John Cioffi pretty much invented DSL and has spent most of the last 30 years making your connections better. ASSIA developed CloudCheck, which delivered optimum Wi-Fi experience. It announced this week EQUIPE, which manages employees' WI-Fi and connection reliability.
Realme 5G down to $145 ** 80M 5G subscribers in Q2, 100M August prove 5G is real.** 5G Worldwide: Saudi first, USA last** 5G Phones $199-260
China is > 70% of 5G as subs pass 80M ** Primary: Cost per bit of wireless is falling at a ferocious rate
5X Advance for Africa with Massive MIMO ** Spectrum Marvell: 5 nm 20-40% better ** $400 TCL REVLL 5G at T-Mobile: Here comes 5G in the USA
$Hundreds of millions in extra chip costs prove Open-RAN not quite ready
Frankfurt DE-CIX has long been the busiest Internet exchange, but Sao Paulo is the first to reach 10 terabits of traffic. I shouldn't have been surprised. 2/3rds of the Internet is in the global South. Brazil is building fiber faster than the U.S. (So are France and Spain. The U.S. fiber record is dismal, perhaps because gigabit cable reaches ~90% of the country.)
In Frankfurt, traffic is down from the April-May COVID peak. (Chart below.) Traffic in March peaked around 8 terabits, then went up to 9 in May. August peaks were down to about 8.5 terabits, about where they would be with normal traffic growth since 2019.
Scare stories and cheap headlines spread panic, but actually nearly all networks in the developed world handled the traffic without major problems. Cable upstream occasionally hit minor congestion. The cable companies have been holding back on upstream improvements for 5 years, expecting Full Duplex to cheaply raise upstream bandwidth around now. The technology is barely out of the labs, however, and the costs are higher than expected.
Even conservative Republicans like David Redl believe the pandemic proves the 20 million or so American homes without broadband need to be connected. But in Q2, AT&T reports 114,000 fewer connections and Verizon 23,000 less. Charter came through with 850,000 new homes and Comcast 323,000. 1,243,000 connections is absolutely unacceptable when children have to learn at home.
The three big phone companies have essentially abandoned consumers in large parts of their territory, leaving about half of America -- including me -- with only one choice for decent broadband. No wonder we have some of the highest prices in the world.
Scott Wallsten included some disheartening analysis in his announcement the TPI Aspen event had to be virtual, even if delayed to October. "Let’s assume that people can converse meaningfully when six feet apart in a space that is unlikely to be quiet. Two people need to stand six feet apart. Easy enough. A conversation with three people requires standing in a triangle with six-foot sides, requiring about 15.6 square feet of floor space. A four-person conversation requires a square with 6 foot sides requiring 36 square feet. As more people enter the group, the shape becomes circular and the square footage required for that conversation increases with the square of the radius."
He adds, "Social distancing in a group that is together for a multiple-day conference is unrealistic even if it is possible. Social distancing is intended to keep people apart. Conferences are intended to bring people together. People want to talk and mingle. It’s human nature and one of the benefits of in-person events."
The TPI event always features outstanding speakers, including academics the policy people can learn from. I would go every year if I could afford the airfare.
"Fixed wireless will sometimes be the right choice and Calix's software supports it. But our telco customers with fiber will lose very few customers. If they provide strong, customer-focused service, no one will have a reason to switch. It's only a slight exaggeration to say customers only churn if they move or die." Russo adds, "This is provided the service provider chooses to “own” the subscriber experience. A service provider that invests in fiber … but doesn’t further invest in an excellent subscriber experience … is still vulnerable."
Fiber today is routinely a gigabit; ten gigabits add little to the cost, although the demand is unproven so far.
It's been clear for several years that fiber is the right choice in most parts of the developed world where competition matters. Darren Entwhistle at Telus, Canada's #2, has been building fiber home for years because the numbers are very favorable. The reduction in churn and the savings in operating costs pay off the higher cost of fiber in most locations.
France Telecom, Telefonica Spain, and Bell Canada have proven the same.
"BT Group plc did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting as of 31 March 2020 because of the effect of material weaknesses." That's an amazing statement from KPMG, which very rarely reports the common client deficiencies.
BT fired the CEO and the stock is down 75%. With hindsight, I see it was a terrible mistake not to emulate FT and Telefonica Spain moving quickly to fiber. (Both countries are more than half covered.) CityFibre has raised billions and is taking customers. Others, including Liberty Global cable, are also investing. BT is going very slowly on 5G as well. Earnings are under pressure and need a close watch.
Ericsson is also abusing the accounting rules. It is taking a write-off on its low bids for China 5G contracts although CEO Börje Ekholm said the contract would be profitable. Low bids to win the initial contract and lock in a customer are a common practice. Write-offs are intended for uncommon events.
Ekholm's move suggests Ericsson is struggling to meet profit targets.
Gary Dickerson, CEO of Applied Materials, pointed out to investors they might assemble their equipment in Singapore to evade fallout from U.S. sanctions. China is the largest purchaser of chip gear today and has committed over US$100 billion to chipmaking. The world #1 foundry, TSMC, doesn't want to lose orders from Huawei, which buys about $5 billion each year. I'm sure it would prefer that Applied sells it Singapore gear. TSMC needs more flexibility to respond to whatever comes next from the U.S.
Dickerson is confident the U.S. rules will have "minimal impact on our business." His CFO, Dan Durn, added, "We think there's a path forward on this based on our discussions with the ecosystem where it doesn't impact our expectations around the business."
Sensible businessmen from Europe to California are finding ways to protect their businesses from current and possible future U.S. restrictions.
Verizon used to claim "half of all Internet messages pass through our network." That's unlikely today, as several carriers have networks as global as what Verizon built after acquiring UUNet. There are many ways to measure size of backbone providers, but this chart from Telegeography is highly suggestive. Level 3/CenturyLink, Orange, and AT&T most frequently offer Direct Internet Access in165 global metros. Cogent, Sprint, Tata, and Deutsche Telekom also are found in more places than Verizon. NTT and BT follow.
Their colleague, Brianna Boudreau, separately looked at the trend in international bandwidth costs. https://blog.telegeography.com/global-bandwidth-prices-are-converging-somewhat
"Across critical global routes, weighted median 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps prices fell an average of 14% and 23% compounded annually since 2016. ... 100 Gbps cost 4.3 times 10 Gbps while delivering 10 times the capacity."
Huge disparities continue. 10 Gbps from Los Angeles to Tokyo (5500 miles) costs ~US$5,000. Los Angeles to Sydney is about 40% further (7500 miles) but costs more than three times as much. I've reported the disparities to Africa are even higher; the cartel-like pricing of transit and backhaul is the largest international factor in high African Internet prices.