Two hours after the announcement, Jim Baaker put out a national press release looking for clients to sue Ikanos, Qualcomm or their insurers. Since the price was reasonable - 50% above the previous share price in a tough market for chips - the suit has little merit. But the companies might enrich the plaintiff's lawyer to avoid the time and expense of a trial.
Giant steps in. Ikanos, which absorbed Globespan, Virata, Conexant and Centillium, is a crucial part of the history of DSL. In a flat DSL market, they've struggled for several years. Promised products for node scale vectoring and G.fast are not visible in the market although I understand they are far advanced. CPE chip sales have declined as Chinese chipmakers entered the market. A year ago, Dado Banatao's Tallwood VC firm and Alcatel bailed them out in the belief the new chips would find buyers. Time and money have run out and they've accepted the offer. Ikanos has been on the block for a while, with an asking price of $80-100M.
Qualcomm's entry surprised me because they don't offer complementary chips for cable and fiber. The deal was presumably inspired by Intel's purchase of Lantiq, creating a powerful combined offering of DSL, cable (formerly TI) and wireless (formerly Infineon) chips for home connections. Ikanos also sells Fusiv, a network processor for gateways.
LTE + DSL gateways are in modest deployment in Germany and could play a surprisingly important future role. LTE with realworld speeds of 50+megabits is deploying widely around the world. Many people believe spectrum limits LTE capacity so much that the telcos can't afford to use LTE bandwidth to supercharge DSL. That's probably true in midtown Manhattan but 95+% of the time LTE towers run far below capacity. This is especially true in rural areas, where DT intends to sell DSL + LTE in volume.
4G will be almost everywhere with peak speeds often over 100 megabits. 100 megabits will be slow for wired connections in the developed world. Most developing countries - except China - have very few landlines and it's not clear wireless will have enough capacity for much video over the net. Prices in strongly competitive markets will be flat to down because the costs of modems, Internet transit, and nearly everything else are going down. In the more common weakly competitive market, like the U.S., prices will creep up unless the regulator is strong.
Two billion more people will be connected to the net as LTE phones drop under $50. Africa will have more Internet connections than the United States by 2017, more than the 315M population of the U.S. India is growing almost as fast, and China already has twice as many connected as either the U.S. or Europe. The rich countries are today 40-45% of connections; by 2019, that will be down to 35-40%. 5% to 25% of homes will be screwed as rural areas have limited coverage and competition.
Massive MIMO for extraordinary speed. 256 60 GHz antennas and their control logic fit on a 4-centimeter square "wafer-scale phased array transmitter" prototype from TowerJazz Semi, working with UCSD and DARPA. It should easily deliver 10 gigabit wireless, at least over short distances.
Ted Rappaport and others are proving high frequency millimeter waves can work.
Light Reading. The equipment cost for a gigabit will be similar to the 100 meg cost. Next year, most cablecos will begin using gigabit-capable modems for new customers whether or not they have gigabit service. The cost to the carrier of the extra bandwidth would normally be less than $2/month/customer, often far less.As gigabits deploy, why throttle down to 100 megabits? Since 2005, DOCSIS 3.1 was designed to go to a gigabit and more, shared. But NBN will only offer 100 megabits when it rolls out in a year or two, NBN CTO Dennis Steiger tells Alan Breznick at
IEEE ComSoc opens the papers. What the heck is 5G? Any big company will tell you 5G is whatever they happen to be planning. It's a meaningless marketing term. Another way to define 5G is "whatever advances are still to come." ComSoc has now pulled from behind the paywall four papers with expert opinion, all worth a read. Below are the abstracts and conclusions.
500 towers running dual carrier LTE. Many Danes, much of the time, will see download speeds over 100 megabits as TDC upgrades to using 2 carriers and 40 MHz. The total capacity is 300 megabits, shared, and obviously lower as you get further from the towers. TDC's Peter Schleidt warns people to be realistic. "A client must not expect to get 300 Mbit / s or later 1 Gbit / s for herself." Gigabit speeds are part of LTE-Advanced Release 10 and will reach the field in a few years.
Confirms cartel. Weldon notes "China allows foreign vendors to claim a maximum 11% of the wireless market; Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia each have an 11% share." (Jessica Lipsky, EE Times http://bit.ly/china11share) Whether China will allow the merged company 22% or only 11% is a major factor in the future success of the company, but nothing is decided. Lipsky quotes Weldon, "I think what is definitely true is we will both be stronger in wireless in either company. We’re hopeful that means we can maintain the aggregate market share and not have that renormalized.”
Fearing bankruptcy of Alcatel and Nokia, the EU threatened high "dumping" tariffs on China's Huawei and ZTE. The Chinese were taking market share and driving down prices. The threat was highly credible. The U.S. had blocked Huawei, citing "security" but without any proof. EU Trade Commissioner Karel DE Gucht went public with the statement below.
In 2014, the tariff investigation was put on hold. The industry rumor was the governments reached a behind the scenes agreement on market share. China allowed Alcatel and Nokia a share of the Chinese market and Huawei/ZTE accepted a limit on their market share in Europe. Equipment prices went up.