When it came time for prognostication, Broadband World News could not think of another person better-suited than an analyst who spends her time in the trenches, speaking to leading vendors and service providers about passive-optical networks, fiber, VDSL and Gfast and other fixed-broadband topics near and dear to the BBWN community.
As always, Ovum Principal Analyst Julie Kunstler put aside her own deadlines and gave BBWN her top themes for 2019. They are:
Fiber deeper and fiber all-the-way continue. We are seeing this in our market share reports. Bandwidth demand continues to grow unabated, and fiber is needed to support broadband access.
Hype around 5G-based FWA will continue. There will be deployments but subscriber forecast numbers will not be large. It is a niche approach to residential broadband access. Yes, there is some cord cutting but for most families with significant broadband speeds today, cord cutting is not realistic. (Bundle cutting, on the other hand, is an entirely different issue as many question the value of quad-play and triple-play, depending on the packages, costs, value and so forth.)
Some operators are pursuing "universal access," trying to push as much traffic as possible over the access network. Verizon is a good example, with its deployment of NG-PON2. Verizon is using NG-PON2 for residential and business services. In addition, it is examining the use of NG-PON2 for 5G xHaul. (See Network Slicing: It Ain't Just for 5G.)
When coupled with sufficient bandwidth, such as 10G in the network, network slicing generates opportunities for service providers to have the ability to wholesale the network effectively and efficiently.
What's on your list of 2019 fixed-broadband trends? How will 5G impact service providers? How much more fiber will be deployed in the next 12 months? Only time -- and BBWN -- will tell.
The industry organization's major initiatives will address broadband differentiation based on quality of experience, global test labs for services, 5G, multi-access strategies and more, say CEO Robin Mersh and CMO Geoff Burke in an interview with BBWN.
Mike Zeto, GM of AT&T's Smart Cities division, expects metro areas to adopt platforms to manage multi-departmental IoT solutions once internal processes are aligned and more agencies are involved in smart city applications.
Fiber optic cable vendor Prysmian Group is now shipping its FlexRibbon Technology-based, US-sourced and made 6912 fiber MassLink Cable to service providers seeking densification for 5G or solutions for filled ducts.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on Thursday, November 1 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 3 p.m. UK as Ronan Kelly, CTO, EMEA & APAC Regions at ADTRAN, explores the five pillars of network integrity -- a topic he discussed during his recent Broadband World Forum keynote. Register now!