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Adtran hurt badly by loss at AT&T, slowdown at DT
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 21:29

NFV, SDN starting to inspire white box fears. (Update 4/31 Adtran's stock climbed and Calix plummeted, leaving them both about the same % lost.) Adtran's stock fell 10% Wednesday, about $100M, to the lowest level in five years. Tom Stanton's company was hit hard by disappointing sales to two major customers. Quarterly sales were slightly down, partly explained by the euro falling against the dollar. Interim CFO Interim CFO Mike Foliano didn't warn the street of the sales decline. The analysts expect a wink and nod in advance with inside information.

Adtran remains a capable and profitable company but the market has been treating it as a growth stock. Telecom is not a growing business. Nearly no company except Huawei has seen sales increase. 

AT&T cancelled a project to upgrade some of the old BellSouth territory. That's not much of a surprise; AT&T's $4B capex cut this year is the largest of any telco over the last decade, anywhere in the world. Craig Moffett for several years has been pointing to how hard Randall has to work to cover the dividend. Over the last four years, dividends have actually exceeded earnings per share. 

Deutsche Telekom is trying to weasel out of their repeated commitment to meet the EU 100 megabit speed with vectoring to 24 million homes in 2016.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2015 01:35
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$40/port VDSL Baby DSLAMs with new Lantiq system
Saturday, 18 April 2015 15:54

Cheap 850-100 megabits so cheap it can go everywhere. Lantiq's new VINAX dp8 is designed to lower the price of an 8 port DSLAM to $20/connection. Include the hookup cost and it's only about what the customer pays in a single month. Lantiq says similar units today cost more than twice that. The nominal speeds in the lab are 200 down, 100 up; 50+ megabits down, 25+ up will often be practical for 500 meters. In small buildings, performance will be much better, often 100/50. While larger buildings can be served with multiple cheap units, the interference in the binder becomes a crucial factor. With vectoring, the rate reach would often double, but that's a more expensive and complicated system.   

The unit is based on their existing 8/16 port VDSL chips, controlled by an inexpensive network processor Lantiq originally designed for their GPON system on chip. Eliminating the high-performance network processor simplifies design, further reducing cost.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 May 2015 14:22
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Death of Gigaom: This one really hurts
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 13:10

Om

NY Times, WSJ, WP: You need to make offers to Stacey at staceyhigginbotham dot com, Kevin Fitchard at gigaom.com (or via me if that email is shut down.) In the day, Om Malik and Saul Hansall (NYT) were the only reporters who consistently beat me to major broadband stories. Soon after Gigaom began, Saul was disappointed. We expected Gigaom would do well and now Saul would never have the chance to hire Om for the Times. To a large extent, Best Bits in the Times was based on what Gigaom was doing. 

    "Just watch. Stacey is going to be incredible," Om said to me when he hired her. He was right. Kevin Fitchard was in a tough spot just before Stacey & Om hired him, virtually singlehandedly trying to report every story in the business as Telephony dropped almost all the reporters. He remained productive at Gigaom while dramatically upping his game.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 March 2015 21:18
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From Lantiq: Intel deal "is great"
Saturday, 28 February 2015 22:18

Lantiq"It's great for us," Christoph von Schierstädt of Lantiq tells me. I compared the company at merger with the hopes of a few years ago. http://bit.ly/lantiqbye Christoph is looking forward and writes,

"Honestly, I don't really agree that the Lantiq / Intel story isn't a good one. In fact it's a great proof of everything we did to bring the company back on track  - We made the company faster, lean and nimble. Dan Artusi installed four key principles which we are acting under since then: customers, speed, simplify, participation. He furthermore demanded and successfully installed the 'see a problem, fix it' mentality; means we all care for the success of the company and remove roadblocks faster. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 11:41
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Goodbye, Lantiq. Hello, Intel
Monday, 02 February 2015 12:24

Goodbye LantiqLate arriving chips push DSL pioneer into Intel deal. Intel is back in the DSL business more than a decade after losing about $2B without bringing a DSL chip to market. Lantiq is a solid company with excellent engineers around the world.

Not long ago, CEO Christian Wolff was planning for a $1B IPO. Imran Hajimusa was exhibiting spectacular demonstrations of world-beating performance WiFi, some of the first publicly shown vectored VDSL and more. The chips haven't made it to market. Update 3/03 Vectored VDSL chips for modems are shipping, although other chips are not. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 10:45
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Obama's Seven Percent Broadband Plan
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 21:19

Obama in the Oval Office Program will help far fewer than 10%. Barack has a delightfully folksy video chat about needing better and more affordable broadband. http://bit.ly/WHbunkum He flew out to Ceder Falls to make a second speech. http://bit.ly/WHCedar Unfortunately, his proposals are highly unlikely to impact 5% of Americans and almost certainly won't reach 7%. (Proposal below)

The only item of apparent substance is Obama's plan to override state laws in a minority of the country that prevent cities from building municipal systems. That's the right thing to do, but won't affect many people. Even if the proportion of municipal broadband in the states affected doubles or triples, that's less than 5% of U.S. homes. Doubling or tripling would be a surprise.

If you want to help more than 10% or 20% you therefore have to make the incumbent bring down prices. This is very hard politically in the U.S. and Obama didn't even try. 

Which means that Obama's plan will help very few. I'm calling it the seven percent solution, because it probably won't have any impact on more than 7% of homes. Almost no one in the U.S. is willing to look at the kind of policies that help even a third of the U.S. population.
To really make a difference, you have to find policies that work when competition has and will fail. Possibilities go far beyond the obvious price controls and unbundling. The FCC right now can bring the cost for a reasonable service down to ~$10/month for millions of poor people. Comcast already offers that; AT&T should as well. Wheeler should look AT&T CEO Randall in the face and say, "If you want your $50B AT&T merger, you have to match Comcast's $10 offer for the poor."

Not getting that concession from AT&T would be unconscionable.

Last Updated on Friday, 23 January 2015 22:14
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Gig for $25/month in Bakersfield, CA
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 12:42

Attractive real estate come-on. Rent any of 224 apartments in a new real estate development and automatically get connected at a gigabit. Natural prices for a gigabit are $40-$100, Google's $70 +- $30. Gigabit Internet is a very attractive amenity. One proponent believes "fiber to the home increases the value of a $300,000 home by $5,300 to $6,500," (below)

A $40/month discount is a modest marketing concession on apartments that rent for $1100-$1400. Bakersfield is 120 miles and 3 hours by train north of Los Angeles. It's a desert town dependent on imported water and probably a hard place to sell apartments in a drought.

Randall Stephenson literally 10 years ago told the street that AT&T was already installing fiber in all new developments. After all, glass is cheaper than metal. It was the right thing to do even back then but in practice AT&T was doing nothing of the sort. Carriers without high speeds are just leaving themselves open for folks like this to jump in.

George Soros has put £50m behind Hyperoptic, an English company doing the same. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 03:35
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10% Speed DOCSIS 3.1 to Australia in 2016
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 20:40

John Chapman Why throttle a gigabit line 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 Light Reading. http://ubm.io/1EwTDYD. The equipment cost for a gigabit will be similar to the 100 meg cost. The cost to the carrier of the extra bandwidth would normally be less than $2/month/customer, generally far less. 

"There is massive demand for very high-speed broadband supporting more than 100 Mbit/s and up to 1 Gbit/s," Breznick colleague Simon Stanley writes. Worldwide evidence is gigabit service finds customers where offered at a fair price.  We all know Google has seen excellent take rates in Kansas City despite a 50-100 cable alternative. Literally dozens of small U.S. telcos are happy to offer a gigabit. In Korea, many customers aren't going for the full gig - but many are. Almost no homes have practical reasons for speeds higher than 50-100 megabits but for $5-10/month extra some will sign up for the occasional thrill and ego boost. http://gfastnews.com/index.php/9-uncategorised/154-1-gigabit-10-gigabits-who-needs-it Steiger is probably right that if a gig cost $50 or $100 more demand would be small.

Steiger presumably means they don't think many people will be interested at the high price NBN and partners want to charge. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:25
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Telcos new LAA takes over WiFi spectrum
Sunday, 01 March 2015 16:21

Do we really want to give away 25%-75% of WiFi spectrum to the incumbent telcos? For a system not likely to work very well? Ericsson & Qualcomm, backed by the telcos, are spending $millions to spin this one. Do email me daveb DSLPrime.com if you have information or opinions. 

Verizon, T-Mobile, Ericsson Want WiFi Spectrum for LTE http://bit.ly/KillingWiFi

Other Reporter's Comments http://bit.ly/othernews Qualcomm Responds http://bit.ly/Frqual

Qualcomm leads the key committees.http://bit.ly/Qualrules

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 02 March 2015 02:09
 
10 Gig - repeat, 10 gig - to 800K apartments in Hong Kong
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 10:11

Bruce Lee's Hong Kong statueSoon, the cost to the telco for 10 gigabits will be little different than the cost of ten megabits.  1 gig service over fiber costs the carrier very little more than 10 or 100 megabits. Equipment going in today is almost all ready for a gig. There's rarely any savings using obsolete gear that tops out at lower speeds. PCCW's Hong Kong telco has now upped the ante, bringing a ten gig - presumably XGPON - to all 800,000 fiber customers. Trials have begun and they expect to cover nearly all 800K by the end of 2015. 

Hong Kong consumers are among the luckiest in the world. Despite wages often as high as the U.S., prices both for wired and wireless service are typically half what they are in the states. Pricing for the gig service isn't announced and will be determined by what the market requires. Even with the low revenue base, HKT is going fiber or vectored VDSL to nearly all the city while investing less than 10% of revenue. Their LTE is going to 300 megabits.

Hong Kong HKT's cost should be somewhere between $400 & $1,000 per home - probably closer to $400.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 15:44
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Ikanos: Still waiting on chips
Friday, 23 January 2015 09:39

Very limited sales of ADSL, VDSL chips for now. Ikanos was the first with VDSL2 DMT, today's standard. They've incorporated Globespan-Conexant, once the largest ADSL chip provider. But until their vectored & G.fast chips ship, sales are dismal. With investments from Alcatel and Tallgrass, they have time to turn things around - when the chips get out the door.  Tallgrass and management bought an additional $12M in equity early in February.

    They are particularly enthused about G.fast. On their investor call http://bit.ly/1BcvVC1, "One is that G.fast is obviously the flagship of the 1-gig push forward, if you will. We expect that market to be -- as the percentage of the total to be around 25% of the mix of the balance of the DSL technology, but one of the things that interesting around G.fast is an end-to-end replacements or deployment takes place.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 February 2015 16:48
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Ten days to nominate DSL pioneers for the IEEE Ibuka Medal
Monday, 12 January 2015 00:00

Wiegand's other award

The 2012 Ibuka Medal went to three people on the video standards committee for H.264/MPEG4-AVC. The 2013 award went to three on the High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding committee. For more than 20 years, the DSL Standards group has been advancing broadband from 1.5 megabits in the pre-DMT days to G.fast’s hundreds of megabits. It’s time to put together a nomination. This year's nominations are due January 31. The chair of the committee is Kenneth Wiegand of Fraunhofer, one of those who won the award for video standards. Balan Nair, also on the committee, installed millions of lines of DSL as CTO of Qwest.

The 2014 Award went to Marty Cooper, cell phone inventor and friend to many of us. Marty’s Marconi Panel in D.C. in October upended many people’s thinking about spectrum. Two dozen of the most influential in D.C. were in the audience to hear “We’ve never had a spectrum shortage and we never will.” The video is well worth watching http://bit.ly/Marconispectrum

For information on the award, http://www.ieee.org/about/awards/tfas/ibuka.html If we don’t get this together for this year, let’s make sure to do it next year.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 23 January 2015 22:16
 
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