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"How will a billion Internet users change China?"  Vint Cerf asks. That's a good question, but I'm also interested in how three billion Asian, African, and Latino users will change the Internet.

Jeff Eisenach, Trump's comms guy, is a first-rate economist. He holds very strong “free market,” “deregulatory” opinions, presumably a requirement for Trump. (policy, at end)
 
Ralph de la Vega of AT&T met Argentine President Macri. He’s offering to build a world class 4G+ network and probably some fiber home. T is negotiating to buy big local telcos in Brazil and Argentina to go with their DirecTV satellites. They are doing so well in Mexico they want to expand. No one is saying Yanqui go home. Meanwhile, Trump has  

Ted Rappaport of NYU has long reach results for some 5G millimeter wave, confirmed by Facebook experience.

This issue is for Norway’s Erna Solberg, censored by Facebook http://bit.ly/2cwOBGd ; those who have to pay the taxes dodged by Apple and other giants; and my old colleague, Amy Goodman, facing an arrest warrant for reporting on the protests in Dakota http://bit.ly/2c4f6TV . 

Tokyo, here we come. Huawei is bringing me to their mobile event, along with Jennie and her camera. They are shipping Massive MIMO and close on mmWave, so I should learn a great deat. Say hello to the round fellow with a beard and the irrepressible Jennie Bourne.

*** Sckipio Technologies, the leader in G.fast, announces the first single-port G.fast DPU design. The solution acts like virtual fibre by extending GPON networks with twisted pair or coax. A very thin management layer allows operators to keep their existing GPON management layer. Sckipio makes it effortless to add G.fast to any GPON network.  http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)

Swisscom: 100% wireless increase no problem; Vodafone, Verizon: ~40% annual drop in cost per gig. http://bit.ly/5GSwisseasy
"We see traffic doubling every 12 months but we don't have quality problems in the network." Urs Schaeppi, CEO Swisscom, on the investor call. "Do we run into congestion problems? No, we will be able to manage it." Swisscom's business model is to offer outstanding service at a premium price, which they have generally done well. Schaeppi closely watches the quality of his wireless network.

At Vodafone, CEO Colao reports "60% of growth in data [but] our network utilization went up only one percentage point." He adds technology is driving down cost per gig by, "40% year-over-year." David Small of Verizon also estimates cost drops of ~40% per year. Depending on who is estimating, the move from 3G to 4G LTE reduced costs from 50%-90%. We're seeing a similar fall as telcos go from LTE to LTE Advanced. 

Capital spending has generally been going down and often is actually below depreciation. Most wireless companies have no net investment.  Future ezplained and more http://bit.ly/5GSwisseasy

*** G.fast Summit. Paris. 9-11 May. The best show of the year. Upperside presented. http://bit.ly/GFParis *** See you there.

Australia confirms: Landline traffic growth is slowing down http://bit.ly/2cwsm4m
40% last two years, 30% expected next two years. NBN Chief Bill Morrow sees the Netflix surge passing and future growth slowing. The average NBN user draws 131 gigabytes/month. Until two or three years ago, landline data traffic for the average user had been growing at 40% +-5% for a dozen years. Fortunately, Moore's Law has brought down the costs of the necessary components at a similar rate of about 40%. The marginal cost per subscriber per month has stayed flat at all the large carriers: About $1/subscriber/month across the developed world. Wireless growth has been similarly slowing.

From 2002 to 2009, Odlyzko found a median growth rate of 43% and a mean of 51%. Adjusting for the number of Internet users yields a trend of 35% to 45% going back over a decade.

*** Self-Healing Wi-Fi With ASSIA® Real-Q™ Technology Booth B20 BBWF London
“Beyond-the-Box” visibility and control, extends quality-of-experience (QoE) beyond the gateway to the end-user device for every device in the home. Based on ASSIA technology, proven across 80 million subscribers http://bit.ly/2dj7FJk

5G highband: Not as easy as McAdam thinks, the Professor suggests http://bit.ly/nosoeasy
Unsolved problems with blockage, beam aggregation, and even how you hold the phone.

Robert Heath is the man "who wrote the book on millimeter wave."  Millimeter waves sometimes are blocked by a window or wall. They definitely won't get to the other side of a building or bounce around most obstacles. Turn around and your body may affect the signal. Most of these problems can be solved. Beamforming and beamtracking have great promise.

Lowell McAdam of Verizon will do a demonstration deployment, probably in Boston, in 2018 or earlier. It will be fixed only. Lowell makes it sound easy. "We're getting 500 meters in some tests. So we can put a cell every 1,000 meters." That will be true some places, but dense areas will be much harder. It will work, but can seriously degrade if a bus goes down the street. VZ will choose the right location, possibly a residential neighborhood with good line of sight.

*** Sckipio and Calix introduce world’s first G.fast solution to support DTA over multiple phone lines (twisted pair.) When Sckipio announced the invention of DTA, it was only available on low crosstalk environments such as coax applications or single line scenarios. Now, DTA works on higher density, higher-crosstalk environments. Visit the Sckipio booth (D20)  London, October 18 – 20, 2016. http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)

David Small of Verizon: 30-40% annual drop in the cost per megabit on wireless
They now have dark fiber to almost every macrocell. Backhaul can go from 100 megabits to multi-gigabits inexpensively by changing the electronics. Customers are using more data, perhaps at a similar 30-40% rate of increase. That allows even a mid-single digit increase in price to dramatically improve profits. (He didn’t discuss how the wireless part of the network handles the increased load, but that’s also coming with advanced LTE and 5G when it’s needed.) The implication is that Verizon can lower the wireless price per gigabit ~30% per year.

Small’s endorsement of C-Ran means they are not going for one millisecond 5G latency. His plan to eventually move control to 3-5 national data centers suggests they are going for 4-10 millisecond, because the 2-5 hops to get from the small cell to the data center adds latency. 

Small’s conversation with Tim Horan of Oppenheimer is one of the most thoughtful discussions I’ve read about how you build the network edge today. http://vz.to/2cwB43J

*** HFR and Sckipio Announce World’s First 24-Port G.fast DPU
Sckipio Technologies and South Korean network infrastructure equipment maker, HFR, Inc. announce the world’s first G.fast distribution point unit (DPU) that supports up to 24 subscribers in a single DPU. Visit the Sckipio booth (D20)  London, October 18 – 20, 2016. http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)


3.5 GHz ready to support three Verizon-sized networks on TD-LTE http://bit.ly/5G35shared
150 MHz shared coming available in U.S., 3GPP Band 42 in many other countries. Most of the U.S. spectrum around 3.5 GHz was reserved for government use, mostly Navy radar. It's unused in most of the country, and now is becoming available for consumer services. A 3.5 GHz eco-system is developing in the U.S., driven by the demands of AT&T and Comcast. CableLabs, Ericsson, Google, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and a dozen others have formed the CBRS Alliance. In other parts of the world, the spectrum will be used for ordinary TD-LTE service.

In the U.S., the quiet heroes included John Leibowitz at the FCC, Larry Strickling of NTIA and several who worked on the PCAST report and prefer to remain out of the limelight. PCAST - and the cogency of the argument - is convincing people around the world that sharing spectrum is the way to go.

Ruckus: Shared small cells better than LTE/DAS, using 3.5 & 5 GHz http://bit.ly/5GRuckus
Everybody wins if you connect in-building with Wi-Fi or shared TD-LTE rather than a network that only works for one carrier. The same applies to stadiums. A football team wants good service for all the fans in the seats, not just those with Verizon phones or whichever other carrier is first to build. Ruckus' OpenG is designed to make the shared network easy to administer.

One network is cheaper to build than four. 

*** ASSIA is proud to partner with Hitron, a proven industry leader, to provide MSO subscribers with the industry's most comprehensive solution to residential Wi-Fi service problems. CloudCheck enables self-healing Wi-Fi networks by leveraging ASSIA’s machine-learning based cloud architecture with an agent solution in the gateway.  http://bit.ly/assiahitron (ad)
 
$0.002/gigabyte Backbone/transit cost - and up http://bit.ly/FNN2tenths
In large volume, 2/10ths to 5/10ths a cent. That suggests large ISPs pay something less than a penny per gigabyte. If you use 139 gigabytes/month, that costs your provider something like $1/month. (Doubling transit costs gives you a rough estimate of the cost to the carrier, which also has to carry the bits to your local exchange.)

Akamai recently bid "$0.002 per GB delivered," according to Dan Rayburn, a streaming media expert I trust. Dan notes that's the lowest price he's ever seen for a content delivery deal, and other recent bids have been as high as half a cent. Hurricane Electric is advertising Internet transit at dozens of locations for $0.20/Mbps, which works out to a similar price. Small and rural carriers often pay much more, sometimes 20X higher. 

20 Gigabits mmWave 13 kilometers in Facebook test http://bit.ly/5G20giga
Large antennas, custom parts for Aquila drones. Aquila, a solar powered, 1,000 pound aircraft with a wingspan longer than a 737, had a first test flight on June 28. Aquila is no longer intended to serve people broadband. Instead, Facebook has the far more realistic plan of providing backhaul in extreme rural areas where fiber and terrestrial microwave would be too expensive.

Mark Zuckerberg and his top team are deeply committed to connecting everyone, a mutual friend tells me.  Their Internet.org was inappropriate but their engineering is at the forefront. A 96 antenna massive MIMO rig delivered ten times the performance of typical LTE today. Their 60 GHz wireless mesh Terragraph prototype demonstrates how neighborhoods can be connected at multi-gigabit speeds. 60 GHz WiGig is likely to explode as Intel and Qualcomm are including it in new wireless chips and offering "Tri-band" local networking. 


Two important 5G articles weren’t finished in time. One is the latest data from Ted Rappaport and team: Landmark paper: 10 kilometer millimeter wave test confirms new model. The second is about massive MIMO: Softbank Japan, China Mobile, Huawei and ZTE bringing 5G MIMO to the field.


G.fast News

Switzerland: We're going G.fast; Forget fiber home except in new builds http://bit.ly/GFSwiss
“Everything we do from now on will be based around G.fast,” according to Swisscom’s Oliver Lamparter, blogs Australia's nbn.  Their first 1,000 lines have convinced them. Swisscom two years ago planned a multi-technology buildout. From here on, most of it will be FTTP in new builds, G.fast/fiber to the street in existing homes. Lamparter added, "We don’t envisage extending the FTTP footprint too much further in Brownfield areas because G.fast gives us a much better way of delivering ultra-fast services.”

Both Huawei and Nokia were hopeful of winning the contract. They are sharing the next phase at British Telecom, over 100,000 lines in the next six months.

*** Sckipio's Three advances are taking G.fast to the next level.http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)

Nokia takes XG-FAST to 8 gig in the lab at nbn http://bit.ly/GF8gigx
Hinting they are getting closer to product but no date is set. Jochen Maes and team have been wowing the world with high speeds over phone wires for a couple of years, including a recent visit to Australia that "generated peak aggregate data throughput speeds of more than 8 Gbps over a 30-meter twisted-pair copper cable. A 5 Gbps peak aggregate speed was achieved over 70 meters of twisted-pair copper cable." They've previously shown 5 gig+ to Deutsche Telekom. The short reach limits the possible applications; the natural market, apartment buildings, needs far more ports than the 16 Nokia currently supports. I've heard rumors of more powerful G.fast vectoring engines to support more ports but none were shown at the recent BBWF.

Everything is speculative until enough engineers have production units to test.

*** G.fast Summit. Paris. 9-11 May. The best show of the year. Upperside presented. http://bit.ly/GFParis *** See you there.

Huawei jumping in to G.faster http://bit.ly/GFFHuawei
Use more spectrum, get higher speeds at very short distances. They showed a prototype at BBWF they claimed would provide "3.8 Gbps @ 50 meters and 2.4Gbps @70 meters." Huawei's name for the next generation, 2-8 gigabit DSL is NG-fast. They brought a unit to BBWF and put out the press release with the information below. The speed is primarily achieved by using 500 MHz of spectrum. Full duplex allows using the same spectrum for both upstream and down. Nokia/Alcatel has been demonstrating their comparable technology, XG-FAST. It's good to see Nokia getting competition. 

Paris G.fast Summit 2017 9 to 11 May will be a great show; Proposals due http://bit.ly/GFParis
Three days with some of the best in the world of G.fast. In 2017, they will share the experience of hundreds of thousands of lines deployed. The atmosphere is informal but the technical level very high. The event was large enough to include virtually all the companies in the industry but small enough for everyone to be heard. I chaired and also did a three hour, first-day seminar to bring newbies up to speed.  Knowledgeable speakers are welcome whether or not their companies buy sponsorships. Marketing VP's giving sales pitches are not wanted; top engineers very welcome. 

Paris. May 9-11. See you there.

A third G.fast chipmaker: Metanoia http://bit.ly/GFmeta2
Interoperability demonstrated at BBWF. Metanoia's press release features a quote from Swisscom, one of the first to deploy G.fast. Their chips are in an SFP container, ready to plug into routers designed for SFP upgrades. They developed in cooperation with Huawei. I've sent a note and hope to learn more about them.

Interop demo'd by Broadband Forum & UNH Lab at BBWF http://bit.ly/GFinterop
Broadcom, Metanoia, and Sckipio chips communicate. For more than a decade, the industry has come together at the University of New Hampshire to confirm chips work well together. Customers hate to be locked into a single source so demand vendors solve the problems. Live at the Broadband World Forum, the major vendors connected their gear. All report progress but there's still much work to do. 

100,000 G.fast modems sold by Technicolor - running VDSL http://bit.ly/GF100Kshipped
For less than $10 more than the VDSL-only version, Technicolor is selling a unit ready for G.fast when the company deploys. A telco has decided that's a small price to pay for an easy future upgrade. Karel Adriaensen wouldn't even give me a hint of which telco may be the world's largest buyer of G.fast modems.  He expects to sell several hundred thousand but G.fast will not be enabled until later in 2017.

The telco intends to use the modems for G.fast one day, but they are serving as 35b vectored VDSL modems for now. Adriaensen says G.fast is now ready for large-scale commercial deployment. "Standardization is complete and chipsets are available." 

*** G.fast Summit. Paris. 9-11 May. The best show of the year. Upperside presented. http://bit.ly/GFParis *** See you there.

Australia: 700,000 "FTTdp homes." Should use G.fast but may go VDSL. http://bit.ly/GFAustdp
Australia's National Broadband Network has decided to use DSL to bypass some of the cable network they bought from Optus. They are calling this FTTdp, which everywhere else in the world means G.fast. For unclear and probably political reasons, they are planning to use VDSL at much lower speeds. 

Fiber to the basement + G.fast is the obvious choice today to upgrade apartment buildings. 

Tens of millions G.fast lines predicted http://bit.ly/GF10mils
"11M G.fast subs/year in 2021 predicted by nbn/Ovum" was my original headline. After reading the report, I saw no way to be so precise five years from now. There are too many unknowns.  AT&T is passing 3M homes a year with fiber and/or G.fast. They are being coy about G.fast but see large savings likely. BT is passing 140K homes in the first half of the year, then ramping rapidly to 3M/year. 

SK in Korea will be in a race with Korea Telecom for the 9M homes in the country that need upgrades. KT is promising to offer G.hn at hundreds of megabits to 95% of the 9M by the end of 2017; SK can't afford not to move quickly. I've 12 countries on the G.fast map with firm deployments. Over 60 more are in trials.

I have the Ovum data from Petroc Wilson of Commsday. “In 2021 Ovum expects G.fast to be supporting nearly 29 million subscribers, representing 3% of the global fixed broadband market. As an emerging technology the growth in annual subscriber additions is expected to accelerate in each year, rising from 330,000 in 2017 to nearly 11.5 million in 2021.”

"Study" predicts $200/line G.fast chip price in 2022 !? http://bit.ly/GFgarbage
Not a typographical error, unfortunately.  To reach the projected "USD 4,216.3 Million" in G.fast chip sales, chip price per home served would have to be $200  or so. That's ten times the price today in some markets, with every expectation the prices will go down over six years. (Moore's Law may be slowing but it isn't dead.) Save your $5650; an outfit called Markets and Markets has produced a work of low fantasy in the guise of a research "study."  Buy these folks a new abacus. 

Predictions about the future are hard - see Trump, Donald.

Upstream 300 meg+ in 2017 at Comcast http://bit.ly/300upcab

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Our communities are being destroyed by racial tension and we're too polite to talk about it. ... If this is a dialogue that's to begin at AT&T, I feel like it probably ought to start with me" Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO https://youtu.be/ThO74-oFt_Q

Marcelo Claure says mobile costs are “minimal,” allowing Sprint to give away a million mobiles to poor kids. Free in France is selling 50 gigabytes+ for $22; Ambani in India is selling 10 gigabytes for $7.40. An EU estimate of mobile data cost is between 0.4 and 0.8 euro per gigabyte, which is probably high. Finnish consultant Antonios Drossos calculates the marginal cost of a gigabyte is about 0.1 euro.  See Ambani pricing isn't crazy. France, Finland, and Denmark are similar.
    David Small of Verizon estimates the cost per bit will go down 30-40% per year, confirming what I’ve written about the efficiency of carrier aggregation, advanced LTE & MIMO. That’s a drop of about ~50% in two years and ~80% in five years.Mobile speeds have gone up remarkably, putting the lie to the lobbyists’ and politician’s “spectrum crunch.” Back in 2009, the U.S. broadband planners and Glen Campbell of Merrill Lynch convinced me the fears were hogwash. Every year since has seen an increase in mobile speeds.
    The telcos need to buy much less equipment, leading to agony at Ericsson and other suppliers. The Big E has lost half its value in 18 months and is firing thousands. Verizon just fired another 3,000 while AT&T wants to chop 50,000+ jobs in the next few years. 
    Efficiency is great for consumers but many in the industry are living through nightmares.  John Donovan of AT&T says the survival of his $250B company is uncertain. 

This week’s Broadband World Forum in London will have some excitement. I have to skip the show so everyone please keep your ears open and send me the news that isn’t in press releases.

*** @ BBWF Wednesday 19 Oct, Sckipio hopes you will join Peter Bell of BT Openreach; Oliver Lamparter of Swisscom; Werner Heinrich of Adtran; Hubert Mariotte of Orange; Hyung Jin Park of Korea Telecom; David Renehan of Eircom, and our CEO, David Baum for G.fast Deployment Strategies and Results http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)

Headlines without articles yet. News is breaking faster than I can write it.

  • "F-yes for F-cell! Flying F-cell Fantastically Free of wires" Marcus Weldon of Nokia shows off the 8x8 MIMO small cell efficient enough for solar power and small enough for delivery by drone. Great picture. No delivery date.
  • EU’s new policy:  “share spectrum in all the spectrum ranges, particularly in bands below 6 GHz” The telcos will fight very hard, but “use it or share it” is the right policy for more capacity and lower prices. This is huge for spectrum policy.
  • AT&T wireless to the rooftop, below, is in Century’s Minneapolis. T plans to go after Verizon as well. Only a world-class game theoretician can predict how this will play out.
  • Comcast is building a low power wide area network with Semtech. LPWAN is remarkably cheap, which AT&T is acknowledging with an order of magnitude price drop.


Upstream 300 meg+ in 2017 at Comcast http://bit.ly/300upcab
Jorge Salinger is ready as soon as the vendors can deliver.  Casa Systems has already demonstrated 400 megabits upstream and will soon show 600 megabits. They will offer gigabits downstream only in 2016, Daniel Frankel reports, “because 3.1 was not available in upstream. ... I think it’ll be in 2017.” Comcast's $70 gigabit downstream is available today in parts of Chicago, Nashville, and Nashville with a promise to cover over 40M homes by 2018. The upstream is limited to 35 megabits, but that's about to change. 
   I had heard from cable people that they would wait for Full Duplex before upgrading speeds, so this is good news. Full Duplex - sending both upstream and down in the same spectrum - is an active project at CableLabs but likely 3-7 years from volume deployment. Comcast instead will use dedicated spectrum for upstream, possibly eight 6 MHz channels. AT&T is serious about adding 12M "gigabit" homes, using GPON and G.fast, and Comcast wants to be able to match the gigabits soon available to about 30% of the U.S.
   But when will they bring it to my house? Much more http://bit.ly/300upcab

*** Self-Healing Wi-Fi With ASSIA® Real-Q™ Technology Booth B20 BBWF London
“Beyond-the-Box” visibility and control, extends quality-of-experience (QoE) beyond the gateway to the end-user device for every device in the home. Based on ASSIA technology, proven across 80 million subscribers http://bit.ly/2dj7FJk

Sprint's mobile bandwidth cost is so low they are giving poor kids 1M free lines and phones http://bit.ly/gigcost
"The new program’s cost to Sprint is minimal" Cecilia Kang quotes NYT. She added  "It doesn’t require additional network upgrades; instead, it would be the equivalent of adding more cars to a highway, the company said." That's an exaggeration, of course. Sprint may have the emptiest network in America, but some of their $3B capital budget is required for the congested areas.
    The cost of bandwidth, even on mobile, is low and getting lower rapidly. A recent EU study found fully loaded cost often one euro/gigabyte or less. Consultant Antonios Drossos emails, "the actual incremental cost of mobile data which depending on the network topology, configurations, vendor pricing etc ranges from €0.05/GB to €0.5/GB."
    Drossos is more likely on target than the EU. Free in France and several in Scandinavia are selling 50 gigabytes+ for $22.  Even if we assume people only use half their allotment, that's 80 cents retail for a profitable product. Ambani in India is selling 10 gigabytes for $7.40.
     David Small of Verizon estimates the cost per bit will go down 30-40% per year, confirming what I’ve written about the efficiency of carrier aggregation, advanced LTE & MIMO. That’s a drop of about half in two to three years and three quarters in about five years.
     Mobile speeds have gone up remarkably, putting the lie to the lobbyists’ and politician’s “spectrum crunch.” Back in 2009, the U.S. broadband planners and Glen Campbell of Merrill Lynch convinced me the fears were hogwash.http://bit.ly/gigcost

AT&T/DirecTV ready to go "Wireless to the Rooftop" + DSL or Ethernet bit.ly/WTTRATT
AT&T needs a tool for both coax and existing telco twisted pair. I believe they are not using G.fast at this stage, although it will be a natural choice going forward. AT&T's WTTR looks to be the same as Google's new Webpass division. Companies like Towerstream have been beaming mmWave to rooftops for commercial customers for more than a decade. Hundreds of wireless ISPs rely on mmWave backhaul as do most mobile towers around the world. The technology is old but few have done WTTR for consumers.
     AT&T has several million lines of satellite TV with roof access and wiring throughout the building, a natural for this kind of deployment. Their initial buildings are in Minneapolis. They are also planning Denver, Phoenix, and Seattle, where Century has only limited upgrades. I was surprised T is also discussing prime Verizon FiOS territory: Boston, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington D.C. The headline includes "Outside of Traditional Wireline Service Area."
     For $3,000, you can buy a pair of Ubiquiti radios to carry a gigabit. Siklu, which supplies Google/Webpass, and Ericsson have 5 gigabit units available with low latency. Boris Maysel of Siklu tells me they will have 10 gig in a box next year. 
     T is getting scared as gigabit cable is spreading around the country.  Ed Balcerzak expects WTTR will not just save money but will reach customers quickly. AT&T's current plan, fiber or G.fast to 12M by 2020, leaves more than two/thirds on older DSL. Cable should win most of those not soon upgraded. bit.ly/WTTRATT


*** Columbia CITI November 10th 2016 First Impressions for the New Administration and Congress: What's on the Telecom, Internet, and ICT Agenda? Online via Webex 12:00pm-2:00pm. Registration http://citiagenda.eventbrite.com (psa) My suggestion: begin by counting. Obama promised affordable broadband for all Americans in 2008. Since then, prices have gone up by a third. $7B of stimulus reached very few of the unserved. Hillary is making the same promise, without a plan for results.

AT&T, Ericsson public demo of mmWave webcast Oct 18 http://bit.ly/2egDq2u
A chance to watch.  Press releases sometimes are as credible as politician's speeches, so I'm looking forward to watching Tuesday's live demo of a 5G network. At the Texas Wireless Summit, Arunabha Ghosh of AT&T will present Designing Ultra-Dense Networks for 5G at 9:40. At 10 a.m., AT&T will demonstrate their state of the art 5G testing. This will be one of the first public demonstrations of a 5G mmWave system. Webcast by RCR Wireless.
     AT&T & Ericsson are working on phased arrays with ultra-fast beam steering, feedback-based hybrid precoding, multi-user multiple-input/multiple-output, dynamic beam tracking and beam acquisition. Beamforming and related technologies seem may be a breakthrough that extends the reach and throughput of mmWave systems. mmWave Works!, as Ted Rappaport proclaimed a few years ago. The question now is where it will prove financially practical. All those small cells and backhaul can be very expensive.

*** Sckipio and Calix introduce world’s first G.fast solution to support DTA over multiple phone lines (twisted pair.) When Sckipio announced the invention of DTA, it was only available on low crosstalk environments such as coax applications or single line scenarios. Now, DTA works on higher density, higher-crosstalk environments. Visit the Sckipio booth (D20)  London, October 18 – 20, 2016. http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)

KT Giga to 9M Korea homes, Spain, Turkey http://bit.ly/KTgiga
Moving from G.hn to G.hn Wave 2 at "up to 1 gig." G.hn has grown beyond home powerline into a legitimate contender for in-building broadband. KT, using Marvell chips, has been offering hundreds of megabits since late 2014. KT reaches several million apartments now and intends to cover 95% of Koreans who can't get fiberhome by the end of 2017. That puts G.hn a year or more ahead of G.fast.
    KT, working with Ubiquoss and Lightworks, has begun exporting the system. They have a deal with Turk Telecom and a  demonstration building in Barcelona near Mobile World Congress. Chano Gomez of Marvell believes Wave 2 can match today's G.fast chips. I haven't seen test data from an independent source. http://bit.ly/KTgiga

*** Silicon Harlem 3rd Annual Next Gen Tech and Media Conference
Friday October 21 MIST 46 W. 116th St. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, Jennifer Hensley of LinkNYC, Alvin Bowles of Facebook, and two dozen more presenters. Nona Hendryx will both present and perform - but she ain’t gonna play Sun City. http://bit.ly/2ehsWo6 (psa) Clayton Banks and Bruce Lincoln have built a thriving community. Come join. 

G.fast News 

A dozen telcos have deployed 10's of thousands of G.fast lines. It works. 

Centurylink: G.fast works as promised http://bit.ly/GFcentury
Curtis Frankenfeld tells me G.fast produced "No disappointments on performance. The results in the field on real cable approach the lab results The results using coax were flawless, with slightly better performance than twisted pair. The installers only had to do a small amount of repair, splitter removal and similar."  http://bit.ly/GFcentury 

*** HFR and Sckipio Announce World’s First 24-Port G.fast DPU
Sckipio Technologies and South Korean network infrastructure equipment maker, HFR, Inc. announce the world’s first G.fast distribution point unit (DPU) that supports up to 24 subscribers in a single DPU. Visit the Sckipio booth (D20)  London, October 18 – 20, 2016. http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)

G.fast amendments 2 & 3 for more than a gigabit http://bit.ly/2dSqtj8
Longer reach, reverse power, downloaded upgrades for the customer equipment, DTA over coax, and a dozen other improvements. At an ITU SG-15 meeting in Geneva, Amendments one and two were approved. Amendment three was consented but very few changes are likely before final approval. The major chip vendors, Broadcom and Sckipio, are already hard at work. The carriers are hoping for equipment in the second half of 2017.
     BT needs longer reach. G.fast was designed for 50-200 meters but existing cabinets are often 350 meters away or more. The new standard increases the maximum transmit power up to +8 dBm, with a practical goal of 300 megabits 300 meters. AT&T has been vocal they want a true gigabit to compete with cable, not "up to a gigabit."  http://bit.ly/2dSqtj8

*** ASSIA is proud to partner with Hitron, a proven industry leader, to provide MSO subscribers with the industry's most comprehensive solution to residential Wi-Fi service problems. CloudCheck enables self-healing Wi-Fi networks by leveraging ASSIA’s machine-learning based cloud architecture with an agent solution in the gateway.  http://bit.ly/assiahitron (ad)

24 Port DPU shipping from Sckipio, HFR http://bit.ly/gfast24
Until now, no one made a DPU with more than 16 ports. Curtis Frankenfeld of Century recently told me, "I would like G.fast to support a larger vectoring group than the current 16 ports." For now, Century is only using G.fast in smaller buildings. Many buildings have far more than 16 apartments, with wires in the same bundle.
   HFR of Korea has the first 24 port DPU and a giant customer ready to go. Sckipio is first with G.fast chips designed to work with VDSL 30a, the faster form of VDSL used in Japan and Korea. $15B SK Telecom is Korea's largest wireless carrier and #2 in fixed. They are targeting the 9M apartments in Korea served with VDSL and copper LAN, most running at 100 megabits. Korea Telecom is actively deploying GIGA Wire, their version of G.hn, and intends to upgrade 95% of those units by the end of 2017.  Japan is similar; millions of their "fiber" lines are fiber to the basement + VDSL.http://bit.ly/gfast24

Nokia 8 port G.fast http://bit.ly/gfastnok
The headline is the whole story. Two North American telcos have told me they need a smaller unit. They don't want to pay for 16 ports when they only need 4 or 5. Nokia has announced one. The unit is shipping. Price is undisclosed, which means the price is based on how hard you negotiate and how much Nokia wants your business. 
     I would love to add to this report that Nokia's new gear supports longer loop lengths, as they claim below. Unfortunately, they don't say longer than what, provide an estimate of rate/reach, or release test data. http://bit.ly/gfastnok

Single port G.fast: The fiber extender http://bit.ly/gfastone
Sckipio's single port G.fast is an ideal solution if you need hundreds of megabits a few hundred meters from fiber and digging to extend it is too expensive. A telco engineer tells me that is a common situation. It's easy to imagine a small radio station with a dozen people on staff across a highway from fiber, or three homes about 200 meters beyond a telco GPON network. 
     I live about 50 meters from Columbia's Engineering School, with probably a terabit of connectivity. Verizon can't deliver more than 6 megabits to the fifty apartments in my building (Columbia-owned) or the ~800 more within 150 meters. If you could find a simple wire run from Columbia and connect that copper line to a G.fast unit in the basement, everyone in the building could have several hundred megabits 95+% of the time.http://bit.ly/gfastone

*** Jeff Pulver (@JeffPulver) will host #140conf/State of Now Los Angeles  November 14th.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-2016-140conf-tickets-27277711369 (ad) Jeff created the now-legendary VON conferences. Guaranteed no long boring speeches. Folks who define the tTittersphere can do fine in under ten minutes. 

Eric Small of AT&T: G.fast is essential. http://bit.ly/gfessential
WTTR + G.fast for coax. In an interview with Sean Buckley, Small said “The other thing that we have separately talked about is we’re exploring the use of G.fast. That technology can work over coax or twisted pair so that’s an essential companion way to deliver service where a property does not have Cat 5 or Cat 6.” DirecTV has millions of lines with an antenna on the roof and either coax or ethernet cable throughout the building. 
     They want to use G.fast for 500 megabits or more but continue to be coy about whether they will turn their G.fast trials into volume deployment.http://bit.ly/gfessential

*** Sckipio Technologies, the leader in G.fast, announces the first single-port G.fast DPU design. The solution acts like virtual fibre by extending GPON networks with twisted pair or coax. A very thin management layer allows operators to keep their existing GPON management layer. Sckipio makes it effortless to add G.fast to any GPON network. Visit the Sckipio booth (D20)  London, October 18 – 20, 2016. http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)

BT delays G.fast rollout 6-9 months to 2H 2017 http://bit.ly/GF6late
Pioneers get arrows in their back and schedules do slip. 
BT had originally promised to start their 10M home rollout late this year or early next. They are expanding the trials to 140,000 homes.  BT wants 48 or 96 ports while today's tech only supports 16-24 ports. They also want the higher power and longer reach of the Amendment 2/3 chips. 
    The original plan, promised by CEO Gavin Patterson, would go to local distribution points for speeds generally 500+ megabits. Then the bean counters jumped in and insisted on using the existing cabinets, Trevor Linney and a strong team of BT engineers did the research to go 300 meters rather than 100 meters, now in the standard. I'm going to call the downstream speed 200+ megabits, rather than the "up to 330" in the BT pr. It's time to use actual speeds that most users can achieve. http://bit.ly/GF6late

Nokia & Huawei win BT's (delayed) G.fast http://bit.ly/gfbtnok
BT decides to stick with the big guys. Alcatel-Nokia and Huawei have been #1 & #2 in DSL for a decade, both with excellent products. They both jumped in early to G.fast and their gear works well. They've now won the next stage of BT's 10M home servable G.fast offering, another 100,000 homes in the next six months.  BT's Seeley is hopeful they will get production amendment 2/3 chips, but their main supplier Broadcom is not committed to delivering the chips so soon. Ray Le Maistre, a first rate British reporter, believes Adtran has a chance to get back in at the next stage of DSLAM procurement. BT has surprisingly few choices. The vendor community has shrunk drastically. I know only four DSLAM makers and two chip vendor likely to be ready to serve a customer like BT. http://bit.ly/gfbtnok

To come: Technicolor ships 100,000 modems; first interop from UNH/Broadband Forum; 11M G.fast subs/year in 2021 predicted by nbn/Ovum; BBWF: How well will G.fast chips talk to each other?; 700,000 FTTdp Australia; Graz 50.000; DTA over phone lines 

Briefs

  • Victor Harwood has done an extraordinary job programming Digital Hollywood 18-21 October. The speakers on virtual reality and augmented reality are the highlight; literally dozens including senior people from the major studios and production houses. If I had a travel budget, I’d go to Los Angeles. The price is low for a professional event like this ($645.) DH has large discounts for small businesses, students, and non-profits. It’s $50 for students, $95 for the unemployed and $130 for the self-employed.  http://bit.ly/2cCxR1m
  • John Walko has an outstanding interview with Trevor Linney of BT, who leads the largest G.fast deployment in the world. Trevor “suggests the key outstanding issues include enabling higher bits per tone, typically 15 rather than the 12-14 now; better receiver sensitivity (<-150dBm/Hz); increasing the transmit power from 4 to perhaps 8dBm; optimising the frequency usage with VDSL2; and increasing the vectoring group sizes to 96.” If that sounds like what I’ve been writing, it’s because I listen very closely to anything Linney says.http://bit.ly/2dK3aXm
  • J.H. Snider reports two profound failures of the U.S. spectrum auction. It will not yield the $billions promised to the U.S. Emergency Service Network or the U.S. Treasury. It will gives $Tens of Billions to station owners, who had no legal claim to permanent use of the public airwaves. Most of the money will go to people like Rupert Murdoch and Brian Roberts. The piece is polemical but also accurate.http://bit.ly/2deAlOP
  • Dean Bubley takes a detailed look at what quantum computing could mean for networks and more http://bit.ly/2cEDLh6

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Volume 16, #8 Oct 13, 2016Sept 20


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“I did exactly what I should have done,” Hilary said, adding, “Always have, and always will.” The U.S. has two candidates who think they are God.

Masayoshi Son at Softbank fearlessly launched the first true 5G, multi-gigabit system, the Giga Monster Massive MIMO with beamforming. They have delivered 100 systems in 43 cities. At each, 128 antennas deliver 6X  to 10X more capacity than today, with better results likely in coming years. Masa-san changed the world in 2002. Softbank’s Yahoo BB used the first IP DSLAMs, an efficient dark fiber network, and a new business model to bring broadband prices down almost by half. 

Mukesh Ambani is also changing the world, signing up 10M 4G LTE subscribers in a few weeks at Reliance Jio, a brand new $20B network covering 800M people. He's pricing at $7.40 for 10 gigabytes and unlimited calls. Bharti and BSNL have matched. I expect at least 200M 4G subs in India 12 months from now. Ambani's pricing isn't crazy. France, Finland, and Denmark are similar for 20-50 gigabytes. Free in France is 20 euro ($23) for 50 gigabytes + unlimited calls. Wireless costs per bit are going down at 20-50% per year, so this kind of pricing will be likely in a few years where markets are strongly competitive.

The question is not why Jio is so cheap but why America and Canada are so much higher?

China's 4G subs reached 646 million in August. Their 282 million broadband landlines are 1/3rd of the world total. Half the Internet will soon be Asian; add Africa and Latin America and the Global South will soon be 3/4ths of the Internet. 


*** Sckipio congratulates Calix and Centurylink on North America's largest G.fast deployment, Platteville, Wis.  http://bit.ly/2bkeSJ9 (ad) Curtis Frankenfeld of Centurylink discovered  "The results in the field on real cable approach the lab results." 


Softbank's Giga Monster Massive MIMO: World's first commercial 5G not mmWave bit.ly/2cuQ0eg
128 antennas, 6X-10X improvement in throughput to ?1.5 gigabits. 
The fearless Masayoshi Son wants to change the world again, this time by launching 5G. They have deployed 100 cell sites in 43 cities, with many in Tokyo. He may be a year ahead of anyone else. Masa-san wasn't patient enough to wait. Softbank subsidiary Wireless City Networks is taking charge. They may be using the ZTE 128 antenna unit demoed last year. Cell siting is particularly difficult in Japan and MIMO is the best way to get much more out of your existing network and spectrum. On the other hand, Softbank controlled Sprint has 120 MHz of unused spectrum. Sprint's logical path forward begins with carrier aggregation putting that spectrum to use.

The magic of MIMO is that signals from different antennas, even very close together, can be distinguished. Each signal bounces off obstacles in a slightly different way. Arogyaswami Paulraj discovered MIMO one day when it rained on the Stanford campus. He was doing some experiments using two cordless phones, testing how far apart they needed to be to distinguish the signals. He moved inside that day, not expecting to get any usable results. Instead, he clearly saw two signals. "We must have MU-MIMO," Sanyogita Shamsunder of Verizon said this spring. Much more and links bit.ly/2cuQ0eg

10 gig LTE $7.40 at Reliance. All calls free.http://bit.ly/10gigs7D
"Cheapest 4G-LTE data rates the world has ever seen." 
India will shortly have more 4G connection that the U.S. has people (317M.) China already is over 600M. In a few years, Indians with 4G phones will probably number more than the combined population of Western Europe and the United States. This is a very different Internet.

Mukesh Ambani spent $20B on the network across India. He intends to get 100M users as soon as possible. One Indian newspaper believes they signed up 10M in much less than a month. Everything is free until December 31. If $7.40 is too much, you can buy 100 megabytes for $0.30 on a day pass. Many new phones in India come with a free Reliance Jio SIM. Calls are free across India, eliminating the roaming charges others demand. His LYF phones start at $45. Reviews say they are fine.
 
This is already one of the world's largest networks, covering a population of over 800M. They have built 250,000 kilometers of fiber so have essentially unlimited backhaul capacity. They are part owners of the 55 terabit Bay of Bengal Gateway undersea fiber. More http://bit.ly/10gigs7D

Ambani pricing isn't crazy. France, Finland, and Denmark are similar. http://bit.ly/Ambaninc
Xavier Niel is making $billions pricing as low as 40 euro cents/gig. 
The wireless world is shocked by Reliance Jio's low price of $0.74/gigabyte. "Cheapest 4G-LTE data rates the world has ever seen." That's true at 10 gigabytes but Finland and France are lower in price/gigabyte at 50 gig

Bharti, the largest carrier, has matched. So has BSNL, the national carrier.  European data demonstrate today's LTE networks are efficient enough to thrive on low prices. In comparison, U.S. prices are astronomical. Germany and Italy, with only three carriers, are very high. 
 
The right question is not why Reliance is so cheap but why others are so high? More, including a great chart comparing prices http://bit.ly/Ambaninc

Expensive auction, Reliance Jio explosion may kill half the Indian telcos http://bit.ly/Indauction
$5B - $50B auction scaring some out of business. 
Not long ago, India had 12 wireless companies and the toughest voice competition in the world. Three are gone and others shaky. Ambani of Jio sees only four or five likely to survive. 

Ambani has one of the most cost-effective networks in the world. They have scale in a business of scale. Some companies are giving up, especially as they would need to spend money in the coming auction. Vodafone pumped $7B into Vodafone India to keep up.

Indian analysts and press believe telcos have neither the financing nor capacity to buy most of the amazingly large amount available in the auction.  See "$80B" Indian auction could be world changing - or only $12B" bit.ly/80Bindia An alternate view is that Jio and the current giants will jump in hard for enough spectrum to operate efficiently. LTE works best with at least 20x20 MHz, far more than most of them use today. http://bit.ly/Indauction

*** ASSIA is proud to partner with Hitron, a proven industry leader, to provide MSO subscribers with the industry's most comprehensive solution to residential Wi-Fi service problems. CloudCheck enables self-healing Wi-Fi networks by leveraging ASSIA’s machine-learning based cloud architecture with an agent solution in the gateway.  http://bit.ly/assiahitron (ad)

Tim Farrar: U.S. auction ?$25-35B http://bit.ly/usauc2535
Paul Milgrom's auction design keeps everyone guessing. 
Anyone who tells you she is sure of the outcome doesn't know very much. I was so wrong the last time I'm not even trying this time. Wall Streeters I respect, including Craig Moffett and John Hodulik,  believe the phone companies + Comcast will find it very hard to bid more than $30B-$40B. That will let them split about 70 MHz except in a few big cities if no one plays the spoiler. 

Knowing who the other bidders are in a particular part of a complex auction enables developing a strategy that may bring down the total proceeds. Therefore, an auction designer often tries to maintain some mystery about who's who and what's what. Several have said this two-way auction is the most complex ever designed. Some call it fiendish.

Tim Farrar, an extraordinarily perceptive observer, warns about unknowns, then goes on to say: "Comcast may well emerge from the auction with a significant national footprint of roughly 20MHz of spectrum, potentially spending $7B-$10B. In addition, unless the forward auction drops to only 70MHz being sold, all four national bidders could largely achieve their goals, spending fairly similar amounts except in New York and Los Angeles, where one or two of these players are likely to miss out. 

In other words, nothing much changes.http://bit.ly/usauc2535

*** Oct 7 CITI Columbia Online Video as the Disruptor 
Raul Katz of Columbia, who is doing pioneering work on the impact around the world of Internet giants; Matthias Kurth, whose "Kurth Solution" inexpensively brought broadband to rural Germany; Robert Pepper, the very policy guru at the FCC for a decade; and Columbia's Henning Schulzrinne, who just went to Washington for a spell as FCC Chief Technologist.http://citisot2016.eventbrite.com (psa) Columbia's annual event is alway very strong. See you there.

Gig LTE: Telstra 2016, Swisscom 2017; AT&T joining the parade  http://bit.ly/ATTgiglte
Who needs 5G? Most large carriers will be able to dedicate 60-100 megabits to LTE and achieve peaks of a gig and more. AT&T's Andre Fuersch points out.  "LTE is still here. And LTE will be around for a long time. And LTE has also enormous potential in that, you’ll be capable of supporting 1 gigabit speeds as well.” LTE will reach a gig in many places in the next two years. Fuersch points out that 5G will be needed only when we want more than a gig. 
Of course, you don't get those speeds at the cell edge or when the network is congested. But I believe that "gig" LTE will deliver hundreds of megabits 90+% of the time if you have a good connection to the cell site. Getting close to a gig is likely often possible.
Tom Keathley of AT&T promises the gig in 12-18 months and reminds us LTE will be important for a decade or more.http://bit.ly/ATTgiglte

*** ASSIA's Cloudcheck for your mobile solves Wi-Fi problems, delivering a better, faster Internet. It tests, diagnoses, and remedies slow connections. Free from Apple's App Store and Google Play. http://forum.cloudcheck.net/ (ad)

Small cells, finally: U.S. carriers get going in 2016http://bit.ly/smcells
At $20,000/per small cell, great where you have backhaul and power. 
Small cells have been the next big thing for years, but I haven't seen many of them. Christos Karmis of Mobilitie tells me that's changing dramatically in 2016. Karmis says Sprint is planning 70,000 small cells, although CEO Claure is only saying “tens of thousands.” Verizon and T-Mobile have talked big plans. Some of those outdoors will also be called DAS, some counted as cell sites. From here on, cell site figures will be impossible to compare. 

Telcos can increase capacity with small cells (densification); putting more spectrum to use (carrier aggregation); adding antennas (MIMO and Massive MIMO); network sharing; and half a dozen other techniques. Verizon, Sprint, & T-Mobile claimed they've doubled speeds by adding a second, 20 MHz carrier. Deutsche Telekom just announced a field test with 5 carriers for over a gig. Softbank has deployed 100 cell sites with 128 antenna Massive MIMO, claiming an improvement of 6-10x. Somewhere around 2022-2025, highband 5G will become a common choice. Verizon will bring highband to the field in 2017 or 2018, but few expect significant volume before next decade.

Everyone has a different opinion on which network design will be dominant. The answer is "none." The real experts- the CTOs of the major companies - will tell you they aren't sure.http://bit.ly/smcells

*** Unparalleled Upstream G.fast Performance with Sckipio’s Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation. 750Mbps on Speed Test in both upstream and downstream with Sckipio’s innovative dynamic bandwidth allocation over coax.  mwne.ws/2baO9yT (ad) 
MiMO 

How fast can MIMO go? 10X, 50X, 100X
If you have clear line of sight and little reflection, simple MIMO gain can be negligible. Hakan Ericsson of Ericsson told me I was wrong to assume MIMO would help the NBN connect people in the Australian bush. Because there wasn't much to bounce off, his tests results were very disappointing. The company had found a similar effect driving around Stockholm, 8x8 antenna MIMO did have an 800% gain in some places but much less in others. The beamforming enabled by massive MIMO arrays can provide major improvements whatever the terrain. 
Many of us have seen how well four antennas work in 4x4 Wi-Fi, raising theoretical speeds over a gigabit and real world tests at 500 megabits. See 1000% MU MIMO gain in gigabit tests by Universities, Facebook. MIMO 2025: A 10x or 100x Capacity Multiplier? is a remarkable 80 minute session from when Paulraj won the Marconi Prize. Paul said to me he's comfortable with 50x although 100x may be far away. Vint Cerf, Marty Cooper and Andrea Goldsmith have told me in Marconi webinars they are comfortable with the 50x projection, although nothing is guaranteed. 
No one believed Arogyaswami Paulraj in the 1990's when he claimed MIMO (his invention) would one day lead to a 100x improvement in wireless capacity. That day is now closer.  My three days interviewing Paulraj for his Marconi Award film were to me like a cello player taking personal lessons with Pablo Casals. 
T-Mobile 4x4 MIMO 256 QAM "400 meg" putting Verizon to shame  http://bit.ly/TMMIMO
A big step on the way to gigabit LTE. 
I wouldn't expect to get 400 megabits at Broadway and 42nd Street at 6 p.m. Some people, in just the right spot, will see speeds close to that. Speeds of 50-150 megabits will be common many places, although those at the edge of cell or through a thick wall the speeds will go down to under 10 megabits.
CTO Neville Ray has done an extraordinary job keeping up with the technology despite a capital budget of under $5B, not much for a U.S. sized network. He's also extended coverage to 311M pops, about 98% of the country, almost matching Verizon. With the amount of spectrum AT&T is about to put to work, the gig would be close.
Ray should not have signed his name to the claim, "delivers a massive 2x speed boost to customers." There are places where doubling the number of antennas will double speed. Doubling won't happen in many other places and the average T-Mobile speed will not go up that much. http://bit.ly/TMMIMO
DT Field Test: 5 20 MHz carriers, 4x4 MIMO, 1.2 gigabits peak (brief)  http://bit.ly/2cNSqFw
Where are the phones with four antennas?  
Ericsson and Telstra used 5 carriers for a gig last year; Deutsche Telkom with Huawei now announced their "field" test with 5 carriers. SK in Korea and Telstra promise the gig in 2016; AT&T in "12-18 months" (Tom Keathley.) No one will be surprised if those schedules slip, or if the first "deployments" are more like field tests. But it's coming.  
As far as I know, none of these networks are actually delivering more than 400 megabits peak today. Since 2009, LTE has been planned for 100 MHz of spectrum, 8 antennas at both transmitter and receiver, and other improvements to reach far beyond the gigabit. Your speed will vary. The cell edge will be 90% slower; some windows and walls can be equally devastating.  http://bit.ly/2cNSqFw
128 Antenna MIMO from Ericsson in 2017http://bit.ly/ERICMMIMO
Huang Yuhong of China Mobile  and Tom Keathley of AT&T provided applause in the Ericsson announcement.. Although few early systems will go that far, the new Ericsson system can scale to 64 transmit and 64 receive. It's called Massive MIMO for a reason. They come four to a box so it would take a heckuva lot of boxes to max out the system. Unless you want to buy 100,000 or so, I expect the price will be high.There clearly are locations where 16 or 24 antennas would pay off today, but I suspect most large early systems will be used for testing.

More on Massive MIMO

*** Sckipio congratulates Calix and Centurylink on North America's largest G.fast deployment, Platteville, Wis.  http://bit.ly/2bkeSJ9 (ad) Curtis Frankenfeld of Centurylink discovered  "The results in the field on real cable approach the lab results." 

G.fast News

Still to come: The ICANN farce in D.C., where both sides are lying. Latest word from D.C. is the strong lobbying effort led by the Internet Society is winning; LTE-U, the telcos grab at Wi-Fi spectrum, is dead per Qualcomm lobbyist Dean Brenner. But pressure from Verizon protected LAA, for now; G.fast is real, with Century going commercial, although 48/96 port DSLAMs may be delayed to 2H 2016; The 646M 4G subs in China and 282M broadband landlines (Minister Miao Wei); and more on the run-up to BBWF in London.

email

A reporter at <a major metropolitan daily> sent me a compliment and added, “You're going to put the Fierce Cable guys etc. out of business.” I certainly won’t. Mike Dano, Sean Buckley, and the other reporters at Fierce are excellent, often finding stories I miss. They have to write five stories a day; I may do five stories a week. Having more time really helps.


Correction

In 2010, I wrote that “Virtually all carrier investment in telecom comes from the profits of the existing companies.” That was wrong. I should have left out the word profit and simply said: “Virtually all carrier investment comes from the existing companies.” Greg Rosston pointed out that Clearwire & Sprint were investing far more than their profits. This doesn’t contradict my point, that money from government “incentives” - such as reducing competition to raise prices - mostly benefits shareholders. Only a small fraction is spent on network building, the public goal. 

Briefs

  • 32 percent of all iPhones used in August were models that debuted in 2013 or earlier, with that year’s iPhone 5s the third-most popular device at 17 percent Localytics
  • Irwin Jacobs of Qualcomm is “still learning” at the age of 82. From an interview with Mike Freeman, who has done excellent reporting on the company. http://bit.ly/2cM5FWu
  • Karl Bode, of DSL Reports, has been one of the best reporters for a decade. He’s getting satirical e.g. I've heard that actual cable box competition will harm puppies, accelerate climate change, and cause goiters. Also FYI: you can dislike Clinton's positions on encryption, permawar, fracking and whistleblowers and not be sexist or want Trump to win.(tweets)
  • Kelly Hill at RCR Wireless produced a report,  “The Future of Wi-Fi”, with clear, thoughtful coverage of everything from future standards to today’s test challenges, https://s2422.t.eloqua.com/e/f2


Myths to Bust - 5G
5G is high frequency millimeter wave.
Millimeter wave is an important part of 5G but at least for the next few years many antenna MIMO is likely to dominate. 

5G requires < 1 millisecond latency. 
Marcus Weldon of Nokia opened the 5G Summit with a stirring call for < 1 millisecond latency for high speed traffic control as well as future virtual and augmented reality. Many telcos think driving to 1 millisecond is unnecessary, wasteful, and brutally expensive. 

The delay in standards to 2019-2020 will prevent earlier 5G.
Tom Wheeler at the U.S. FCC has decided to eff the 3GPP-ITU procedure and authorize a 2018 deployment of mmWave fixed 5G by Verizon. Massive MIMO is already deployed on 100 towers.

Millimeter waves always have short reach and require line of sight.
Beamforming is dramatically improving the performance of millimeter wave. NTT CTO Seizo Onoe calls "5G is always short range" myth. Consumer millimeter deployments will nonetheless require a very high number of base stations.

Fiber is always needed for backhaul
Ericsson provides convincing evidence that microwave wireless, now available up to 5 gigabits, has latency and other characteristics appropriate for 5G. 

Virtual Reality requires 1 millisecond
Oculus Rift runs at 11 milliseconds.

Wireless networks are often congested
Actually, 95+% of cell sites are generally uncongested. The remainder have only limited peak limits. That's why Deutsche Telekom is promoting a DSL/LTE combo router; LTE nets have plenty of spare capacity, most times, most places.

Densification is necessary to get increased capacity
Verizon and AT&T have doubled and tripled capacity while adding very few towers or small cells. Carrier aggregation and now MIMO have often been enough to deliver the needed capacity. With small cell costs down to $20,000/per, if you have power and backhaul, we're finally starting to see limited deployments.

Spectrum is the main problem for capacity.
AT&T currently has 40 MHz of unused spectrum across the United States. More spectrum is a good thing because it reduces the cost of adding wireless capacity. But MIMO, densification, and many other technologies can also add capacity, often more cheaply. 

There is such a thing as 5G wireless.
It's purely a marketing term, meaning different things to different people and confusing everyone.

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Volume 16, #7 September 25, 2016

 

August 31


G.fast News

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“SDN is probably the most revolutionary change I’ve seen in my career.” Andre Fuetsch, AT&T’s new CTO http://bit.ly/2bqxjHF

Mukesh Ambani made it official: $7.40 for 10 gig LTE and calls across India, the best price in the world. http://bit.ly/10gigs7D He’s not crazy; France, Denmark, and Finland have the same price per gig at 20-50 gig/month. http://bit.ly/Ambaninc Those and more in a wireless issue, soon come.  
Dean Brenner of Qualcomm is leading the LTE-U vs Wi-Fi spectrum grab with an audacity that makes the Donald and Hillary look like paragons of truth. Both Brenner and his Verizon backers agree that LTE-U should be blocked if it interferes with Wi-Fi. It does interfere, so now they are demanding the testing be rigged. The takeaway: One of the top wireless experts in the world says the standard should be set at “-85 dBm or -86 dBm,” based on test data. Qualcomm and Verizon want -65 dBm to -72 dBm, a huge difference on a log scale. 
Jochen Homann in Germany just gave Deutsche Telekom a monopoly, unfortunately the right move in the vectored DSL era. Competition doesn’t have to die. With unbundling the customer line now obsolete, the rules need massive change. 5G highband also is a competition killer; no one has a good idea what to do.   
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson leads probably the best management team in telecom. Odd that he told Commissioner Clyburn about his, “rapid deployment of 5G wireless technology in rural America.” Everyone knows 5G highband has a very short reach and will rarely be used outside dense areas - including his own engineers. Unless millions of people move to places like rural Georgia and Illinois, ain't gonna happen. http://bit.ly/RandallWTF
The CTIA show next week is loaded with new products. Speakers include Qi Bi, a former Bell Labs Fellow now leading research at China Telecom; Mingxi Fan and Matt Grob of Qualcomm; and AT&T’s new CTO, Andre Fuetsch. 
Do take a look at my draft, Next six years of wireless http://bit.ly/Next6yr I wrote it for some policy people drafting a U,N, document and I want to get it right.

*** Sckipio congratulates Calix and Windstream on the world’s first bonded G.fast deployment. They will deliver speeds up to 1 gigabit per second over existing copper infrastructure in Lincoln, Nebraska. http://bit.ly/2bkeSJ9 (ad) 

Why Cuts at Google Fiber: No one wants to switch, wireless and cable going to a gig http://bit.ly/Gnofib
If cable/DSL is good, people won't switch. Too many people read this as a rejection of fiber, which actually is expanding rapidly in America and the rest of the world. The real problem comes from being the third operator where the first two aren’t that bad. Kevin McLaughlin reported half the division (500 people)  is being dumped; unofficially, it's suggested that's not so.  The analysis stands. Google is struggling because people hate to switch. Cable in the U.S.  is mostly 50/5 today, going to a gig. LTE is also going to a gig, and 500+ megabit G.fast is deploying. 

I have 200/20 cable; Jennie 50/50 fiber. Both are rock solid and uncongested. TWC just ran for 70 hours upstream without falling below 20 meg. (Jennie does video and we’re backing up terabytes.)  Most people see no urgency to switch. I've had agony rearranging my home network and I'm in the business. Reported result: Cost per new customer blows out the economics. Fiber needs to win ?30% to 50% of the market. Google Kansas City five years ago looked like a moneymaker, confirmed by CFO Ruth Porat and Carlos Kirchner on Wall Street. Comcast and Cox, half the U.S., promise the gig download within two years.  AT&T and Century are hemorrhaging subscribers where they haven't upgraded their DSL. They are planning 15-20M upgrades to either fiber home or 500+ megabit G.fast  http://bit.ly/Gnofib

*** ASSIA's Cloudcheck for your mobile solves Wi-Fi problems, delivering a better, faster Internet. It tests, diagnoses, and remedies slow connections. Free from Apple's App Store and Google Play. http://forum.cloudcheck.net/ (ad)

U.S. Q2: Huge losses at telcos (-361K), huge gains at cable (+553K) http://bit.ly/Aretelcosdying
Singularity in half the U.S.? Cable is now 50/5 or higher for nearly everyone.  40% of the U.S. can't get more than 6 megabits from the telco. Another quarter are effectively limited to less than 16 megabits.  Q2, Cable totally clobbered DSL in the U.S., far beyond the any previous period. For several years, I frequently pointed out that telcos were doing fine in about ~50M homes with faster DSL (AT&T U-Verse, millions at Century) or fiber (Verizon FiOS.) The losses were coming in the about ~25M homes AT&T and Verizon hadn't upgraded in a decade or more. They intend to shut down landlines for most of them, expecting to be more profitable because many would switch to their wireless. Another quarter or two like this and the death march will be almost irreversible across the areas not upgraded. DSL is still beating cable in Canada, England, and France, so this wasn't inevitable. 
AT&T and Verizon have had to borrow to cover their dividend. They remain extremely profitable but not really enough to keep Wall Street satisfied. The regionals have been starving their networks for years. They are hurting,

Partial explanations:

  • Century/Qwest (-66K,) Frontier (-77K), and Windstream (-16K) have upgraded a modest fraction of their lines to VDSL and fiber and have plans to expand the upgrades. It may be too little, too late.
  • AT&T (-123K) has ~15M homes that have not been upgraded to U-Verse. They've been hemorrhaging customers for years in those areas. The loss of subs Q2 suggests even in the 30-33M U-Verse homes, customers are switching.
  • Verizon (-83K.) FiOS has some of the highest prices in the world, starting at $70. They have 10-15M homes with 10 year old DSL. Verizon's entire business model is based on higher prices because they are much better. Others are catching up both wired and wireless.  Much more data and analysis http://bit.ly/Aretelcosdying


*** Oct 7 CITI Columbia Online Video as the Disruptor 
Raul Katz of Columbia, who is doing pioneering work on the impact around the world of Internet giants; Matthias Kurth, whose "Kurth Solution" inexpensively brought broadband to rural Germany; Robert Pepper, the very policy guru at the FCC for a decade; and Columbia's Henning Schulzerinne, who just went to Washington for a spell as FCC Chief technologist. http://citisot2016.eventbrite.com (psa) Columbia's annual event is alway very strong. See you there.

Comcast promises "100% of advertised speeds, even during peak" http://bit.ly/per100cent
Shared networks can work remarkably well. I suspect there's a slight exaggeration here, but 97-99% would make most of us very happy. U.S. & U.K. government tests (SamKnows) have long demonstrated that most cable networks are darn close to 100% delivery. In 2014, FCC tests showed 95% of Comcast customers received between 109% and 119% of advertised upload speeds.

Across the U.S., AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are in a fierce marketing battle to the 400,000 new apartments added each year. Once you have fiber backhaul, the cost to add extra data capacity is usually very small. Most cablecos provision enough reserve capacity to very rarely slow down. Telcos claim their service is much better because it's not shared. That's bogus. more  http://bit.ly/per100cent

Comcast surprise: They are using fiber all the way instead of coax in two new developments. Liberty is using fiber home to some of the millions they are adding in England. Jay Rolls, rebuilding Cox New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, considered but ultimately rejected using fiber. Fiber may be the choice for new builds by the companies called "cable." 

*** Jeff Pulver presents MoNage / "The Age of Messaging on the Net" Boston Sept 20th - 22nd. Headliners include Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Yossi Vardi, whose company ICP was sold to AOL and became Instant Messenger. Two dozen more speakers will tell you what is to come and what they are building. http://www.monage.io/ (ad) Jeff’s VON conferences were legendary. Skype, Vonage and a hundred start-ups began at VON.

SDN Works! Adtran demo why AT&T is so committed http://bit.ly/SDNworks
SDN is object oriented programming brought to telco networks. Adtran showed an impressive but still early version at their press event. Named Mosaic, it is already managing G.fast at trials in 65 telcos. The 40 gig NG-PON2 units Verizon is testing also run under Mosaic. From a single console controlling more than a dozen pieces of equipment, Adtran showed they can run "Configure, Deploy and Activate" on any of the boxes, not all of which are made by Adtran. 

Their Huntsville SDN demo was along a long wall. To the left of the picture was an 8086 type of Linux PC, about $5,000 worth, running ONOS and Adtran's Mosaic software suite. Off the shelf boxes, 48x10G switches, 32x100G switches, and 16x10G PON OLTs were underneath. To the right of the monitor was an Adtran box running SHDSL; a 16 port G.fast box, 2 x 10 gig OLTs, 2 G.fast CPE, a carrier Ethernet unit, and gateways connected to the 10 gig PON. The switches were leaf and spine, from an obscure vendor in a white box. Much more in articles to come: 9 months at AT&T from plan to deployable system, AT&T is building their own GPON box; and the Broadband Forum is diving in hard. much more http://bit.ly/SDNworks

SDN human cost: 5K jobs at Cisco just the beginning http://bit.ly/sdnhumans
AT&T is cutting 80K jobs. Carriers are gung-ho for SDN/NFV because it will be more efficient. Tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs at telcos, cables, and suppliers. In the long run, the economy benefits from the increased productivity. But many of those fired will never get a decent position again, especially older workers. There are no easy answers. AT&T is paying for extensive employee retraining, hoping linemen can learn to be programmers for cloud computing. 

None of these cuts are related to today's SDN deployments, of which there are very few so far. Tough competition from Huawei is more important. But the companies are listening when AT&T's new CTO Andre Fuetsch warns, "Those who don't make the pivot will face a really rough road. This is going to be a really rough road." Bill Smith estimates AT&T is now buying three times as much capacity per dollar invested as four years ago.

Nick McKeown, Guru Parulkar, and a thousand others are building great software tools, but we also have to think about the people. More and a great photo by Dorothea Lange http://bit.ly/sdnhumans

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G.fast News

The time is now, as several carriers have moved from trials to deployment. Almost all MDU’s should now get G.fast, backhauled by fiber or wireless. Bonding delivers true speeds of a gigabit and next year Amendment 2 of the standard will deliver a gig on a single twisted pair. 

On the map bit.ly/GFcountry: The U.S. has moved from light blue (regional) to dark blue (incumbent confirmed) as Century, with 20M homes, has announced they are deploying. AT&T is pretty definite and Verizon  is looking hard. Italy is added in green (considering) because of newspaper reports but the big deal between Fastweb and Telecom is 35b with a fraction fiber.  bit.ly/GFcountry

*** Sckipio congratulates Calix and Windstream on the world’s first bonded G.fast deployment. They will deliver speeds up to 1 gigabit per second over existing copper infrastructure in Lincoln, Nebraska. http://bit.ly/2bkeSJ9 (ad) 

"G.fast is commercial." Half a dozen customers and thousands of ports from Calix http://bit.ly/gfcommercial
Calix has a half-dozen customers in "deployment," with a significant one about to announce. British Telecom told analysts they are about to finish their 25,000 "trial" and move forward with deploying 10M lines of G.fast. 

Calix believes their SDN platform AXOS  is helping them win accounts. 100 customers are running AXOS,  While AXOS is proprietary, Calix is contributing to ONOS, the open source SDN controller.  Adtran's Tom Stanton, also bringing a proprietary SDN to market, believes most telcos are following AT&T and moving their SDN/NFV efforts to ONOS and CORD or something very similar. It's easy for me to project that most SDN software will migrate to the Open Source standards. http://bit.ly/gfcommercia

*** Columbia CITI November 10 First Impressions for the New Administration and Congress: 
Online via Webex  12:00pm-2:00pm Registration http://citiagenda.eventbrite.com (psa)

Stealth mode 35b in Italy delivering 50-187 megabits http://bit.ly/35bFastweb
It's not vectored so speeds will go down as traffic goes up. 35b VDSL, probably from Huawei, has been deployed in towns across Italy by Fastweb/Swisscom. Deutsche Telekom has also chosen 35b, mostly from existing cabinets. They hope to turn it on late this year or early next. Italy has no cable, so Telecom Italia and Fastweb are mostly installing 35b rather than the more expensive G.fast or fiber. Why? Because they can. Most Italians have no choice but settle for whatever the monopoly offers.

35b gains speed from using frequencies from 2 MHz to 35 MHz. a total of 33 MHz. the earlier VDSL 17b runs from 2MHz to 17 MHz, only 15 MHz. G.fast and 35b deliver similar performance for 300-450 meters, but two or three times the speed below 200 meters. G.fast is consistently getting 500-800 megabits on short loops. The G.fast upstream can be much higher than 35b. The equipment is similar.The DSLAM prices in large volume should not be far apart considering the modest difference in the BOM. The bigger saving comes from the compatibility of 35b with 17b. That means the VDSL modems already in the field won't need to be replaced, as they would with G.fast. more http://bit.ly/35bFastweb

*** Unparalleled Upstream G.fast Performance with Sckipio’s Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation. 750Mbps on Speed Test in both upstream and downstream with Sckipio’s innovative dynamic bandwidth allocation over coax.  mwne.ws/2baO9yT (ad) 

35b: Greater than 200 megabits @ 300 meters http://bit.ly/35b200
More than a year late but now in acceptance trials at a large European carrier. Fastweb in Italy is actually in production with 35b VDSL getting 50-187 megabits down per consumer speed tests even without vectoring. With vectoring, Kevin Schneider’s lab tests at Adtran found “mid to high 200’s @ 1,000 feet.”  Talking with Kevin, I didn't sense any major anomalies in his testing at other distances. Adtran hopes to move to field trials in Q4 and soon after to deployment.

In theory, the 35b chips should have been an easy design modification, I was told, because they were so similar to the existing chips. If any reader knows what held them up for a year, please let me know. Anonymity assured.I made a mistake saying these were "First results." Alcatel's Paul Spruyt had published results from KPN testing I had missed. Much more, with details on 35b http://bit.ly/35b200

Live from New York. It's G.fast wireless backhaul http://bit.ly/gfastmm
Who needs fiber for G.fast? Skywire/Xchange has been using microwave for backhaul and commercial links, here in New York. They are putting G.fast into some of their building, using wireless to the roof rather than fiber to the basement. Siklu and Ericsson offer mmWave up to 5 gigabits with good latency.  Multi-gigabit radios are now priced in the thousands; Ubiquiti sells a pair of one gig units for $2K. Since Google bought Webpass everyone is thinking gigabit wireless to homes.  Webpass used wireless to the roof and then copper, often Cat 5 Ethernet, to reach the apartments, not wireless directly.  More http://bit.ly/gfastmm





briefs:

  • I hope Qualcomm doesn’t cut me off for the LTE-U; they have some of the world’s best engineers. The X16 LTE modem is leading the surge to gigabit LTE. Truth may be a defense for libel but they may not see it that way. Experience is that reporter bans are reversed over time, unless you’re the Donald.
  • Henry Blodgett’s tweet on taxes: Apple funnels profit through Irish subsidiary to dodge US taxes -- only to have Europe seize the money. Near farce.
  • Rick Merritt proved yet again he and colleague Junko Yoshida are among the ten best tech reporters with 19 Views of Hot Chips http://ubm.io/2bzQZxz . Read that and click over to some of Rick’s recent articles and you’ll have an insider’s view of the next five years of chips. If I had time, I’d write two articles Moore’s Law lives and Moore’s Law is dying, both true from different points of view. Scaling down chips is getting harder as 5 nm is almost atomic scale (Moore’s Law is dying.) But many other advances are continuing to improve performance and bring down prices (Moore’s Law lives.) I could write it simply from EE Times articles.
  • Ed Sperling also has a must read article at http://bit.ly/2bQsOKH . He quotes Zining Wu, CTO at Marvell “It costs $300 million to develop a new SoC at 16/14nm. Each chip will have to sell in volumes of 100 million just to break even.” Sperling finds an advanced new chip plants costs, “somewhere around $14 billion.” He sees most designs being aimed at the cost effective 28 nm and titles his article Stepping Back From Scaling. On the other hand, his colleague Mark Lapedus writes, “Chipmakers are currently ramping up 16nm/14nm finFET processes, with 10nm and 7nm just around the corner. The industry also is working on 5nm.”
  • China smartphone sales rebounded in Q2 after a terrible first quarter, according to Luke Lin of Digitimes. http://bit.ly/2bmhX5W He expects decent sales for the rest of the year as well. Some analysts are less optimistic. Whatever the exact figures, it’s clear that smartphone sales are far from earlier growth rates in China and the developed world. Just about every phone since the iPhone 5 does a decent job so people aren’t upgrading so fast. The second hand market has become huge as well. India is an exception, adding well over 100M/year after a slow start. Africa has strong growth as well.
  • Aamir Hussain, Century CTO, is presenting Wondering how to virtualize your core network? at the ICE Expo San Antonio Sept 20-22. ICE is the new name of  the former Outside Plant Magazine. Registration is free to most in the industry http://iseexpo.com/. Dozens of vendors actually working on network builds should make this a strong show.
  • Goodbye, AT&T legendary lobbyist Jim Cicconi. He’s retiring in favor of longtime colleague Bob Quinn. They’re breaking up his old gang, the 2+2=5 crowd. Verizon’s very persuasive Tom Tauke has given way to publicity shy Craig Silliman. Google’s powerful DC operative Susan Molinari is almost invisible. DC won’t be the same without Cicconi to kick around anymore. Jim, a senior aide to two Republican Presidents, shocked DC by saying he wouldn’t vote for Donald Trump.
  • Irrelevancy: The New York Times reports that “American intelligence officials wrongly concluded that [Abu Zubaydah] was a top-ranking leader of Al Qaeda.” His treatment during 14 years at Guantánamo is painful for any American to read. http://nyti.ms/2c3X9Wr

August 8

“It is alarming to hear that compromises on the test plan within this industry group could leave 50% of Wi-Fi connections at risk of disruption from LTE-U.” Michael Calabrese, OTI

Santa Clara, March 29. At Fast Net Futures, John Chapman pointed the way to gigabit cable back in the morning. John Cioffi’s keynote in the afternoon described gigabit DSL. Almost no one believed them. It was 2004. The audience was enraptured but few actually believed them. Today, I can report gigabit cable and gigabit DSL are shipping. Below, I report Tony Werner of Comcast promises gigabits “coast to coast” in 12 months. Windstream ordered bonded G.fast for a true gigabit to Lincoln, Nebraska. 

LTE is also going to a gigabit (shared) in 2016. SKT, probably using Qualcomm chips, is starting this year and will cover 90% of the country in 2018. While most of the world is moving rapidly to wireless speeds in the hundreds of megabits (shared), the U.S. and a few other countries are a technology generation behind. Lowell McAdam at Verizon is definitely moving fast (2018) to 5G highband for even higher speeds to homes, calling it wireless fiber. However His CFO has told Wall Street the total number of lines will be very few for years. (?2021-2025)

----------
29 March 2004 was also the first public demonstrations of 100 megabit VDSL, led by Behrooz Rezvani of Ikanos and Francois Crepin of Metalink. “It is historic that we now can inexpensively deliver 100 Mbps.” When I asked Randall Stephenson, today AT&T CEO, about 100 megabits, he looked at me like I was a madman and asked, “Why would anyone ever need more than 25 megabits?” AT&T is now demanding a true gigabit from G.fast.
Qualcomm just killed off Ikanos. Behrooz emails, “It’s a shame how it all came to an end.”

---------------------------
Adtran is flying press and analysts down to Huntsville, Alabama, and putting us up in the Westin. The highlight last year was dinner under a Saturn V in the museum.  Say hello to the round fellow with a beard.

"This year" for Gigabit LTE at SKT bit.ly/gigLTE2016
Qualcomm is sampling chips and expects devices this year. "Last year, we were the first to provide an LTE Service with a speed of 500 Mbps and this year we push that up to 1 Giga bps." Korea's SKT said on the investor call. AT&T & Sprint could also offer a gig by ~2018 according to my analysis of their spectrum holding, as could the new network in Rwanda. The gig (shared) requires 40-80 MHz more spectrum than most of today's LTE, which I believe many other telcos have or will soon acquire. 
Qualcomm's X16 LTE modem is now sampling and Basil El-Kadi tells me they expect commercial devices before yearend. SKT didn't announce their suppliers, but I believe Qualcomm is ahead of everyone else. It's been a very strong year for Qualcomm, who have delivered some outstanding chips.  To get to a gig, LTE-A features:

  • More bandwidth, 60-100 MHz in total (Carrier aggregation)
  • More antennas, 4x4 and 8x8 MIMO
  • More bits per signal, 256 QAM

Every informed LTE engineer knew that gigabit 4G (shared) was on the way since 3GPP put it on the roadmap around 2009. I get announcements of speeds of 100-450 megabits several times most weeks lately.  More bit.ly/gigLTE2016

*** Sckipio congratulates Calix and Windstream on the world’s first bonded G.fast deployment. They will deliver speeds up to 1 gigabit per second over existing copper infrastructure in Lincoln, Nebraska,  http://bit.ly/2aRCBjc (ad)

Tony Werner: In 12 months, Comcast will offer a gigabit coast-to-coast http://bit.ly/GigComcast
"Gigabit without a backhoe. ... We don't have to dig up the streets and can go incredibly fast. You're going to see us go coast-to-coast in the next 12 months," Comcast CTO Tony Werner. I'm guessing that Comcast has already upgraded the CMTS for millions of lines, ready to turn on large systems when they believe everything is ready. Cable supplier Arris expects substantial sales of DOCSIS 3.1 modems starting early next year, which is consistent with Tony's prediction. Note that the high speeds are likely to be download only. Upload looks mostly to be 90% slower. Cablecos seem to be choosing not to do the advanced splits for DOCSIS 3.1 upstream, preferring instead to wait for "full duplex." That's years from mass deployment.  
Werner went on to point out why Comcast (and other incumbents) have a huge advantage in highband 5G. "They want to use very high frequencies ... with that, you need very deep fiber and a great backhaul network. [Cable] is positioned very well because of our underlying infrastructure." However, high frequency 5G is a competition killer, at least as proposed by AT&T and Verizon. Wide Open West, #6 U.S. cableco, Mediacom, #5 are going gigabit (LR).  #3, Cox, has told me they will soon be moving very aggressively. Charter, Time Warner & Cablevision will likely do similar now that the mergers are done.http://bit.ly/GigComcast

*** Your customers have questions on Wi-Fi. ASSIA has answers. Cloudcheck for Carriers solves Wi-Fi problems, delivering a better, faster Internet. It tests, diagnoses, and remedies slow connections.  Result: Happy customers, lower churn, and a large reduction in call center costs. http://www.assia-inc.com (ad)

Hedge fund billionaire Paulson backing Chicago AT&T competitor Layer3 http://bit.ly/2b7FGus
From Lincoln, Nebraska to San Francisco, fiber builds are beginning. Layer3 is offering a 4K set top with up to three terabytes, apparently designed to connect wirelessly to a simple network interface device. That avoids needing to wire in the home, which Fran Shammo says is often the largest cost in a Fios connection. They are about to launch in a Chicago neighborhood and are also hiring installers in Alexandria, Virginia. Cable tech legend Dave Fellows and partner Jeff Binder have raised $100M, hoping that Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T have loads of unhappy customers who will switch. Paulson is a gambler who made $4B betting that triple-A rated mortgage bonds would default in 2008. Altice has also put in cash.
Google is confident they will take 30-40% of the market in Kansas and make money, inspiring others. Dozens of well-funded outfits have gone bust hoping to succeed as a third broadband provider in U.S. cities. Serious money is betting things are different.http://bit.ly/2b7FGus

Qualcomm's Brenner: LTE-U may go nowhere because it can't pass interference tests (First look) bit.ly/LTEUdie
This is a big one. The telcos want to take as much as half of the Wi-Fi spectrum. The WI-Fi Alliance draft test spec is -82 dBm; Verizon wants -72 dBm. Neutral parties think -82 dBm is much too high. These are log scales; even a few dBm are a big difference. Mike Calabrese, one of the best in D.C. claims Verizon-Qualcomm LTE-U plans will interfere with as many as half the Wi-Fi connections unless it backs away well below -80 dBm. He uses the chart here from Broadcom, which I'm told is based on CableLabs data. New York City says testing on their fast-building LinkNYC discovers problems unless LTE-U backs away if there are signals down to -90 dBm. 
Dean Brenner of Qualcomm put out an angry statement that -82 dBm would kill LTE-U, even though neutral parties think it already is too much of a compromise. Brenner himself has said LTE-U should only be approved if it didn't harm Wi-Fi. If the data above are accurate, the harm is clear. Qualcomm sent me a presentation they say refutes the data. http://bit.ly/2aTPvdR I haven’t been able to get expert opinion before I had to send this issue. I didn’t want to delay, because the testing is about to begin and many of the facts haven’t yet been reported. If Qualcomm has proven that 72 dBm will adequately protect Wi-Fi, then the article is irrelevant. That’s why I called this a First Look. Much more, including the voting process, the tests to come, and the government role http://bit.ly/LTEUdie


Gfast News, soon a separate publication 

The G.fast map bit.ly/GFcountry
Firm commitments from incumbent: BT (10M), Belgacom, Swisscom, Austria, Bezeq Israel, Chunghwa Taiwan
Smaller carriers are committed in U.S., Canada, Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan
Incumbents are highly likely in France, Germany, Australia. Panama
Please email me updates This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Much more, including country by country details, bit.ly/GFcountry

*** Sckipio congratulates Calix and Windstream on the world’s first bonded G.fast deployment. They will deliver speeds up to 1 gigabit per second over existing copper infrastructure in Lincoln, Nebraska,  http://bit.ly/2aRCBjc (ad)

Qualcomm fires everyone and shuts down Ikanos bit.ly/ikanosgone
The rumor is true - yet one more extraordinary chip outfit is gone. August 1, the entire division was told they are out of work on August 22. Qualcomm was hopeful when they bought Ikanos last August. G.fast chips, the remaining hope, are starting to sell, but neither the market nor the chips Ikanos has been working on developed quickly enough. There is little joy in Red Bank, where some of the last great engineers in the Bell Labs tradition continued to work on DSL. A little more bit.ly/ikanosgone

*** Broadbandtrends Global Service Provider Survey - G.fast Deployment Strategies. A 28-page report supported by interviews with 35 operators in all major regions, representing 43 percent of all active DSL lines at the end of 2015. http://bit.ly/2aylr7K (ad) Teresa Mastrangelo has long been a key broadband analyst. The report is priced for corporate buyers.

Bonded G.fast true gigabit is shipping from Calix bit.ly/gfastbond
Calix is now shipping AXOS G.fast nodes ready to bond two 500-800 megabit G.fast lines for true speeds over a megabit. Local company Allo in Lincoln has begun building a $100M fiber network, inspiring Windstream to become the first North American to order G.fast.  They want to go as fast as possible. Allo is already building and claim demand is off the charts.
While a gigabit is theoretically possible from a single line of G.fast today, real world performance is more likely 500-800 megabits. Speeds will get much better next year. bit.ly/gfastbond

*** ASSIA's Cloudcheck for your mobile solves Wi-Fi problems, delivering a better, faster Internet. It tests, diagnoses, and remedies slow connections. Free from Apple's App Store and Google Play.http://forum.cloudcheck.net/ (ad)

BT's cost for 10M lines offered G.fast:~$1.2B bit.ly/GFBTbil
These are my estimates, not from BT. I combined Andrew Ferguson's mapping results with cost estimates from several industry sources. Carriers use DSL instead of fiber because it's much cheaper, with likely costs of $100-$300 for the gear and installation. Even so, I was amazed when I calculated the BT cost for 10M homes servable. It's probably less than ~$300M/year for four years. A single board, with perhaps 48-96 ports, would make G.fast available to the hundreds of homes connected. If demand exceeds the board capacity, the increased revenue would more than cover the cost of additional boards.
That's a heckuva of money to you and me, but a very small investment for a company the size of British Telecom. ~$300M is ~1% of revenue and 10% of the capital budget. The original plan, FTTdp, would probably have cost five times as much. Running fiber close to everyone would cost more than the equipment. Going to the existing cabinets saves that cost, although the change drops many people's speeds from 500-750 megabits to 100-300 megabits. Much more bit.ly/GFBTbil

BT Data: G.fast working for 75% bit.ly/GF75work
Early this year, 75% of the G.fast lines in BT's trial are delivering > 300Mbps downstream and 30-50Mbps upstream, Trevor Linney told the Paris G.fast Summit. The majority of lines are less than 150 meters. 17% of the lines delivered between 200 & 300 megabits; 10% 100-200 megabits; 3%, 100 megabits.
On one hand, that proves the stuff works. On the other hand, it points out that problems need to be solved for good results for everyone. As I write this in early August, I'm sure many of the problems have been solved. bit.ly/GF75work

*** G.fast equipment makers Nokia/Alcatel, Huawei, Adtran, Calix, Gfast News will be the very best place to reach your customers. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a very attractive offer. Ads, webinars, email blasts, industry reviews and almost anything else except changes in the reporting. (ad)  Next issue in two weeks

350,000 homes: NetCologne chooses G.fast rather than fiber bit.ly/GFNetCol
Deutsche Telekom is demanding a monopoly where they upgrade to 30-100 megabit vectored VDSL; City-owned Netcologne is instead offering 500 megabit+ G.fast. Technical Officer Horst Schmitz tells Golem.de they will connect 250,000 homes in 2017 and another 100,000 after that. Reserving the first 22 MHz for DT or other VDSL cuts speeds by ~100 megabits; giving NetCologne and Munich's MNet means faster speeds for consumers. bit.ly/GFNetCol

*** G.FASTER. Achieve up to 2Gbps with Sckipio’s new bonded G.fast solution. Sckipio. (ad)

Fraunhofer model: G.fast improvements will raise speeds 30-200 megabits bit.ly/GFfraun
BT has found success in the lab by upping the power, adding more bits/carrier, and modifying the Power Spectral Density. The standard is being revised and the chipmakers are working furiously. Blue and green lines in the chart project the results from a model by Daniel Hincapie and Mathias Leibiger of Fraunhofer, presented in an EE Times article. A map is not the territory and simulations are not working chips, of course.
Their simulation projects an improvement of 150-200 megabits at loops under 100 meters, typical in apartment buildings. At 300-350 meters, BT's target distance, the newer units may raise speeds 20-40 megabits. Above 400 meters, there is little difference expected. oKevin Foster of BT strongly endorsed the changed standard, which is based on testing by his colleague Trevor Linney. bit.ly/GFfraun

*** G.FURTHER Deliver over G.fast with bonding for 300 meters – the fastest in the world at that distance. Sckipio (ad)

Magical thinking: Windstream CEO Thomas expects 200-300 megabits 600-1200 meters bit.ly/GFmagic
World leader British Telecom is praying they'll get 200-300 meg at 400 meters. Thomas told investors he will get double the reach and more. Even with bonding, that's somewhere between highly unlikely and impossible. Sean Buckley quotes, "G.fast amendment 2 has a lot of potential and we're working with our vendors to make sure that can go into the products as we look towards 2017," Thomas said. "You'll be able to get 200-300 Mbps speeds at further distances of 2,000 to 3,500 feet from the home." The expectation at 1200 meters would be closer to 50 megabits - iff the technology improves. bit.ly/GFmagic

*** G.DENSER Provision up to 100 residences at half the price with Sckipio’s new 32-port DPU design and Simpler Network’s ADF. (ad)

FPGA + ARM core G.fast DSLAM controller bit.ly/GFarmcore
Ethernity going for 48 port DSLAMs. You need a heckuva lot of processing power when you are pushing 10-20 gigabits through a DSLAM. The company has been supplying network/flow processors for Ethernet controllers and similar for more than a decade. They are using Xilinx's Zynq with dual ARM cores for control with programmable gate arrays for the dedicated application. The chip can also be delivered in a lower power, lower cost version. Ethernity has a 2.7W  offering combining switch, traffic manager and CPU subsystem. bit.ly/GFarmcore

*** Rethink Internet of Things (RIoT) announces Rethink OTT Intelligence. ROI produces 150 reports per year detailing Operators, Vendors and Broadcasters across the globe. $1800/year. EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to subscribe. (ad) Faultline/Rethink IoT intends "to grow into the leading provider of IoT news and analysis." Their free newsletter is excellent. 

Policy 

Trump's Blind Internet platform http://bit.ly/trumpblind
Strickling's great accomplishment was to hand the DNS to our chosen people at ICANN, but the Trump platform says it’s going to the Chinese and Russian governments. After Snowden, there was no way the rest of the world was going to accept the current U.S. (symbolic) control of the Internet. Larry's brilliant plan was to convince people that ICANN, controlled by Americans and a few Europeans, was "independent" and represented a "multi-stakeholder" equivalent to democracy. 

Anyone not blind can look at the board of ICANN pictured and see they aren't Russian and Chinese bureaucrats. Several have been employed by the U.S. and Swiss governments and others by U.S. companies. The handful from other parts of the world generally have strong financial ties to the U.S. and Europe. A third of the Internet is Chinese but no one from China is here. The Trump platform on this is hogwash. 

Readers should know I strongly oppose Donald Trump. I also believe Hilary Clinton has made many "politician's compromises." She has a $million class telco lobbyist on her tech team. Both platforms have contradictions and unreal expectations.

Hillary Clinton is hated by 42% of Americans. That gives her a major edge over Trump, hated by 50%. More, including the platform text, http://bit.ly/trumpblind

Stories worth writing: 5G is a money loser into next decade;  LTE is faster than DSL in many countries and taking customers; Deutsche Telekom’s strategy is to combine LTE & DSL for competitive speeds; AT&T’s 110K sub loss is a milestone towards abandoning 10 million+ wired homes; Orange France Telecom + Spain is the biggest wireless net in Europe (14M passed); 35B “super-vectoring” test gear is available, over a year late; Verizon is considering using fiber & highband 5G in San Francisco, taking on AT&T; In Germany and Italy, Vodafone is hoping the regulator will give them a good deal on sharing because they decided they don’t have the finances for the fiber build they have been promising; The million dollar telco lobbyist on Hillary's team; The U.S. program for 500M fewer internet users; the $100M cover-up at U.S. RUS; SIM registration rules clobber African mobile figures, Eastern Europe next; Does $50B debt mean Sprint has no future?; MTN proves African multinationals can be just as corrupt;  ITU wants to take over IoT

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Volume 16, #5 August 8, 2016



Until you have many people using the Internet, and many companies providing the service, causing competition, you will not see a significant lowering of price. Andrew Rugege. My question: What do you when competition is impractical? 

Mukesh Ambani intends to bring 100M Indians to LTE within the year. I estimate 400-600M more Indians will soon have a decent Internet connection. In the single month of June, China Mobile connected 3M homes to fiber and 19M LTE smartphones. CM expects 500M LTE lines by the end of this year. 2/3rds or more of China’s ~270M wired broadband users are on fiber. Both China and India  will soon have more net users than the U.S. and Western Europe combined have people. In 2 or 3 years, Africa will connect more than the U.S. has population.

Most will be mobile. 84% of Facebook’s $6.2 billion Q2 ad sales were mobile and Google is soon over half. These two companies are 43% of the ~$200B digital ad market, something the rest of the world needs to change. Protecting these two is now the primary goal of U.S. policy, so long as our surveillance needs are met.  

Speeds are skyrocketing. I report below the world’s first order of bonded gigabit DSL. China’s speeds have recently gone up 50% to ~30 megabits. Every day, I get a release about another country raising LTE to 100-300 megabits (shared.) Qualcomm is sampling gigabit wireless chips and expects deployments this year. 

But the Internet is not great for the 5,000 about to be fired at SFR/Altice and the tens of thousands going at Nokia, Ericsson, and Verizon. Technology is getting so much more efficient, especially in telecom, that far fewer people are needed. College professors will likely soon be decimated and a third of journalists have lost their jobs. No easy answers here.

Wednesday, I’ll have a special on G.fast; a 5G wireless special will come soon after. My readers include most of the senior people buying equipment. It’s time for me to sell some ads.  

100M subscribers for Reliance's $22B pan-India, very cheap LTE http://bit.ly/JIO100M
Giving away three months of unlimited data to win customers. Samsung bundles Jio's offer; Apple and everyone else likely soon. Over 1.5M have already signed on, using a remarkable 26 gigabytes/month each. Most prices will be under $10.  Jio is already one of the world's largest networks, covering a population of over 800M. They have built 250,000 kilometers of fiber. http://bit.ly/JIO100M Also: LTE phones from $45 http://bit.ly/LTE45

*** Your customers have questions on Wi-Fi. ASSIA has answers. Cloudcheck for Carriers solves Wi-Fi problems, delivering a better, faster Internet. It tests, diagnoses, and remedies slow connections.  Result: Happy customers, lower churn, and a large reduction in call center costs. http://www.assia-inc.com (ad)

3M fiber, 19M LTE June adds: China Mobile's broadband mensis mirabilis http://bit.ly/chinafiberlte
China is now 1/3rd of the broadband Internet. Over 240M are now connected by fiber. The 3M added by CM in June was more than the entire rest of the world. China Telecom added 590,000, China Unicom 250,000, and China Mobile 3,189,000, for a total net gain over 4M. 

China Telecom's landline broadband total is 118M, Unicom 74M, and Mobile 66M. Add about 20M for the smaller operators and the total is 278M. That's more than the EU 28 (166M) combined with the U.S. (103M). LTE in China in July reached 600M subscriptions. China will have over 800M LTE subscriptions at the end of the year. More, and chart http://bit.ly/chinafiberlte

*** Rethink Internet of Things (RIoT) announces Rethink OTT Intelligence. ROI produces 150 reports per year detailing Operators, Vendors and Broadcasters across the globe. $1800/year. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to subscribe. (ad) Faultline/Rethink IoT intends "to grow into the leading provider of IoT news and analysis." Their free newsletter is excellent. 

Verizon earnings didn't cover the dividend http://bit.ly/VZstrategy
The strike contributed but fundamental problems remain. They have been cutting capex since 2007 and they no longer have a major edge in quality. VZ is and will be a very profitable company, but maybe not worth $200B. Wireless data growth is way down (< 40%) as I've been forecasting for several years. 5G Highband will start rolling for fixed wireless in 2018, but probably slowly. It will not add to earnings until well into next decade. The CFO forecasts very slow revenue growth. McAdam thinks best quality, video and IoT growth, and large content revenue will solve these problems. I raise doubts.  Much more http://bit.ly/VZstrategy

99% of mobile will not be millimeter wave 5G in 2021: http://bit.ly/5Gonepercent
Ovum's Mike Roberts projects highband at 1% in 2121. MU-MIMO and Massive MIMO - in sub 6 GHz frequencies - will almost certainly be more important into the next decade. Spectrum for 28 GHz and other bands makes sense. Thinking it will impact within five years is pure hype.

The most aggressive promoters of millimeter wave - Verizon, NTT, Korea Telecom - have been clear: trials only until 2020-2024. VZ CFO Fran Shammo made a point of telling Wall Street that the actual deployment will be so small it won't affect capital spending for years. 

Highband will be damn important later. VZ is very serious about using 28 GHz to replace the 10 million lines of copper they want to shut down. The cost of so many cells and backhaul is the big drawback.  Highband is a competition killer; unless near-monopolies are acceptable, very strong measures will be required. Governments have their heads buried in the sand. "It's an incumbent's game," a major CTO tells me. http://bit.ly/5Gonepercent

mmWave would not be happening without Ted Rappaport 
Five years ago,  almost no one believed it practical. His team made thousands of measurements across New York City, concluding with a seminal paper in 2013, "5G Cellular: It Will Work!" His enthusiasm and effective promotion made the difference. Ted won't be happy I'm reporting a long path to highband profits, I suspect, although he also did important work on MIMO and advanced Wi-Fi. Both are coming soon. http://bit.ly/5gwillwork

The sleeper here is the 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum around 60 GHz WiGig. That's coming in a few years in mobile phone chips and could be game changing. 

***  August 3rd from Columbia Citi: E-Ed-Ec: The State of the Online Academic Sector and its Regulation 12:00pm-2:10pm An Online Video Conference. In honor of Glenn Jones, a pioneer of both cable TV and online learning. (psa) Catch Clinton telecom advisor Kevin Werbach, on a panel with the always interesting Eli Noam. Over 100,000 enrolled in Kevin's gamification MOOC at Coursera.

China tower sharing: One network to rule them all http://bit.ly/onenetchina
The world is starting to remember that building one network is cheaper than building 2, 3, 4, or 7.  Competition is great where it works, but building duplicate networks is very expensive.  Savings will range from 20% to 55%. The tower company intends to IPO next year.

Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman believes telecom networks are a natural monopoly. So did nearly every economist for 50 years. Reality is more nuanced. Monopolies are usually wasteful and slow progress. Regulation doesn't often work well. More, including the complete filing http://bit.ly/onenetchina

Also: Unbundling obsolete in the age of vectoring: an inconvenient truth http://bit.ly/unbundlingnofuture

*** ASSIA's Cloudcheck for your mobile solves Wi-Fi problems, delivering a better, faster Internet.
It tests, diagnoses, and remedies slow connections. Free from Apple's App Store and Google Play. http://forum.cloudcheck.net/ (ad)

$45-$100 Decent LTE Phones from Reliance Jio http://bit.ly/LTE45 
The time has come for almost all new phones to be with speeds in the megabits+. The parts cost is only $5-15 more than 3G; the operator more than makes up for that with OPEX and spectrum savings. Ambani's $45 LTE phone has a quad-core processor, 4" screen, and performance that matches the iPhones that made people happy a few years ago. China Mobile and Verizon are rapidly pushing all customers to 4G. China Mobile is projecting 500M LTE subs by the end of the year and added 19M in June.

What will the world be like when Africa has more net users than America, India far more than Europe, and China more than a billion? One change will be all companies will have to become multilingual.  All LYF phones come with ten languages. More, including a handsome picture, http://bit.ly/LTE45

*** G.fast chipmakers Sckipio, Broadcom, Ikanos & Metanoia. Gfast News will be the very best place to reach your customers. EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a very attractive offer. Ads, webinars, email blasts, industry reviews and almost anything else except changes in the reporting. (ad) First issue next Wednesday.

AT&T fiber taking on other telcos http://bit.ly/ATTOUT
Windstream, Fairpoint watch out. T plans 12M lines of fiber to the premises (including G.fast), including some out of territory. U.S. telcos and cablecos have had a de facto non-compete since 2001. AT&T, France Telecom, and Telefonica have discovered that fiber costs are down in favorable locations. Fiber in some places can be run for < $500/home; in others, the cost is $4,000-$5,000. It's a great business if you can cherry pick areas with low costs and weak competition. Verizon replied by suggesting they would do fiber/highband wireless in AT&T's San Francisco. 

AT&T and Verizon are simultaneously looking to shut down their network to 10M-15M high cost homes, switching everyone to wireless.http://bit.ly/ATTOUT

Barack Obama: Omar Mateen was“inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet”. (NYT). 
Tough censorship battle inevitable. Google, Facebook & Twitter will be in the crosshairs as they have dominant share. You don’t need me to point to the slippery slope. 

Even the center-left Guardian writes, “It is beyond argument that digital media – long unchallenged as a boon to mankind – has brought real evils in its train, including the persistent anonymous harassment of Cox and other public figures. In some respects, it has taken British politics back to the hysteria of Dickens’ Eatanswill. It has licensed attitudes once kept under wraps in the home, pub and club. It has liberated the sick to persecute the good. When social media turns antisocial, some policing regime is urgently needed.”

Irrelevancy: From the MIT Technology Review: Gene Therapy is curing hemophilia  It’s only four patients but exciting. bit.ly/1UIK2Dz  From The Lancet. Multiple Sclerosis may have been cured in 23 patients. “With up to 13 years of follow-up after aHSCT, no relapses occurred and no Gd enhancing lesions or new T2 lesions were seen on 314 MRI sequential scans.” http://bit.ly/1U4vFPx A Canadian team used stem cells after knocking out the immune system.The treatment is so dangerous one patient died. Both are still unproven and not for everyone. Very expensive.


*** G.fast equipment makers Nokia/Alcatel, Huawei, Adtran, Calix, Gfast News will be the very best place to reach your customers. EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a very attractive offer. Ads, webinars, email blasts, industry reviews and almost anything else except changes in the reporting. (ad) First issue next Wednesday.

Gfastnews.com articles include:
Magical thinking: Windstream CEO Thomas expects 200-300 megabits 600-1200 meters http://bit.ly/GFmagic ; BT's cost for 10M lines offered G.fast:~$1.2B http://bit.ly/GFBTbil ; BT Data: G.fast working for 75% http://bit.ly/GF75work; 350,000 homes: NetCologne chooses G.fast rather than fiberhttp://bit.ly/GFNetCol; Bonded G.fast is shipping from Calix  http://bit.ly/gfastbond; Fraunhofer model: G.fast improvements will raise speeds 30-200 megabits http://bit.ly/GFfraun ; FPGA + ARM core G.fast DSLAM controller http://bit.ly/GFarmcore 

Stories worth writing: 5G is a money loser into next decade;  LTE is faster than DSL in many countries and taking customers; Deutsche Telekom’s strategy is to combine LTE & DSL for competitive speeds; AT&T’s 110K sub loss is a milestone towards abandoning 10 million+ wired homes; Orange France Telecom + Spain is the biggest wireless net in Europe (14M passed); 35B “super-vectoring” test gear is available, over a year late; Verizon is considering using fiber & highband 5G in San Francisco; In Germany and Italy, Vodafone is hoping the regulator will give them a good deal on sharing because they decided they don’t have the finances for the fiber build they have been promising; The million dollar telco lobbyist on Hillary's team; The U.S. program for 500M fewer internet users; the $100M cover-up at U.S. RUS; SIM registrations clobber African mobile figures, Eastern Europe next; Does $50B debt mean Sprint has no future; MTN proves African multinationals can be just as corrupt; Hillary's tech platform empty cliches, Trump's telecom platform written by someone blind. 

briefs

  • AT&T reported they have 70,000 cell sites in the U.S. and Mexico, consistent with the 50,000-60,000 Verizon mentioned. We have a very sparse network for a developed country, with about half as many towers as Spain. China Mobile has over a million cell sites, heading to 1.1M the end of the year. That’s approximately eight times Verizon and AT&T combined, although the population is only 4.3 times as large.
  • What spectrum shortage? “We have about 150 MHz of spectrum in our portfolio today, including 40 MHz of relatively untapped AWS and WCS spectrum.” CFO John Stephens http://bit.ly/2acZOtf
  • (Inside D.C.) Tom Wheeler can work on his legacy, but most of his FCC colleagues are more concerned with their next job. The FCC Chair will likely be replaced by the new President; the new Chair will likely bring in new bureau chiefs and senior staff. Wheeler is 70 and wealthy and can do as he pleases.

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Volume 16, #4 July 29, 2016

5G and wireless - below

Gfast news supplement (G.fast is working)

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“They're on!” The irrepressible Jennie Bourne connecting to one of the first of 7,500 gigabit free Wi-Fi kiosks here in New York. Bottoms-up networks are an existential threat to the giant telcos.

Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO, is scared. New York City is building 7,500 gigabit Wi-Fi kiosks that make LTE unneeded across much of the city. NYC is opposing his plan to grab half the Wi-Fi spectrum for four telcos. (LAA) 80%-90% of IoT, his promised future growth, is going Wi-Fi. Wall Street has declared VZ's balance sheet “well outside of what is typically considered investment grade.” With capacity up 1,000%, every city should build a Wi-Fi network. 
-------------------------

May 19 was a great day for the Internet as 200-800 megabit G.fast came of age at the Paris Summit. It works, although some challenges remain. 90+% of the developed world can be reached affordably at over 250 megabits, via G.fast, cable and soon fixed wireless. 

Gigabit DOCSIS and 10 gigabit fiber home are shipping. Two telcos recently demonstrated gigabit wireless using 4G; wireless engineers have known gigabit 4G was coming since 2009. With more powerful MU MIMO, 100+ megabit wireless will become common. LTE Advanced claims peak download rates of 2.99 gigabits, using 100 MHz and eight antennas. Practical phones with peak rates of 450 megabits are shipping. Gigabit units are ready to come out of the labs.

The Third Internet is almost here. More Africans than Americans connected, the center is moving to Asia, and speeds are far beyond what video requires. 
--------------------------

Politicians deserve satire.  Below, excerpts from gnoblog.org, which needs your ideas.

*** Rethink Internet of Things (RIoT) announces Rethink OTT Intelligence. ROI produces 150 reports per year detailing Operators, Vendors and Broadcasters across the globe. $1800/year. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to subscribe. (ad) Faultline/Rethink IoT intends "to grow into the leading provider of IoT news and analysis." Their free newsletter is excellent. 

Free Gigabit Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers can change almost everything bit.ly/296PKiX
7,500 good-looking kiosks are going up, which will cover most of the city. Today's WiFi has 10x the capacity and success is likely. Google and Qualcomm are leading the $300M build and they are coming on fast. Adding Wi-Fi outdoors to everyone's home/office Wi-Fi means most New Yorkers will need very little LTE data except when out driving. That saves money, eliminates any spectrum shortage, and is an existential threat to companies like Verizon. Much more, including maps and a picture,  bit.ly/296PKiX
Doug Rushkoff calls LinkNYC a “personalized propaganda engine” in a well-researched story by Nick Pinto http://bit.ly/googleppe
New York wants to torpedo LTE-U/LAA at standards. bit.ly/296PHar
Today's WiFi can work at -72 dBm and even -90 dBm bit.ly/291vrCr

Hock Tan: Broadcom's worrying about shortages http://bit.ly/HockTan
Don’t panic.  Shortage fears can lead to over-ordering and create a real shortage. Unless people panic, the problem is unlikely to be more than a few weeks delay in an order.  Broadcom is the largest supplier of chips for both DSL & cable. http://bit.ly/HockTan (Update - latest reports including Digitimes see a flood of orders to the chip foundries. Whether true growth or just safety buying is unclear.)

Chips: Negative 2016, only +3% growth last five years http://bit.ly/chipsgodown
Outside of China, the entire industry may have been negative for years. For the last five years, growth has been only ~3%. For ten, only ~4%. After inflation, everything is stagnant. For 2016, the new forecast is -2.4%. China has committed $60B plus and will take share. http://bit.ly/chipsgodown (see chart)

Cisco: Historic fall in Internet growth to (as low as) 15% http://bit.ly/netgrowthhalved
U.S. & Canada fixed 2016 +22%, 2020 +15%, after a decade of 40%/year. Cisco estimates 2016 worldwide mobile growth to be 68%. They expect that to fall to 41% in 2020 with U.S. lower. Much more http://bit.ly/netgrowthhalved 

Susan Ness, Karen Kornbluh the early favorites for Clinton FCC Chair. http://bit.ly/Nesskornbluh
Ness is a former FCC Commissioner, Kornbluh was Obama’s Senate Policy Chief. Both are pragmatic, just like Hillary. Tony Romm at Politico traced Ness’ Clinton ties back to fundraising in 1992. He identified Alec Ross, Ben Scott, Jennifer Pahlka, Bruce Gottlieb, Rebecca Arbogast, Kevin Werbach, Phil Weiser and Tom Power as working with the campaign. I know almost all of them; they are intelligent, experienced and hardworking insiders but not change agents.  http://bit.ly/Nesskornbluh

Unbundling obsolete in the age of vectoring: an inconvenient truth http://bit.ly/unbundlingnofuture 
Sharon White can raise Internet speeds across Britain by 100 megabits with smart policy.  BT's promised 10M lines of G.fast are not using the first 22 MHz of spectrum, in the name of protecting competition. It won't work for long; the 200-800 megabit speeds of BT G.fast and Virgin cable will crush the 20-50 megabits of the others.
Allowing BT to use the spectrum below 22 MHz raises everyone's speeds by about 100 megabits. That doesn't mean competition has to die. BT would control from the DSLAM home, required for  efficient vectoring. From the DSLAM to the Internet, everything would be unbundled and shared. 
Consumers and all the companies gain, except the cable guys. White would need to broker a sharing price that works for all, but the larger pie makes that practical. Competition would be better protect and have a much faster offering to sell. 
White would be a Solomon if she raises England's Internet speeds at almost no cost. She'd be a fool to pass this up. At least one worldscale telco confirms the technology works. Time to fix the politics. http://bit.ly/unbundlingnofuture 


*** The Eleventh HOPE July 22-24, 2016 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan, New York City.  Hackers on Planet Earth is  a remarkable event. Guests range from Richard Stallman to a 16 year old Chinese lockpicking master, with dozens of Professors, top civil liberties lawyers, unlikely musicians and special guests. One previous speaker had to video in from Moscow, Always interesting. Last few $150 tickets http://bit.ly/2aaGpbg (psa) Joly is streaming http://bit.ly/HOPEXIlive

5GW News (Issue soon to follow)

*** CommsDay Wholesale and Datacentre Summit 2016 Tuesday, 19 July 2016  Sydney, This will be the fifth year Australia's top  datacentre, wholesale network and subcable operators are meeting. It's a $billion business. Register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/commsday-wholesale-and-datacentre-summit-2016-tickets-25368006390 (Ad) Like all CommsDay events, everyone in Australia's industry will be there.

Gfast news - soon a special pub

“Trevor Linney and Peter Bell of British Telecom are heroes,” My introduction to the leads on BT’s 10M line G.fast project.

Huawei, Nokia Alcatel: We're ready to ship but there's still work to do http://bit.ly/gfastships
Paul Spruyt and Thierry Valette have G.fast production gear ready. Broadcom and Sckipio are shipping chips. The rest is mostly standard parts. The leading vendors have equipment for anyone who orders it. Spruyt notes the industry is, "building more field experience, fine tuning technology, tracking the Amendments to the G.fast standard and [taking] the usual time for operators to prepare their networks for volume deployment." British Telecom, now on the way to 25,000 homes in their trials, hopes to move rapidly late this year or early next. Others may be a little later coming out of trials. Much morehttp://bit.ly/gfastships

(Many ads here. please. This ill be the single most effective way to reach buyers in G.fast.)

Adtran Demo: 750 Meg & DTA (prestandard) http://bit.ly/Adtran750
Telcos could have a massive advantage in upstream speed. This "dynamic time slot allocation" (DTA) demonstrated by Adtran worked over coax. The engineers are confident they will soon be able to deliver 750 up, 750 down on coax. Their companies have promised that to AT&T, which acquired coax systems with DirecTV. Vectoring a DTA system in typical telco multi-line binders is much more challenging. http://bit.ly/Adtran750

Metanoia has G.fast chips http://bit.ly/metanoiagfast
Working with Huawei. Metanoia, also known as Yi Chung, stays under the radar but they continue active in technical fora. They have participated in the UNH-BBF plugfests. Spec sheets and more http://bit.ly/metanoiagfast

Ikanos, Finally http://bit.ly/1Q5pPMf
Now sampling. Ikanos has a slew of first quality engineers, led by Debu Pal. Hopes are high for their chips. No carriers discussed using the chip, but it has a natural role replacing VDSL at NTT, which has several million lines of fiber to the basement.  I'd expect the tight supply at Broadcom and their large cutback in research is inspiring people to make sure they have a second source http://bit.ly/1Q5pPMf

Towards 212: Dong Wei's non-linear precoding or Jochen Maes' optimized linear? http://bit.ly/1PuheND
Brilliant engineers disagree. As g.fast extends to 212 MHz, noise on the line becomes increasingly difficult to tame. There is more noise than signal. Dong, of Huawei, had presented the idea of non-linear pre-coding previously. Next,  Jochen Maes of Nokia Alcatel came next to the podium and contended that “optimized linear” coding is best. We need field data. http://bit.ly/1PuheND

TNO Ultrabroadband Den Haag http://bit.ly/TNO2016
John MacDonald presented BT test data June 28. G.fast works almost as promised for most customers but 5-20% of lines currently fall short. Robin Mersh, Kevin Foster, and Tom Starr of the Broadband Forum are expanding their work to SDN/NFV. More, including the Forum manifesto and  Rob van den Brink’s new interference models http://bit.ly/TNO2016 

Teresa Mastrangelo, an analyst I’ve followed for years, is offering a free copy of her next G.fast report to anyone at a telco who takes 10 minutes to fill out her survey at http://svy.mk/29g8yve . (This notice is late, so do it soon.) 

(If I get a little bit of support, there will be a regular Gfast news.)

-----

briefs

press

Caroline Gabriel reports IoT prices in Korea are $0.30-$1.75/month for ordinary data volumes. http://bit.ly/29AEfji

Kate Murphy got them to admit it. Tech Support Is (Purposely) Unbearable  nyti.ms/29dwuQmn

Also NYT. “Some 60,000 Syrian refugees have not had access to food or medicine ever since a suicide bomber killed seven Jordanian security officials. That was more than a week ago.”

wall street

Craig Moffett writes, “Verizon and AT&T’s real leverage ratio [3.5x EBIDTA] is well outside of what is typically considered investment grade.” That’s a polite way of putting some very bad news. He adjusts for EIA, lease accounting, and similar. It’s part of Craig’s on target analysis that VZ & T will struggle to bid high in the auction. It’s complicated, but I believe both companies have been borrowing to cover their increasing dividends the last few years. They remain among the richest companies in the world but in some ways are struggling.
Deutsche Telekom continues to have financing problems and plans another multibillion sale/leaseback of towers. 

----------------------

From A gnoblog is not the blog of the person named. In the spirit of Swift.

Not Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO 
 6.28.2016 $84B auction? Fuggedaboutit!
5.5.2016 It's very good news for us that Tom Wheeler approved the Altice/Cablevision deal. Altice is paying something like $5,000/line. The market is saturated so there's no growth. The only way Drahi will be able to pay off his loans is by raising prices. We'll be happy to match his increases.
Two million homes have no real choice but Verizon or Cablevision. If we both raise prices, we both make more money. Charter/Time Warner will be even bigger for us. John Malone and Mike Fries, who control Charter, believe prices should never go anywhere but up.

Not Cecilia Kang, NY Times FCC reporter
7/13 Wheeler will end universal service tomorrow. AT&T Uber-lobbyist Cicconi earned his millions by inventing a need for an "IP transition" which cuts service to those without choice. Deutsche Telekom has already moved networks to all IP, no government giveaways required. Every telco in the world is moving to IP because it saves money.  
7.12 FCC & tech accuracy? Not. Wheeler told Congress 5G would have 1 millisecond latency. The telcos think 1 millisecond a very expensive waste except for high speed traffic control. They probably won't build to that standard.
7.12 Thursday, the FCC will make some 28 GHz and other highband spectrum available. A good thing but the hype is politicians' truths. Wheeler is avoiding the reality that highband is an incumbent's game, requiring massive deployments with formidable backhaul costs. Incumbents with fiber in place have a huge advantage. 

Not Karen Kornbluh, Hilary's lead on tech and possible FCC Chair
7.8 The campaign tells me I should ask for quiet resignations from two tech advisors because they are high paid lobbyists. One can be particularly embarrassing: he went directly from the White House to a million-dollar type lobbying job.

Not China Mobile CEO
7.5 We're going to have 500M LTE subs and those Westerners think they can lead the standards in LTE & IoT. LOL

Not Tom Wheeler, FCC Chair
7.12 Lowell and Randall should be kissing my ring. We're giving them everything they want on highband Thursday. I'm also sneaking in the shutdown of the wired connections to tens of millions of homes. My statement that we will protect consumers is the kind of thing politicians have to say. 
7.10 When Falcon 9 returned to earth after launching nine LEO satellites, I knew our "universal service" program will be obsolete soon.  In Low Earth Orbit orbit, the latency delay becomes immaterial.  For the same reason, we should sideline the $12B giveaway in the CAF. Too slow, too expensive. Century and Frontier are telling Wall Street most of the money will go to their bottom line because we are giving them so much.
7.8 Thursday we'll release 28 GHz and other spectrum with an overload of hyperbole. I'm praying that NYT & WP miss that 5G will almost all be < 6 GHz & MIMO until 2021-

Not Larry Strickling of NTIA, U.S. Internet czar
6.14 Will someone please tell Senators Cruz and Rubio that ICANN is our guys? 15 out of 20 board members are from the U.S. and Europe. Most of other 5 have close business relationships with the West. Probably 90% will vote our way on any issue.
They are more reliably anti-Russia and China than the President of the United States. China is almost a third of the Internet these days. They are unrepresented, as we required. Board Chair Steve Crocker has worked under contract to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He believes corporations should have the primary role on the Internet, just like we do.

Elsewhere

Full Duplex cable upstream is 2020 or later

Iain Morris sees G.fast pulling ahead.

Apple seems to slow iPhone cycle

So good it's hard to improve.

Huawei is using Toga Networks to front security research in Israel.

Many U.S. official wiretaps are managed by Israeli companies.

China passes the U.S. in gaming

Highly sophisticated audience

I'm moving from fastnetnews.com to fastnet.news everything since July 2014 is here.

 

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