FCC Chairman Pai Reviews 5G FAST plan and importance of the C-Band (3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz) auction

Speaking at the Americas Spectrum Management Conference on October 12th, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai assessed the Commission’s 5G Fast Plan and highlighted the importance of this December’s C-Band auction for 5G spectrum.

Pai said the 5G Fast Plan, introduced in 2018, had three central planks: freeing up spectrum, promoting wireless infrastructure, and modernizing our regulations to encourage more fiber deployment.  Pai said the FCC has been freeing up high-, mid-, and low-band spectrum for 5G:

High-band spectrum enables ultra-high-speed, gigabit-plus wireless connectivity. Last year, the FCC successfully concluded our nation’s first two auctions of millimeter-wave spectrum for 5G services, in the 28 GHz and 24 GHz bands, respectively. Earlier this year, we concluded bidding in an auction of the upper 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz spectrum bands. This was the largest auction in American history, releasing 3,400 megahertz of spectrum into the commercial marketplace.

All told, we’ve made available almost five gigahertz of high-band spectrum for commercial use though these auctions. To put that in perspective, that was more spectrum than was used before for terrestrial mobile broadband by all wireless service providers in the United States combined.

With respect to low-band spectrum, we’ve finished repurposing spectrum in the 600 MHz band, which was long used for broadcast television, for mobile broadband. To clear the 600 MHz band spectrum for wireless use, roughly half of our nation’s broadcast TV stations—nearly 1,000 total—had to change their transmission frequencies. This summer, we completed this enormous undertaking—known as the “repack.” Now, all of the valuable low-band airwaves sold in the ground-breaking broadcast incentive auction are available for wireless broadband service, and this spectrum is already being used to provide 5G service to areas where over 200 million Americans live.

Pai said the FCC has made the most headway on mid-band spectrum. Mid-band spectrum is appealing for 5G largely because of physics: it combines good geographic coverage with good capacity.  The FCC chairman claims the commission has systematically identified mid-band airwaves that were being underused and set plans to put these airwaves to work for the American people.

The FCC also targeted rule changes to bring the 3.5 GHz band into commercial use. The rules for this band had not been optimized to encourage 5G deployment.  But with the leadership of FCC Commissioner O’Rielly, new rules were promulgate to promote investment in the band. This August, the Commission successfully completed an auction of 70 megahertz of licensed spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band—the first-ever auction of mid-band spectrum for 5G. And we’ve completed the necessary technical work so that the band’s entire 150 megahertz is now available for commercial use.

Pai said the biggest move to free up mid-band spectrum for 5G is in the swath of spectrum from 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz—what is referred to as the C-band. This spectrum is mostly used by fixed-satellite companies to beam content to video and audio broadcasters, cable systems, and other content distributors. However, with advances in technology, these companies can now provide the same services using alternative technologies or considerably less spectrum.

This past February, the FCC voted to clear the lower 300 megahertz of the C-band and make 280 megahertz of this spectrum available for 5G through a public auction. All eligible space station operators currently using this spectrum have committed to an accelerated relocation to the upper 200 megahertz of the C-band—meaning that the lower 280 megahertz will become available for 5G two to four years earlier than otherwise would have been the case. The FCC will begin the auction of the lower 280 megahertz of the C-band on December 8th.

And just a couple weeks ago, at our September meeting, the Commission proposed to make the 3.45-3.55 GHz band available for innovative commercial operations while accommodating limited remaining operations by federal incumbents. This action follows through on the White House and the Defense Department’s August announcement that this 100 megahertz of contiguous mid-band spectrum should be made available for 5G as quickly as possible. I am optimistic that we will be able to auction the 3.45 GHz band next year.

The bottom line of all these mid-band efforts is this: With the aforementioned auctions of the C-band, the 3.5 GHz band, and a 2021 auction of the 3.45 GHz band, the FCC is on a path to have a contiguous 530-megahertz swath—from 3.45 to 3.98 GHz—of mid-band spectrum available for 5G.

60 GHz dynamic spectrum sharing access

GSA: “Global regulators have sought to open up access to the C-band, which has become (initially at least) the most important spectrum band for 5G.”

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Pai asserts that he has presided over the most aggressive FCC in history when it comes to spectrum. He claims that the FCC has been similarly productive on the other two planks of 5G FAST PLAN: promoting wireless infrastructure and modernizing our regulations to encourage more fiber deployment.

For example, the number of new cell sites in the United States has skyrocketed. We added fewer than 7,000 cell sites from 2013 to 2016, but added over 87,000 from 2016 to 2019, with an increase of over 46,000 in 2019 alone.  He said that the FCC is focused on the integrity of the communications supply chain—the process by which products and services are manufactured, distributed, sold, and ultimately integrated into our communications networks.

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Comment and Analysis on the C-band auction:

Analysts at Morgan Stanley Research raised their C-band mid-point auction forecasts from $23.5 billion in proceeds to about $26 billion, with their high-end estimates at $35.2 billion.  The firm cited a relatively low turnout in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) 3.5 GHz auction as a catalyst, as well as improved macro environment and supportive credit markets. The lower-than-expected turnout by big carriers in the CBRS auction indicates they’re likely saving their gun powder for the big C-band auction, which offers more unencumbered mid-band spectrum for 5G.

Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, “One of the challenges the FCC faces is that the allocation of spectrum was first made from analog assumptions that have been rewritten as a result of digital technology.”  Consider the transition from analog to digital TV, where an analog TV signal took up 6MHz of spectrum and required guard bands on either side to avoid interference, four or five digital signals can fit into that one channel.

“I went through it with the [Department of Defense], with the satellite companies, and the fact of the matter is that one of the big regulatory challenges is that nobody wants to give up the nice secure position that they have based on analog assumptions,” said Wheeler. “I think you also have to pay serious consideration, but I found that claims of interference were the first refuge of people who didn’t like the threat of competition or anything else.”

“As we look at C-Band, it brings forward some use cases that could increase the size of the 5G opportunity for us,” Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said during a recent investor event.  While Verizon has purchased billions of dollars worth of unused millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum for 5G, such spectrum isn’t suitable for covering large geographic areas because transmissions in such bands can only travel a few thousand feet in the best of conditions and requires line of sight communications (no trees, walls, buildings between cell site and mmWave end point subscriber),

Indeed, analyst Craig Moffett forecasts that Verizon will need to spend as much as $20B on spectrum  in order to keep pace with T-Mobile, which currently enjoys a huge spectrum advantage by virtue of their 2.5 GHz spectrum. He says that even if Verizon acquires C-Band spectrum, its propagation shortcomings relative to T-Mobile’s 2.5 GHz spectrum suggest that Verizon will still be disadvantaged in either coverage or cost.

Craig believes that AT&T won’t be able to keep pace with Verizon’s bidding at the C-band auction. The New York Post reported that a sale of all of DirecTV (owned by AT&T) might yield less than what Verizon is expected to spend in the upcoming C-Band auction alone.   Without a large block of mid-band spectrum to compete with T-Mobile and Verizon, AT&T’s Mobility segment could fall behind for a generation.  Satellite-TV provider Dish Network, which is building out a 5G network, isn’t participating in the auction, according to several sources.

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References:

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-establishes-bidding-procedures-december-c-band-auction-0

https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/blog/2020/07/15/need-speed

https://www.fiercewireless.com/regulatory/analysts-beef-up-c-band-auction-forecast-to-26b-35-2b-range

https://www.networkworld.com/article/3584072/fcc-auctions-should-be-a-long-term-boost-for-5g-availability.html

https://nypost.com/2020/10/06/att-pushes-ahead-with-auction-of-directv-despite-lowball-bids/

https://www.tvtechnology.com/news/fcc-issues-c-band-auctions-draft-procedures

https://www.rcrwireless.com/20200106/spectrum/gsa-c-band-is-most-important-spectrum-band-for-5g

Apple announces 3 new 5G iPhone 12 models, but what version of 5G, what frequencies and which carrier networks?

Apple today unveiled its new 5G capable iPhone 12 set today, but other than Verizon’s Ultra-Wideband (5G mmWave) the company’s presentations and press releases did not identify which carrier networks (see Addendum below) or frequencies are supported.  Or when, if ever, the new new 5G iPhones would work on any 5G SA Core networks (vs 5G NSA which requires a LTE anchor) or with network slicing (which requires a 5G core network). However, the company said it has tested its 5G devices on 100 5G carrier networks in 30 regions, including mmWave in the U.S. (presumably for Verizon’s Ultra-Wideband network).

Apple said its new 5G iPhones will offer a “superior 5G user experience.”  The company wrote in a press release:

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max deliver an advanced 5G experience on a global scale, engineered with a seamless integration of world-class hardware and world-class software. 5G on iPhone boasts improved speeds for faster downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, more responsive gaming, real-time interactivity in apps, FaceTime in high definition, and much more. Customers will also be able to enjoy a secure, fast connection, reducing the need to connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Featuring the most 5G bands on any smartphone, iPhone 12 Pro models offer the broadest 5G coverage worldwide.1 Models in the US support millimeter wave, the higher frequency version of 5G, allowing iPhone 12 Pro models to reach speeds up to 4Gbps, even in densely populated areas. iPhone 12 Pro models also feature Smart Data mode, which extends battery life by intelligently assessing 5G needs and balancing data usage, speed, and power in real time.
The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are available for pre-order on Friday, and the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available Nov. 6, Apple said.
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Apple’s new iPhone presentation included demonstrations of how 5G iPhones could be helpful in downloading important medical images and for remotely designing factory spaces—tacit acknowledgments that some of the most likely customers for the technology might be business users who can benefit from faster connections.  Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg talked up the carrier’s 5G mmWave (Ultra-Wideband) in crowded venues like NFL stadiums – locations that haven’t been populated this year due to COVID 19 restrictions.
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“This is a huge leap for iPhone, bringing the best 5G experience in the market and delivering our most advanced technologies to users who want the absolute most from their iPhone,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Each generation of iPhone has changed what we expect from a smartphone, and now with 5G, iPhone 12 Pro provides a new generation of performance. Our tight integration of hardware and software enables incredible computational photography features like the expansion of Night mode to more cameras, and introduces support for HDR video with Dolby Vision. A state-of-the-art LiDAR Scanner means users can experience AR like never before, and also offers benefits to the camera with faster autofocus in low light and the introduction of Night mode portraits. These experiences and so much more make this the best iPhone lineup ever.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook sought to explain why 5G technology would improve iPhone users’ experience. He later called on Verizon CEO to give a “razzle-dazzle” pitch on that U.S. carrier’s mmWave and now nationwide 5G network.

Photo Credit:  Brooks Kraft/Apple

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Verizon’s CEO Gets Center Stage:

Tim Cook introduced Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg who announced that Apple’s new iPhone 12 sets would operate on Verizon’s Ultra Wideband (5G mmWave) network- the world’s fastest, he claimed.  Vestberg used this soapbox talk opportunity to announce the launch of Verizon’s nationwide 5G service using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS).

Perhaps in a nod to Verizon’s Ultra Wideband network, a lady from Apple said its new “smart data mode” would ensure that its customers stay on a 4G LTE network most of the time to reduce power consumption, but that would be auto switched to a 5G connection when they need faster download speeds.

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Comment and Analysis:

The big three U.S. cellular network carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile) have been scrambling to roll out 5G service across the U.S., but coverage remains spotty  and it isn’t clear yet whether customers really want or need it.  Analysts like Craig Moffett of Moffett-Nathanson and others (see quotes below) are skeptical that many customers will buy a 5G phone without a must-have application or service to help them see the appeal of the new technology.
Analysts at research firms Canalys and IDC estimate that just 13 per cent of smartphones shipped globally in the first half of 2020 were 5G capable.  According to GSMA,  wireless network operators are expected to spend 80 per cent of their mobile capital expenditures, or nearly $8, on 5G networks in the next five years, resulting in a forecast of 1.8B 5G connections by 2025.
U.S. cellular networks are still being upgraded, and service might be disappointing in some spots for early adopters, especially on Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband network if you’re not close to the cell tower or 5G base station.  5G speeds in the U.S. are slower than WiFi speeds according to the chart below:
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What’s inside the iPhone 12’s 5G network interface:
We believe the version of 5G supported on the iPhone 12 models is based on 3GPP Release 15 New Radio (NR) for the data plane and 4G-LTE for everything else (including signaling, EPC, network management, etc).  In other words, 5G NSA.  That is the safe bet as there are no implementable standards for 5G SA core network and all that goes with it (cloud native, virtualization, automation, network slicing, etc).  We have no idea what type of security is included in these new 5G iPhone as there are only 3GPP Release 16 specs on 5G security which have not been sent to ITU-T for evaluation and consideration as ITU Recommendations.
We assume the unannounced 98 (100-2) 5G NSA carriers that will support these iPhones on their licensed frequencies will be revealed in the coming weeks and months.  5G roaming agreements will also be important, but there have been very few and far between.
Finally, we think these 5G iPhones use the Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 modem chip set. TSMC is reportedly producing both that chip and the iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic processor (designed by Apple engineers).  As Apple acquired Intel’s 5G PC Modem chip set business for over $1B, we expect that entity to produce the baseband silicon and possible the RF front end for the next generation of 5G iPhones.
However, the internal vs external design will likely depend on which frequencies will be used by the wireless carrier’s that 5G iPhones support.  Most people don’t know that the frequencies for 5G have not yet been standardized (by ITU-R WP5D) and the last official version (revision 6) of ITU M.1036 – Frequency arrangements for terrestrial component of IMT- is over one year old!
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Analyst Forecasts and Opinions:

Analysts surveyed by FactSet, on average, predict iPhone revenue will rise 15% to $160 billion in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. That is about $6 billion shy of the record set in fiscal 2018, when the $1,000 iPhone X helped bolster sales even as shipments failed to reach a new high.

Katy Huberty, a veteran Apple analyst for Morgan Stanley, last week predicted the company could ship as many as 240 million iPhones this year, helped by customers who haven’t upgraded in several years and excitement for 5G. That would set a record, beating the 231 million devices sold in fiscal 2015. Sales at that level could send the company’s shares up 37% from Monday’s close to a market value of almost $2.9 trillion, she said.  “We expect this fall’s launch to be the most significant iPhone event in years,” she wrote in a note to investment bank clients.

“Now we have an iPhone that is capable of exploiting the benefits of the 5G wireless network, but we have an underdeveloped network,” said Tom Forte, a D.A. Davidson research analyst. “It could take a couple [of] years for that to happen. There are large parts of the country that may never have it,” he said. While Apple’s smartphone rivals Samsung and Google have already introduced phones able to connect to 5G, Forte said the challenge for Apple now is to manage people’s expectations. “When people get the new iPhone and can’t use the high-speed network, there is real potential for high levels of disappointment there,” he added.

Dan Morgan, a portfolio manager at Synovus Trust and longtime Apple investor, said iPhone sales peaked about five years ago. Every update since then has been more of a ripple than a wave, he said, noting that he does not expect the iPhone 12 to set any sales records. With so many working from home and using Wi-Fi as their main connection to the Internet, Morgan said a 5G connection may not be as attractive to those seeking faster speeds.  “If you really wanted to watch a Netflix movie or play a game, maybe you can just go and use your Wi-Fi instead right now,” he said.

Colleague Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson wrote in an email, “It’s striking to me that Apple is acting as though the network is the application. That’s a real departure for them, and it risks being a disappointment if consumers expect that there will be genuinely differentiated things they’ll be able to do with their new devices. That said, we have to be careful about being overly focused on the U.S. market. In China and Korea and a handful of other markets, the network is at least a little bit further along.”

“For some consumers, the experience on 5G might just feel a lot like 4G,” according to Daniel Hays, strategy partner at consulting firm PwC US. “I think the thing that we’re kind of seeing and experiencing at the moment is that the hype around 5G has far outpaced the reality at this point.”
The full 5G network roll-out is likely to take another five to seven years, Hays said.

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Addendum:  AT&T to offer iPhone 12 (carefully read the terms and conditions):
Shortly after Apple’s event ended, AT&T said that it would offer a free iPhone 12 to new and existing customers if they trade in their existing device – though there are plenty of caveats to the offer (AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy. Limited. time. Requires trade in of eligible device, $799.99 on 0% APR 30-mo. agmt. $0 down for well-qualified customers only. $0 after credits over 30 months. No credits for optional $5/mo. Next Up upgrade feature. If service is cancelled, device balance due. If service on other lines cancelled w/in 90 days credits stop. $30 Activation and other terms apply.)
Starting Oct. 16, AT&T customers can pre-order iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 at www.att.com with online and in-store availability starting Oct. 23. AT&T customers will be able to order iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini beginning on November 6, with availability on November 13.
“Today ushers in a new era for the world’s best smartphone with the arrival of 5G on the iPhone 12 lineup and we’re excited to work alongside AT&T to introduce a powerful 5G experience to iPhone users,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the seamless integration of world-class hardware and world-class software on iPhone 12 models combined with AT&T’s expansive 5G network, we’re able to provide customers with an advanced 5G experience that offers improved speeds for fast downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, and much more.”
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T-Mobile USA’s 5G network (presumably at “sub‑6 GHz” spectrum) is listed as a 5G carrier that iPhone 12 models will support in these specs from Apple.  However, T-Mobile has yet to make a formal announcement on availability or pricing at this time.  T-Mo continues to promote its  “low and mid-band spectrum” as providing the best 5G coverge.
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References:

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/10/apple-introduces-iphone-12-pro-and-iphone-12-pro-max-with-5g/

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/10/apple-announces-iphone-12-and-iphone-12-mini-a-new-era-for-iphone-with-5g/

https://www.apple.com/apple-events/october-2020/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-event-iphone-12-expected-with-5g-capabilities-11602581403?mod=djemalertNEWS

https://about.att.com/story/2020/apple_iphone.html

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/13/923314677/apple-unveils-iphone-12-with-5g-but-most-wont-feel-faster-speeds-anytime-soon

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/12/tech/apple-iphone-12-5g-experience/index.html

https://www.apple.com/iphone-12/specs/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/category/dynamic-spectrum-sharing/

https://www.itu.int/rec/R-REC-M.1036/en

Nokia Report: 5G will add $8T to global GDP by 2030; Barriers to Adoption & Catalysts Noted

In a just released 5G Readiness report commissioned by Nokia, market research firm Sapio surveyed 1,628 technology purchasing decision-makers in eight markets and across six industry sectors to get a broad sense of how professionals believe 5G is going to affect their business.

  • The markets (and participants) surveyed were as follows: Australia (203), Finland (200), Germany (203), Japan (203), Saudi Arabia (202), South Korea (200), UK (207), US (210).
  • The sectors were: energy and utilities (208 responses), mining (119), manufacturing (455), public sector (271), healthcare (445), transportation (130). Respondents from companies of less than 250 employees were only permitted for energy and utilities and mining companies.

The grand summary of this extensive survey and extrapolating exercise is that Nokia now forecasts 5G will add $8 trillion to global GDP by 2030.  A key message is that a lot of technological progress over the next decade will depend on 5G.  That remains to be seen, especially in light of the lack of standards for the non radio aspects of 5G and the ultimate number of 5G Radio Interface Technologies to be included in the 2nd version of IMT 2020.SPECS, sometime in 2021.

On average, whilst the importance of 5G adoption is well understood, a significant investment gap remains. 86% of decision makers said they have some kind of strategy for 5G, and over a third fear being outpaced by the competition should they not invest in 5G in the next 3 years. However, only 15% are currently investing in its implementation, and over a quarter (29%) of businesses are not planning any 5G investment in the next 5 years.

Image Credit:  Nokia

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The report breaks down the findings by country and also looks at specific events like the COVID-19 pandemic. How literally to take all these extrapolations from a company with a vested interest in driving the market is down to the individual, but at the very least it provides a good snapshot of industry expectations.  Here are a few survey results:

  • 43% of global technology decision makers have increased their overall investment in their strategic technology planning. This represents a 27% net increase in the number of budgets that have increased.
  • In the U.S., additional costs (44%), disrupted timelines (42%) and the emergence of new technology gaps (38%) have been the most prevalent impacts of COVID-19 on technology road maps.
  • 41% have C-Level sponsor for 5G implementation in their organization.  25% don’t have any 5G championing from management (23%).
  • Businesses are more likely to feel that their industry is middling in terms of 5G adoption, with 20% setting a high benchmark.
  • 43% of technology decision makers have a long term 5G strategy. Just over 1 in 10 have no strategy whatsoever (11%)
  • Over a third fear being outpaced by the competition should they not invest in 5G, while 27% feel whatever their 5G investment they will still be successful.

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                                                                             5G Investment Plans (SOURCE: Nokia):

Investment plan

Barriers to 5G adoption:

The gap between enterprise awareness of 5G’s benefits and current levels of adoption suggests there are notable barriers to implementation. The research identified five principal barriers to 5G adoption for:

  • Ecosystem availability: Limited availability of key infrastructure outside urban centers was cited by 28% of decision-makers.
  • Education and understanding: 17% said a key barrier is that decision-makers within their business do not understand 5G, while 14% said they don’t know enough about it themselves.
  • Awareness: Over a fifth of technology buyers (22%) said that 5G implementation is not a current priority for their business.
  • Cost and complexity: 15% said they were not confident their company would be able to implement the necessary technologies.
  • Security: Over a third (34%) said that they are concerned about the security of 5G.

Quotes:

“As organizations across the world move faster towards deployment of 5G enabled technologies, those who wish to be the first to leverage its potential cannot afford to lose more time,” said Gabriela Styf Sjöman, Chief Strategy Officer at Nokia. “To capture the tremendous opportunities of 5G, organizations must start or intensify their planning now and accelerate business model innovation to remain competitive in a rapidly digitalizing global economy. Beyond investment in the technology itself, this will require digitalizing operations, processes and ways of working to capture the full potential of 5G.

“5G adoption is categorically shown to fuel business success. Organizations that have integrated 5G stand to benefit from advantages that go way beyond faster, more efficient and reliable network services. As 5G enables businesses to transform, it will also accelerate wider technological and economic trends, with unimaginable possibilities for global economies and societies.

“The cities, hospitals and factories of the future depend on 5G and the unparalleled ability it offers to move, process and store vast volumes of data. Moreover, the biggest challenges we face as a society – from climate change to the pandemic – can be better tackled through at-scale use of the data and technologies that 5G will unleash.”

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5G Catalysts:

The report identifies three key catalysts for change in order to bring about improved understanding, confidence and ultimately adoption of 5G. These are: improved regulation, collaboration and willingness to innovate.

  1. A third of technology buyers said that government investment in infrastructure or subsidies to drive down costs would encourage them to invest more in 5G. Enterprises will not adopt 5G unless the supply from network operators is presented and priced appropriately, which in turn relies on governments and regulators making 5G spectrum in low, mid and high bands available and affordable.
  2. The lack of understanding that exists within some businesses around 5G must be directly addressed. Companies and consumers alike need more information about the technology and how it can both improve operations and solve real world problems, ranging from enterprise use cases to telehealth to green technology.
  3. As companies better understand 5G, they must boldly move to overhaul their operations to accommodate it, for example, exploring how they could use 5G to streamline and more effectively monitor their mobile workforce, fleet or supply chain.

 

References:

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/10/11/2106580/0/en/Nokia-5G-set-to-add-8trn-to-global-GDP-by-2030.html

https://www.nokia.com/networks/5g/readiness-report/

https://www.nokia.com/networks/5g/readiness-report/about-this-report/

https://onestore.nokia.com/asset/210070?_ga=2.168806049.1042908821.1602549124-1767387886.1601396220

Nokia reckons 5G is the future

Nokia report says 5G could add $8 trillion to global GDP by 2030

ABI Research: Open RAN radio units to exceed $47 billion by 2026

ABI Research expects the total CAPEX spent on Open RAN radio units (RUs) for public outdoor networks, including both macro and small cells will reach US$40.7 billion in 2026. Cumulative unit shipments will reach 9.9 million during the same year. Meanwhile, the total revenue of Open RAN radios for indoor enterprise networks will reach as much as US$6.7 billion in 2026, with cumulative unit shipments expected to reach 29.4 million.  The Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) market is rapidly expanding and is expected to exceed the traditional RAN market for the first time around 2027-2028.

“The Open RAN opportunity invites various stakeholders to bring their best in class technologies and hardware/software components to contribute to building a flexible, secure, agile, and multi-vendor interoperable network solution,” said Jiancao Hou, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “In addition, trade wars and the global pandemic of COVID-19 have resulted in tremendous restrictions on the telecom supply chain and disrupt the evolution of new technologies. These effects will accelerate the development of Open RAN and open networks.”

Rakuten Mobile, a greenfield network operator in Japan, set a prime example to deploy this new approach. Moreover, many other operators are also quite active in the field, namely Dish Network in the U.S., Vodafone, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, and Turkcell in the EU and other geological regions. The Open RAN supply chain is also expanding with Altiostar, Mavenir, and Parallel Wireless leading the charge while new entrants are announced every week.

“ABI Research expects greenfield installations, as well as private enterprise networks and public consumer networks, in rural/uncovered areas to drive the deployment of Open RAN throughout the entire forecast period,” Hou points out. Open RAN can introduce many advantages to the enterprise market, including infrastructure reconfigurability, network sustainability, and deployment cost efficiency. On the other hand, these small and easily manageable network use cases will likely lower the entry barrier for Open RAN. Simultaneously they help network operators and their ecosystem partners clearly understand the approach and suppliers’ maturity level, therefore paving the way for a broader market. Besides, “ABI Research sees new entrants will lead the early deployment for Open RAN, but they will be increasingly challenged by tier-one vendors and system integrators for both public cellular implementations and enterprise deployment,” Hou concludes.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Open RAN market data report. This report is part of the company’s 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights. Market Data spreadsheets are composed of in-depth data, market share analysis, and highly segmented, service-specific forecasts to provide detailed insight where opportunities lie.

Earlier this week, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) saw fit to recap its recent achievements regarding OpenRAN; read more about them here.

Image Credit:  Telecom Infra Project

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About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance to visionaries, delivering actionable intelligence on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces across the world. ABI Research’s global team of analysts publish groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms, empowering our clients to stay ahead of their markets and their competitors.

References:

https://www.abiresearch.com/press/open-ran-radio-units-soar-more-us47-billion-2026/

https://telecominfraproject.com/openran/

https://www.o-ran.org/

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

Equinix to deploy Nokia’s IP/MPLS network infrastructure for its global data center interconnection services

Today, Nokia announced that Equinix will deploy a new Nokia IP/MPLS network infrastructure to support its global interconnection services. As one of the largest data center and colocation providers, Equinix currently runs services on multiple networks from multiple vendors. With the new network, Equinix will be able to consolidate into one, efficient web-scale infrastructure to provide FP4-powered connectivity to all data centers – laying the groundwork for customers to deploy 5G networks and services.

Equinix currently provides metro, national and international interconnectivity and cloud services to its customers to distribute content that delivers the best user experience. As 5G rollouts continue, a fundamental shift in network design is critical to support 5G service capabilities such as ultra-low latency, high capacity and the power to connect multiple devices and systems into one, seamless and automated whole.In response, Equinix is replacing its older multi-vendor networks with a single global IP/MPLS network from Nokia, powered by its innovative FP4 routing silicon and Network Services Platform (NSP). Equinix will now be able to deliver all of its interconnection services worldwide, saving its customers money, streamlining their operations and easing their unique 5G transformations.With a presence in 24 countries across five continents, Equinix connects its hyperscale, communication service provider and enterprise customers with their end users in 52 markets worldwide, extending their digital infrastructure to wherever in the world they need to do business.  Equinix recently completed its $750 million all-cash deal to buy 13 data centers in Canada from Bell (BCE).

Muhammad Durrani, Director of IP Architecture for Equinix, said, “We see tremendous opportunity in providing our customers with 5G services, but this poses special demands for our network, from ultra-low latency to ultra broadband performance, all with business- and mission-critical reliability. Nokia’s end-to-end router portfolio will provide us with the highly dynamic and programmable network fabric we need, and we are pleased to have the support of the Nokia team every step of the way.”

“We’re pleased to see Nokia getting into the data center networking space and applying the same rigor to developing a next-generation open and easily extendible data center network operating system while leveraging its IP routing stack that has been proven in networks globally. It provides a platform that network operations teams can easily adapt and build applications on, giving them the control they need to move fast.”

Sri Reddy, Co-President of IP/Optical Networks, Nokia, said, “We are working closely with Equinix to help advance its network and facilitate the transformation and delivery of 5G services. Our end-to-end portfolio was designed precisely to support this industrial transformation with a highly flexible, scalable and programmable network fabric that will be the ideal platform for 5G in the future. It is exciting to work with Equinix to help deliver this to its customers around the world.”

With an end-to-end portfolio, including the Nokia FP4-powered routing family, Nokia is working in partnership with operators to deliver real 5G. The FP4 chipset is the industry’s leading network processor for high-performance routing, setting the bar for density and scale. Paired with Nokia’s Service Router Operating System (SR OS) software, it will enable Equinix to offer additional capabilities driven by routing technologies such as Ethernet VPNs (EVPNs) and segment routing (SR).

Nokia Routers.JPG

Image Credit: Nokia

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This latest deal comes just two weeks after Equinix said it will host Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) service on its data centers. WING is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering that provides low-latency and global reach to businesses, hastening their deployment of IoT and utilizing solutions offered by the Edge and cloud.

Equinix operates more than 210 data centers across 55 markets. It is unclear which of these data centers will first offer Nokia’s services and when WING will be available to customers.

“Nokia needed access to multiple markets and ecosystems to connect to NSPs and enterprises who want a play in the IoT space,” said Jim Poole, VP at Equinix. “By directly connecting to Nokia WING, mobile network operators can capture business value across IoT, AI, and security, with a connectivity strategy to support business transformation.”

References:

https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2020/10/07/equinix-adds-nokia-ip-to-its-global-interconnect-network-to-support-customers-moving-to-5g/

https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/nokia-use-equinixs-data-centers-cloud-and-edge-network-service-wing/

https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/nokia-launches-data-center-switches-routers-and-networking-os-scores-apple-equinix-and-bt-deals/

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About Nokia:

We create the technology to connect the world. Only Nokia offers a comprehensive portfolio of network equipment, software, services and licensing opportunities across the globe. With our commitment to innovation, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we are a leader in the development and deployment of 5G networks.

Our communications service provider customers support more than 6.4 billion subscriptions with our radio networks, and our enterprise customers have deployed over 1,300 industrial networks worldwide. Adhering to the highest ethical standards, we transform how people live, work and communicate. For our latest updates, please visit us online www.nokia.com and follow us on Twitter @nokia.

Resources:

 

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/