers all the information needed in one place,” says Mark Barragry, senior product manager for corporate markets at IEEE Global Products and Marketing.

In designing IEEE DiscoveryPoint, Barragry comments, “We reconstructed the work process of a product design engineer and put together a set of resources that meet all the information needs they would have during a standard product-development cycle.”  Barragry adds that design engineers who tested the platform before launch said they liked that it came from IEEE, a trusted source.

The subscription-based product’s intuitive search engine saves users time by zeroing in on key concepts related to the topic they’re searching for. To get started, the user types a word, phrase, concept, the name of an author or company, or another term into the search bar. The search engine’s ranking algorithm analyzes the documents’ full text and metadata to find relevant material.

The results are organized into curated channels and categorized by resource types, such as research papers, standards, books, or industry news. For each search result, a machine-learning feature examines the document and generates a short summary of key points highlighted in the document. This solution allows time-strapped engineers to find relevant information more efficiently. 

In one testimonial about IEEE DiscoveryPoint, a director of technology development said, “I really appreciated the thought that went into this product. It’s an unmet need for people like me.”

Subscription prices depend on the size of the organization and the number of engineers and technical professionals using it. Contact us to learn more.

References:

https://discoverypoint.ieee.org/

https://innovate.ieee.org/introducing-ieee-discoverypoint-for-communications/

Practical Applications of IEEE DiscoveryPoint for Communications (IDPC)

 

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