Telefonica in 800 Gbps trial and network slicing pilot test

Telefonica and its network suppliers Nokia and Huawei have reached data transmission speeds of up to 800 Gbps in two pilot tests of photonic mesh technology. This trial reached speeds of 400 Gbps between Madrid and Barcelona (a distance of 830 kilometres), rising to 800 Gbps in a trial over shorter distances (47 kilometres) in the Madrid metropolitan area.
In a statement, Telefonica said the photonic mesh layer uses WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology to achieve higher capacity, reduced latency and far lower energy consumption compared with traditional optical network transmission.
The high-speed trial used Huawei’s OSN 9800 optical equipment and Nokia’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch and 7950 XRS IP router.
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Separately, Telefonica is coordinating a 5G Network Slicing pilot test with Cisco and the University of Vigo.  The objective is to demonstrate how flexible 5G networks can devote specific capacities to different services and customers.This project consists of implementing a demonstrator on laboratory infrastructure at the facilities of the University of Vigo, where three slices will be deployed in order to offer distinctive services: low latency, high bandwidth and emergencies. This will enable, for example, customers to make use of the 5G network and enjoy ultra high-definition content while guaranteeing the resources of the mobile network in the event of an emergency in the area.

With this initiative the intention is also to begin building services for customers to be marketed via Telefónica’s 5G network. The project will thus enable Telefónica to obtain key results that will serve to drive the ecosystem and promote the interoperability and standardisation of this technology with a view to its marketing towards the end customer. Some of the sectors that can benefit the most from Network Slicing are the State Security Corps and Forces, media and communication, cars, industry and hotels.

Fiber optic coverage in Brazil to reach 5.5K municipalities by 2024; telcos want fiber over underground sewage ducts and systems

By 2024, optical fiber should reach 5,500 Brazilian municipalities that do not now have fiber coverage. This is one of the new objectives of Brazil’s General Plan for Universalization Goals.  On Thursday, Brazil’s Communications Ministry approved the issuance of debentures for investments in the telecommunications infrastructure, taking the total initiatives to stimulate the development of the sector to seven. The document was published in the Federal Official Gazette and gathers the obligations that fixed-line operators must fulfill in the next five years.

According to the plan, fiber optic connections should have a minimum capacity of 10 GB per second from the beginning to the end of the stretch that serves the municipality, and cover at least 10% of its territory by December 31, 2021.  If the new target is met, the estimate is that internet coverage by fiber optics will reach around 5.500 cities by 2024. This would be equivalent to 99% of Brazilian municipalities.

Anatel (the National Telecommunications Agency in Brazil) has a period of 3 months to draw up the list of cities that will be covered.  In Brazil, fiber connections already account for almost a third of total fixed broadband connections, according to data from regulator Anatel. All major carriers are expanding their FTTH network.

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Brazilian telecom operators want to be allowed to pass critical telecom transport networks, namely fiber optics, over underground sewage ducts and systems. The topic was discussed during a 5G event held by the Lide group on Thursday, where sector executives called for the issue to be included in the new rules for the sanitation sector. With the aim of making the sector more attractive to private investors, last year saw a new sanitation framework approved by congress and signed into law by President Jair Bolsonaro.

“It’s hard to pass fiber on the surface and sewer systems can be a lever for telecom infrastructure,” said Leonardo Capdeville, chief technology officer at TIM Brasil. “The systems can even be used to pass fiber up to homes and buildings. We could take advantage of the sanitation framework,” he said.

It is a “win-win” relationship, according to the CTO. On the one hand, it generates additional revenue for the sanitation company, while at the same time allowing it to benefit from connectivity that can help improve operating control and management, by preventing leaks in a timely manner for example.

Operators have sought to find alternatives to the obstacles they claim to face in the form of bureaucracy, excessive costs and licenses for rolling out fiber along highways, and also high fees charged by power utilities for the use of lampposts.

Echoing Capdeville, TIM’s regulatory affairs director, Mario Girasole, defended advances in fiber backhaul (transport networks) by joint construction and deployment with power distributors, road concessionaires and sanitation companies.  The idea of using sewage systems and other forms of infrastructure sharing was also defended by the CEO of local telco Oi, Rodrigo Abreu, and Ericsson’s Eduardo Ricotta.

“Optical fiber needs a very large investment and we see this [sharing] trend as a way of no return,” said Ricotta, who is head of the Southern Cone at the Swedish telecom infra provider.  In São Paulo, state utility Sabesp is currently discussing ways to deploy 5G transport infra via sewage systems, according to Adriano Stringhini, the company’s corporate management officer.

 

References:

https://olhardigital.com.br/en/2021/01/28/videos/governo-quer-fibra-optica-em-mais-15-mil-municipios-brasileiros-ate-2025-2/

https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/brazil-telco-operators-want-to-pass-fiber-optics-via-sewage-systems

LG U+ first to deploy 600G backbone network in Korea with Ciena’s ROADM equipment

South Korea network operator LG U+  today announced it is the first carrier in South Korea to deploy 600Gb/sec on a single wavelength for long haul, using Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 technology. LG U+ made this upgrade to support remote experiences.

The company will establish a ROADM (Re-configurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer) backbone network to strengthen the competitiveness of business. LG U+’s newly constructed and dedicated nationwide ROADM backbone network will satisfy the needs of customers and preemptively respond to increased traffic following the introduction of the remote era. For this network transformation, LG U+ has selected Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme and WaveLogic Ai coherent optical solutions.

Sung-cheol Koo who’s in charge of LG U+’s wired business said, “Amid the expansion of cloud services such as telecommuting, video conferencing and remote classes, we are building a new backbone network that can accommodate the needs of various corporate customers. With a flexible and stable transmission network, we expect that companies can provide a higher level of service.”

LG U+ also applied the Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) technology, which measures the loss of optical lines, disconnection points, and distances across the entire section of the new backbone network. By intuitively monitoring the condition of the line in real time, it is possible to shorten the response time in case of a failure.

With rapidly increasing traffic, Ciena will enable LG U+ to transmit single-carrier 600G wavelengths over the new flexible grid backbone that has six times the network capacity compared to the existing network. The new backbone network will provide enhanced availability through low-latency, multiple route diversity and direct connections between large cities without the need for regeneration.

LG U+ is in the process of implementing a major capacity upgrade, including multi-terabits of additional capacity, to accommodate large-capacity customers and enable stable traffic management. By applying OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) technology to all sections of the backbone network, real-time and intuitive line condition monitoring is possible to shorten troubleshooting time and enable smooth network management and operations.

I Stock 000019523840 SmallIn addition, Ciena’s 6500 ROADM equipment can reliably configure DR (Disaster Recovery) line services to public government, financial institutions and compute centers of large enterprises through third party interworking certification. LG U+ can also provide a dedicated line service with enhanced security through optical transport encryption.

LGU+ will be using Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) SDN controller to be able to automate service delivery via next-generation OPEN APIs to improve customer experience and increase operational efficiencies.

References:

https://www.ciena.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/lg-u-builds-new-nationwide-backbone-network.html

LG Uplus completes new construction of corporate optical transmission backbone network…Preemptive response to rapidly increasing traffic

 

https://www.lightwaveonline.com/network-design/dwdm-roadm/article/14196156/lg-u-to-deploy-600g-fiber-backbone-across-south-korea

Telecompaper: FTTH spurs growth in Netherlands broadband market

FTTH accounted for all of the new growth on the Netherlands broadband market in Q3 2020, the latest research by Telecompaper shows. Cable operators lost broadband subscribers for the first time on record, suggesting the fiber market is really taking off.

The mass market (consumer + SOHO) added 32,000 fixed broadband subscribers in the third quarter, the same number as in Q2 and slightly less than the year-earlier period, according to Telecompaper’s quarterly Dutch Broadband report.

FTTH growth accelerated to 68,000 new connections, while cable lost 8,000 customers and DSL shed 28,000 lines.  The decrease in cable customers was driven by market leader Ziggo, which lost 7,000 broadband subscribers in the period. This is the first time it has lost customers since launching cable broadband. Nevertheless, Ziggo remains market leader, with over 43 percent of Dutch broadband subscribers.

KPN was the biggest gainer on the market, adding 37,000 broadband customers in Q3. KPN’s growth is driven by the takeover of customers from its discontinued Telfort brand and an accelerating FTTH roll-out in the past year. The KPN brand added over 40,000 FTTH subscribers in the quarter, more than four times the rate of growth in Q3 2019. This increased its share of the total FTTH market to 53.5 percent of connections.

T-Mobile Netherlands also continued to grow, adding 31,000 broadband subscribers. This makes it the third-largest broadband brand with a 5.3 percent market share. In the FTTH segment, T-Mobile is number two with just over 13 percent of connections, followed closely by Caiway with 12 percent.

“The figures suggest KPN’s strategy to speed up its FTTH roll-out is starting to pay off and stem the loss of broadband subscribers,” said Kamiel Albrecht, Telecompaper’s senior research analyst for the Dutch fixed market. “Ziggo is not sitting still and should soon complete its nationwide roll-out of gigabit service, putting the companies on more equal footing. More intensive marketing of the top speeds can be expected in 2021, as the importance of broadband remains top of the mind during the pandemic.”

The above figures are based on Telecompaper’s continuous analysis of the Dutch broadband market. For a comprehensive overview of market data and trends, including a five-year forecast, the Q3 2020 edition of the Dutch Broadband report is now available for purchase on the Telecompaper website.

From Global Data:

The Netherlands' fixed broadband penetration of the population set to reach  48% by 2024

 

Reference:

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/fibre-dominates-dutch-broadband-growth-in-q3-2020–1364963

FTTH accelerating in Europe: penetration forecast to reach 65% in 2026

The number of FTTH/B subscribers in Europe is expected to more than double in the next six years, to 208 million in 2026 compared to an estimated 86 million this year. According to the forecasts by iDate presented at the annual (this time virtual) FTTH Council Europe conference, the number of homes passed by fiber will grow over the same period to 317 million from 195 million. That translates into approximately two-thirds fiber network penetration rate, compared to less than half currently.

 Roland Montagne of Idate DigiWorld presenting during the second day of the conference.

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The forecasts cover 39 countries across Europe. Idate also looked at the 27 EU members plus the UK and found similar growth rates. The number of FTTH/B subscribers in these countries is expected to roughly triple by 2026, to 148 million from 49 million this year, driven by accelerating roll-out in key markets such as Germany, the UK and Italy. Homes passed in the 28 countries are estimated at 202 million in 2026, versus 105 million this year.  Some markets are expected to experience an outstanding growth in the number of homes passed in 2026 compared with 2019, including Germany (+730 per cent), United Kingdom (+548 per cent) and Italy (+218 per cent).

While the Covid pandemic has underlined the need for fast broadband at home, other trends were already underway to support fibre take-up, the researchers said. These include the upcoming switch-off of copper networks, more network-sharing and co-investment agreements, strong commitments from public authorities to FTTH, and the need for fiber backhaul on 5G mobile networks.

In the country rankings, it is predicted that Russia will continue leading in terms of FTTH/B homes passed. However, it is also anticipated that Germany will bag the second spot in the 2026 ranking.

In terms of subscribers, the forecast predicts a further increase to around 148 million in 2026 for EU27+UK and approximately 208 million for EU38+UK. The FTTH/B take-up rate is likely to reach 73 per cent in 2026, demonstrating an upward trend compared with a recorded 23.4 per cent in 2012.

The FTTH Council Europe published a separate study by Wik following up on its research last year into the progress with copper shutdowns. While the situation is fragmented in Europe, progress in some countries shows turning off copper and switching to fibre can have significant benefits for the economy and the environment, as well as improving reliability and customer satisfaction.

Consumer awareness about the copper shutdown has been a positive factor in some countries in stimulating fiber take-up. The latest forecasts on fibre take-up are also based in part on the increased perception of broadband’s importance since the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, additional measures by policy-makers aimed at increasing take-up are still crucial for Europe to benefit from the potential of full fiber, the Council said.

FTTH/B deployments are intensifying across Europe, so it is worth noting that a new digital divide for teleworking performance was revealed by the Covid-19 crisis. Beyond its impact on public policies, it is clear that Covid-19 has changed public perception of the importance of broadband and willingness to accept premium for fiber. This new trend is one of the key drivers for the very high estimates for FTTH/B take up. However, additional measures by policy-makers aimed at increasing take-up are still crucial for the future of full fiber.

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References:

https://www.primaonline.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/PR-Market-Forecasts-market-panorama-2020-3-03-2020-FINAL.pdf

https://www.ftthcouncil.eu/documents/FTTH%20Council%20Europe%20-%20Forecast%20for%20EUROPE%202020-2026%20AFTER%20COVID19%20-%20FINAL%20Published%20Version.pdf

https://www.ftthcouncil.eu/documents/FTTH%20Council%20Europe%20-%20Panorama%20at%20September%202019%20-%20Webinar%20Version4.pdf

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/ftth-take-up-accelerating-in-europe-penetration-forecast-to-reach-65-in-2026–1364315

https://www.fibre-systems.com/news/fibre-forecasts-revealed-ftth-conference

UK set to join Europe’s big guns on full fibre rollout

India’s Telco and Infrastructure Groups: Fiber Optic Network Growth Essential

Growth in fiber optic network deployments are essential to further improve the quality of telecom services and support the surging mobile Internet demand as well as have potential to bring substantial social and economic benefits to consumers, businesses and state governments, India’s telco and infrastructure groups said.  The Delhi-based telecom body represents Reliance JioBharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

“Growth of fibre is the foremost priority for the ongoing exponential increase in data demand and improved quality of services,” the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director-general SP Kochhar told ETTelecom.

Currently, India has an optical fiber-based network spanning across 28 lakh (100,000) kilometres as against the target set up by the National Broadband Mission to deploy as much as 50 lakh kilometres of optical fiber by 2024.

Kochhar’s views were seconded by the Towers and Infrastructure Providers Association (Taipa) that lobbies for companies such as Bharti Infratel, American Tower Corporation (ATC) India, Ascend Telecom Infrastructure, Indus Towers and Sterlite Technologies.

“The fiberisation of existing telecom infrastructure has the potential to bring substantial social and economic benefits to governments, citizens and businesses through an increase in productivity, competitiveness, improvements in service delivery, and optimal use of scarce resources like spectrum,” Tilak Raj Dua, director-general at Taipa said.

Editor’s Note:

The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is a project initiated in 2011 and funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund to provide broadband connectivity to over 200,000 gram panchayats of India at an initial cost of ₹200 billion (US$2.8 billion).  This is to be achieved utilizing the existing optical fiber and extending it to the Gram Panchayats and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), is a special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), PSU set up under companies act by Govt of India under Rule 1956 has been registered on Feb 25, 2012 for management and Operation of NOFN.  More info at: http://www.bbnl.nic.in/index1.aspx?lsid=13&lev=1&lid=13&langid=1

Info) Indian Railways Optical Fiber Network Map by Railtel | RRB EXAM PORTAL - Railway Jobs, NTPC, ALP, ASM Exam Community

     Indian Railways Fiber Optic Network Map

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The pan India average of fiber to the tower ratio presently stands at 32% as against the target of 70% by 2024, envisaged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), according to Taipa statistics.

Following the progression in the fourth-generation (4G) network deployments over the last couple of years, and the upcoming fifth-generation (5G) cellular technology, experts caution that low fiberization would eventually impact the service delivery, and a uniform policy across the country is much needed.

“In the last four years we have not had an increase in backhaul spectrum, hence, we are dealing with constrained factors and have to manage the quality of services based on existing capacity, for everybody’s good,” Kochhar said.

Coai said that the increased fiberization would meet the present requirement of bandwidth and future technologies such as 5G, and other emerging technologies,” Kochhar said and added that the early allocation of E and V bands to meet the backhaul requirements is also being considered by the government.

Dua further said that in order to address the increased data consumption in rural and urban areas and remote working following the Covid-19 outbreak, the role of fiberisation to propel digitalisation has increased multifold.

India, according to Crisil needs a tectonic shift in the fiberization landscape, and investment in fiberised backhaul infrastructure providing unlimited capacity and higher data speeds has to gain further traction if 5G has to become a reality.

Sandeep Aggarwal, co-chairman of the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (Tepc) believes that it is imperative to have a robust fibre infrastructure in the country to complement the next-generation or 4G and 5G technologies in line with the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) unveiled in 2018.

Former telecom secretary Shyamal Ghosh-headed Tepc represents Aksh Optifibre, Birla Cables, Paramount Wires & Cables, Himachal Futuristic Communications, Finolex Cables and Polycab Wires.

“With nearly 3 million kilometres of optic fibre cable (OFC) presently deployed, India will need to further enhance the footprint with an average of 2-kilometre of fibre per person,” Aggarwal said and added that more than 1 million kilometres of cable TV (CATV) fibre has been laid over the last one year in the country.

Private and public sector entities such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and RailTel majorly contribute to the current fibre footprint in the country in addition to Centre’s ambitious BharatNet program that further aims to deploy nearly 8 lakh kilometres of fibre network separately.

There is a need to adopt new business models such as hiving off fibre assets via the Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model that will help in reducing capital expense requirements and allowing telecom operators to focus on topline growth opportunities, according to Aggarwal.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio and Sunil Mittal-driven Bharti Airtel have already sold-off their fiber verticals to become financially-nimble pure-play telecom services companies.

Taipa’s Dua feels that the upcoming cities would be built on the basis of readily available optical fiber cables, and next-generation telecom infrastructure and technologies like 5G.

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References:

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/fiber-deployment-critical-for-quality-of-service-economic-benefits-telecom-infrastructure-companies/79208500

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/5g-is-very-much-dependent-on-fiberization-airtel-cto-randeep-sekhon/78444072

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/preparing-for-the-future-how-fiber-networks-will-support-growing-telecom-demand/78632667

ICRA: Indian Telecom Industry Must Migrate from Copper to Dense Fiber Optic Networks

 

Swisscom achieves 50 Gbps on a fixed PON connection – a world first!

Swisscom has achieved transmission speeds of 50 Gbps  in a real PON (Passive Optical Network) environment test – a world first, according to the company.  Swisscom has upgraded existing OLT (Optical Line Termination) hardware with a 50 Gbps PON Line Card prototype to reach a download speed of 50 Gbps and an upload speed of 25 Gbps on a fixed network.

The PON technology can be ready to market and deployed in around two years, according to Swisscom. It can be an option for business customers initially. Progressive network virtualization will enable companies to use the bandwidth they need on a flexible basis in line with their requirements.

The 10 Gbps service is expected to be sufficient for the residential mass market for several years yet, the company said. The 50 Gbps option allows for flexible deployment using existing fibre-optic infrastructure.

Markus Reber, Head of Swisscom Networks, said: “There is no question that the bandwidth need will continue to increase over the coming years. That’s why, here at Swisscom, we are already considering how our technology needs to develop to ensure that Switzerland continues to be ready to take advantage of the latest digital services with the best possible experience in the future. The results of testing based on PON technology and architecture clearly demonstrate that we have some powerful options available.”

“In my opinion, PON with 50 Gbit/s will be an option for the business customer market initially. Progressive network virtualisation will enable companies to use the bandwidth they need on a flexible basis in line with their requirements, for instance. In contrast, the 10 Gbit/s already available in the residential mass market should be more than enough for several years to come. However, the 50 Gbit/s option offers even more opportunities, as it allows the existing fibre optic infrastructure to be deployed in a more versatile way. As an example, the technology will soon facilitate access to mobile communication masts, particularly for 5G, as the same network can be used as the one already built to connect households. With a transmission speed of 50 Gbit/s, there is ample bandwidth available.”

The technology also will support fiber optic access to mobile communication masts, particularly for 5G, since the same network can be used as the one already built to connect households.

Swisscom says that “over the coming years, the development of digital applications will result in a similar growth in bandwidth need as seen in recent years, when it increased more than tenfold within a decade. Swisscom is therefore investing in network expansion on an ongoing basis, deploying the latest innovative technologies to do so and safeguarding Switzerland’s high degree of digital competitiveness.”

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In April 2020, market research powerhouse Omdia (owned by Informa) forecast that In the 2018-2025 timeframe, the PON market will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% to be worth $8.4 billion by 2025. “This market remains in an upswing as operators continue to expand and upgrade their fiber-based access networks for both residential and non-residential subscribers and applications,” states the Omdia team in their report (published prior to the global impact of COVID-19, it should be noted).

PON and xDSL/Gfast equipment market by major segment, 2017-2025.

Omdia: PON and xDSL/Gfast equipment market by major segment, 2017–2025

Growth in the PON market will be driven by increasing demand for next-generation PON equipment, including 10G GPON, 10G EPON, NG-PON2 and 25G/50G PON, according to Omdia: By 2021, most GPON OLT (optical line terminal) shipments are expected to be 10G.

Omdia expects demand for NG-PON2 equipment (which is expensive because it includes tunable lasers) is expected to be limited, with significant deployments anticipated only by one major operator, Verizon.

In Western Europe, PON investments are only just starting: That market is set for a CAGR of 16.5% to be worth $1.6 billion in 2025.

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References:

https://www.swisscom.ch/en/about/news/2020/10/08-weltpremiere.html

https://www.swisscom.ch/content/dam/swisscom/en/about/news/2020/10/08-weltpremiere/08-weltpremiere-en.pdf.res/08-weltpremiere-en.pdf

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/swisscom-reaches-50-gbps-in-real-network-environment–1357116

http://www.broadbandworldnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=758638

Deutsche Telekom in 10-year contract with Telefonica Germany for FTTH access

Deutsche Telekom has extended its contract with Telefonica for access to its broadband network for the next ten years. Under the pact, which applies in Germany, Deutsche Telekom will grant Telefonica access to FTTH lines with download speeds of up to 1 Gbps for the first time. Telefonica will market Telekom’s FTTH connections to its customers.
This is the first time that a company has decided to use Deutsche Telekom’s FTTH network and follows a recent acceleration Germany’s fiber roll-out. Deutsche Telekom said it wants to conclude similar agreements with other providers.
A pioneering deal: Deutsche Telekom is to open up its fiber-optic networks to competitors on a long-term basis.
Image Credit:  Deutsche Telekom

This contract is an extension to a fiber-optic network deal which was first agreed in 2013, and will give O2 customers in Germany access to speeds of up to 1 Gbps.  Telefonica will also be able to use existing VSDL/vectoring lines. The parties will submit the contract to the Federal Network Agency over the coming days for clearance. The agreement will become effective in spring 2021.

Telefonica already uses Deutsche Telekom’s VDSL network, which reaches 33 million households in Germany vs. approximately 1.8 million households with fiber-optic connections.   Deutsche Telekom will use the proceeds from the contract with Telefonica to further develop its fiber-optic network.

The cooperation is a long-term one and will apply throughout Germany. The VDSL and FTTH lines from Deutsche Telekom are wholesale products. Using Deutsche Telekom’s network, Telefónica Deutschland can provide its o2 customers with its own products. Both parties will submit the contract to the Federal Network Agency over the coming days.

Deutsche Telekom CEO Dirk Wössner said: “This is a pioneering deal for the buildout of the fiber-optic infrastructure in Germany for the next decade, based on a voluntary commercial agreement between two large market players from which many people and companies in Germany will benefit.  Deutsche Telekom stands for open networks and cooperations. And we are emphasizing this with this wide-reaching cooperation agreement. This contract will secure the utilisation of our broadband network. And we will receive financial resources that we will re-invest in our networks.”  Wössner added that the company would like to come to similar agreements with other operators in Germany with a view to expanding FTTH access.

Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Germany/O2, said: “The long-term cooperation with Deutsche Telekom gives us planning security. In future, we will be able to offer our O2 customers access to the fiber optic network, especially in large cities. On this basis we can offer our customers first-class convergent products.”

These two companies are already partners for mobile communications. Deutsche Telekom connects 5,000 Telefonica mobile sites to its fibre network. The two sides are also cooperating with Vodafone to improve mobile coverage in Germany.

The collaborative focus from Deutsche Telekom is contrasted against the efforts of Vodafone, which is similarly building out its fibre network. In July, Vodafone said that it was ahead of schedule to deliver gigabit internet to 25 million German homes by 2021, having surpassed 21 million houses.

References:
https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/dt-expanded-cooperation-telefonica-deutschland-o2-609562
https://www.digitaltveurope.com/2020/10/07/deutsche-telekom-and-telefonica-deutschland-sign-10-year-fixed-line-deal-including-ftth-access/

Telia International Carrier Business (#1 Internet Backbone Network) Sold for $1.3B to Swedish Pension Funds

Telia Company today announced that it reached an agreement with Polhem Infra for the sale of its international carrier business.  At the same time, Telia Company entered a long-term strategic partnership with Telia Carrier, securing continuous world-leading network solutions to Telia’s customers.  The acquisition is Polhem Infra’s first investment in this field. The company is jointly owned by the Swedish pension funds First AP Fund, Third AP Fund and Fourth AP Fund.

Allison Kirkby, president and CEO of Telia, confirmed that the majority of the proceeds from the sale of Telia Carrier to the Polhem Infra unit “will be used to strengthen our balance sheet and thereby provide a solid financial base for Telia Company and our shareholders.  Telia can now fully concentrate on our Nordic and Baltic footprint.”

Telia Carrier holds the #1 position in the global ranking of companies with Internet backbone networks. Content, services and operator customers of Telia Carrier account for 65% of global Internet routes. Its network spans across Europe, North America, and Asia, connecting customers in more than 120 countries, with the Scandinavian footprint being particularly strong through the so-called Scandinavian Ring – the part of Telia Carrier’s network that connects major Baltic and Nordic cities.

The change of ownership will enable Telia Carrier, with its 530 employees, “to drive a level of investment in network development, services and customer care programs that brings benefits to content providers, operators and enterprises beyond that of any competitor.”

Kirkby has been CEO since early May, but has already been making her mark. As well as streamlining the Nordic telco’s operators, she has also assembled a new-look management team.

Jefferies said the sale of Telia Carrier appeared supportive and highlighted the use of near 30% of proceeds to top up the dividend.  “This is a welcome first move of the new, highly respected CEO,” the investment bank said in a note to clients.  Jefferies said the sale of Telia Carrier appeared supportive and highlighted the use of almost 30% of the proceeds to top up the dividend.

Nick Del Deo of Moffett-Nathanson wrote about Telia Carrier vs Cogent Communications (U.S.) in a note to clients:

While Telia Carrier doesn’t break out its business mix, a substantial share of its revenue comes from transit, likely in the same range as Cogent’s, or about one third of the total. It’s one of the four largest transit providers globally, along with CenturyLink, Cogent, and NTT. A broad suite of other services – DIA, wavelengths, wholesale voice, etc. – round out its product portfolio. Like Cogent, its internet backbone spans the globe, with its presence concentrated in Europe and North America. The comparisons may not be perfect, but Telia Carrier claims to have 67K km route miles of fiber vs. Cogent’s 93K km of intercity fiber, and 300 PoPs globally vs. the ~1K carrier-neutral data centers to which Cogent connects. Their route maps look quite similar, but Cogent extends into more small markets than Telia Carrier and has more of a presence in Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

Telia Carrier’s Global Fiber Optic Network:

Image Credit: Telia Carrier

References:

https://www.teliacarrier.com/

https://www.teliacarrier.com/our-network.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-telia-company-divestment/telia-to-sell-international-carrier-business-for-1-billion-idUSKBN26R1JW

https://www.lightreading.com/services/telia-flogs-international-carrier-business-for-$11b/d/d-id/764436?

AT&T ends DSL sales while CWA criticizes AT&T’s broadband deployments

AT&T: DSL is Dead:

According to a message board post on DSL Reports, AT&T notified customers on billing statements in August that effective Oct. 1 it would no longer accept new orders for its copper-based DSL service.  The notice also said that existing DSL subs will no longer be able to make speed changes to their respective DSL service.

The message board author wrote:

“On my August AT&T statement, traditional DSL is officially grandfathered effective October 1st. No new orders (moves, installs, speed change, etc.). Hopefully they will still allow promos….”

That’s no surprise to this author.  AT&T’s DSL subscriber base has been eroding steadily – losing almost 350,000 subs over the past couple of years. In Q2 2020, AT&T shed 23,000 DSL subs, ending the period with just 463,000.

“We are focused on enhancing our network with more advanced, higher speed technologies like fiber and wireless, which consumers are demanding,” AT&T said in a statement. “We’re beginning to phase out outdated services like DSL and new orders for the service will no longer be supported after October 1. Current DSL customers will be able to continue their existing service or where possible upgrade to our 100% fiber network.”

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AT&T Fiber Update:

AT&T also announced three new price points for its AT&T Fiber tiers and said that all new and existing AT&T Fiber Internet 100, Internet 300 and Internet 1000 subscribers would enjoy unlimited data without additional charges. AT&T Fiber started offering the new deals as a standalone product with no annual contracts for new customers on Sunday.

As of Q2-2020, AT&T had 4.3 million AT&T Fiber customers with nearly two million of them on 1-gigabit speeds. Overall, AT&T has about 15.3 million broadband subscribers while Charter has 28 million and Comcast has over 29 million.

AT&T’s fiber tier announcement comes after AT&T CEO John Stankey told a Goldman Sachs investor conference in September that “priority number one” is investing in fiber for 5G and FTTP services.

The new prices are also an indication that AT&T intends to ramp up its drive on FTTP sales in the wake of a recent study showing that many of AT&T’s new subs were coming from existing customers upgrading to fiber rather than from gaining market share from cable Internet operators (MSOs).

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CWA Calls Out AT&T’s broadband efforts:

Coincidently today, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) criticized AT&T’s lack of fiber deployments.  The report, co-authored with the National Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) stated:

AT&T is making the digital divide worse and failing its customers and workers by not investing in crucial buildout of fiber-optic infrastructure that is the standard for broadband networks worldwide. The company’s recent job cuts — more than 40,000 since 2018 — are devastating communities and hobbling the company’s ability to meet the critical need for broadband infrastructure.

An in-depth analysis of AT&T’s network shows the company has made fiber available to fewer than a third of households in its footprint, halting most residential deployment after mid-2019. The analysis also shows that 28% of households in AT&T’s footprint do not have access to service that meets the FCC’s standard for high-speed internet, and in rural counties 72% of households lack this access. In some places, AT&T is decommissioning its outdated DSL networks and leaving customers with no option but wireless service, which is not a substitute for wireline service.

In all, AT&T has made fiber-to-the-home available for fewer than one-third of the households in its network. AT&T’s employees — many of whom are Communications Workers of America (CWA) members — know that the company could be doing much more to connect its customers to high-speed Internet if it invested in upgrading its wireline network with fiber. They know the company’s recent job cuts — more than 40,000 since 2018 — are devastating communities and hobbling the company’s ability to meet the critical need for broadband infrastructure.

CWA recommends that AT&T dedicate a substantial share of its free cash flow to investment in next-generation networks across rural and urban communities, make its low-income product offerings available widely, and stop laying off its skilled, unionized workers and outsourcing work to low-wage, irresponsible subcontractors.

Editor’s Note:

According to CWA, AT&T has deployed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to only 28% of the households in its fiber coverage area as of the end of June 30, 2019.

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The CWA/NDIA report said AT&T has targeted more affluent, non-rural areas for its fiber upgrades. Houses with fiber have a median income that’s 34% higher than those with DSL only. Across the rural counties in AT&T’s 21-state footprint, only a miniscule 5% have access to fiber, according to the report.

According to the report, 14.93 million—out of almost 53 million households—have access to AT&T’s fiber service. Among states, AT&T’s FTTH build out is the lowest in Michigan with 14% have access followed by Mississippi (15%) and Arkansas (16%).

“AT&T is also failing to make fiber available to the majority of its customer base in cities,” according to the report.  “While most of AT&T’s fiber build has focused on urban areas—96 percent of households with access to fiber in AT&T’s footprint are in predominantly urban counties—the company hasn’t built enough fiber to reach the majority of urban residents. Seventy percent of households in urban counties still lack access to fiber from AT&T because the company has made fiber available to only 14.7 million households out of 48.4 million total households in these counties.”

The report also said there were many areas in AT&T’s footprint where it doesn’t offer the Federal Communications Commission’s “broadband” definition of 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.

“For 28% of the households in its network footprint, AT&T’s internet service does not meet the FCC’s 25/3 Mbps benchmark to be considered broadband,” the report said.  A key recommendation is that “AT&T must upgrade its network in rural communities to meet the FCC’s broadband definition, at least, and renew its efforts to deploy next-generation fiber.”

The report noted that in some areas where AT&T doesn’t provide faster speeds, cable operators, such as Comcast and Charter do.

“Even where that access is available from another provider­—typically a cable provider—consumers are deprived of the benefits of competition in price, choice and service quality,” the report said.

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AT&T is counting on fiber for both residential and commercial services, including AT&T TV. In order to win over customers from cable operators, AT&T has paired its 1-Gig service with AT&T TV.

Regarding DSL, the report states: “AT&T’s poor maintenance of its DSL networks, with limited capacity for new connections, results in would-be new customers in some areas being denied service entirely or told they can only subscribe to fixed wireless service (a 4G wireless connection for home use, designed for rural areas).”

As expected, AT&T refuted the claims made in the CWA/NDIA report in a statement to FierceTelecom and Broadband World News on Monday afternoon.

“Our investment decisions are based on the capacity needs of our network and demand for our services. We do not ‘redline’ internet access and any suggestion that we do is wrong.  We have invested more in the United States over the past 5 years (2015-2019) than any other public company. We have spent more than $125 billion in our U.S. wireless and wireline networks, including capital investments and acquisition of wireless spectrum and operations. Our 5G network provides high-speed internet access nationwide, our fiber network serves more 18 million customer locations and we continue to invest to expand both networks.”

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New Fiber Optics Market Report:

Finally, a new report by Technavio forecasts that the global fiber optics market size will grow by USD 2.44 billion during 2020-2024, progressing at a CAGR of almost 5% throughout the forecast period.

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Global Fiber Optics Market 2020-2024 (Graphic: Business Wire)

Image Credit:  Technavio

The increase in the number of FTTH homes and subscribers is the key factor driving the market growth. A higher number of customers are opting for fiber optic connections to leverage broadband services. This reduces the requirements for customer premises equipment (CPE) and distribution point unit (DPU).

References:

https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r32848850-DSL-is-officially-grandfathered-Get-orders-in-BEFORE-October

https://cwa-union.org/news/releases/new-reports-detail-how-telecoms-companies-att-are-failing-provide-broadband-and-good

https://cwa-union.org/sites/default/files/20201005attdigitalredlining.pdf

https://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/cwa-calls-out-at-t-s-lack-fiber-its-dsl-footprint

http://www.broadbandworldnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=764417

AT&T CEO: Fiber, Stories and (Video) Content to drive future revenues and growth

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201005005444/en/