Today's roundup also includes a look at how French operator fiber investments grew, how Tongans' access to broadband is on the rise and how rural Iowans can expect enhanced connectivity as a new law (and funding) go into effect.
French operators upped their investment in 2018, pouring an additional 200 million (US$223 million) into operations last year versus the prior year. That added up to reach 9.8 billion ($10.9 billion), despite a 1% decrease in total revenue due to the continuing decline in fixed-line services, according to French communications regulator Arcep's most recent industry scorecard. FTTH accounts for almost all the increased investment, Arcep said. More than 13.6 million premises are now within reach of fiber, it found.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Monday signed the "Empower Rural Iowa Act," a law designed to increase opportunities in rural parts of the state by increasing grants to boost broadband and expand workforce housing tax incentives. The proposal, which unanimously passed the Iowa legislature, was one of Reynolds's priorities when the Republican campaigned for office, CBS2 Iowa reported.
Tongans are beginning to benefit from broadband investments in both higher speeds and increased availability, according to a new BuddeComm report. A 15-year agreement that started in 2019 between Kacific Broadband Satellite and the Tongan government calls for Kacific to make additional bandwidth available to about 89 more remote communities, with speeds similar to those available in Tonga's large towns. Tongans benefit from an undersea fiber-optic cable (financed by the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Tongan government and Tonga Cable, as part of the Pacific Regional Connectivity Program); ISPs and operators connect to the wholesale underwater cable and use its high-speed broadband to deliver myriad services, including healthcare, faster connectivity for residential and business customers and improved education connections.
Bounding Across the Continent
In the first three months of 2019, nbn activated almost 400,000 premises in Australia, the Australian wholesale operator reported. (Source: nbn)
nbn has 8.8 million premises ready to connect to the nbn broadband access network and 10 million premises ready for service, the national Australian wholesaler announced in its most recent earnings report. For the nine months ended March 31, 5.1 million premises use an active service over the nbn access network, generating revenue of $2 billion (Australian) ($1.37 billion USD), up 45% year-over-year. ARPU was $45 per month, the operator said. In the first three months of 2019, nbn made more than 700,000 additional premises ready to connect and activated almost 400,000 premises, according to its earnings report.
Intec this week launched Argus Gfast testers for 212MHz. The Argus 163 can connect LAN cabling, PoE, WLAN and triple-play tests across data, IPTV and VoIP to ADSL2/2+, VDSL2 to super vectoring and Gfast, the vendor said. The Argus 163 is the only instrument in its class that can connect LAN cabling, PoE, WLAN and triple-play tests across data, VoIP and IPTV to ADSL2/2+, VDSL2 to Super Vectoring and G.fast technologies, the company claimed. Using the Argus, RF-Current Clamp, technicians can visualize interference in a loop via Intec's line-scope. Also, the Argus Optical Powermeter in SFP form measures optical power at different wavelengths and stores measured values into the device, Intec said.
Vodafone Germany chose Giax Heleos, a coax network technology, to help ramp up the speed and efficiency of its GIGA HFC 1 Gbit/s service to the operator's 12.6 million residential subscribers. Cable operators can use Heleos to leverage a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) without extending their fiber networks, according to Giax. Heleos does this by "re-energizing" a provider's existing coax network, the vendor said.
New Zealand service provider 2degrees -- which offers nationwide 3G, 4G and fixed broadband, as well as multiple offerings across more than 180 countries -- adopted BroadForward's next-generation Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC). The software solution is designed to simplify multi-protocol routing and interworking, and supports protocols including Diameter, SS7, SIP, ENUM, RADIUS and HTTP, according to BroadForward. This reduces 2degrees' network complexity and costs by independently integrating and operating intelligent Diameter signaling across multiple networks and vendor implementations. In addition to opex benefits, BroadForward DSC will help 2degrees' 5G deployment, said Nick Read, 2degrees Head of Core and Security, in a statement.
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