Today's BBWN Bites also includes an update on Proximus's fiber deployment, the sentence for a man who threatened a top government official over net neutrality, and how one state hopes to bring broadband to the people.
British chip- and processor-maker ARM, which SoftBank acquired in 2016 for £24 billion ($32 billion at the time, as Light Reading reported), is suspending business with Huawei, according to Reuters. Huawei has used ARM chips in its smartphones, but fixed-broadband operators could see the effect due to the Chinese vendor's deployment of ARM products within residential router, smart home and virtual reality equipment. ARM's processor designs are on more than 130 billion chips in devices ranging from smartphones to supercomputers, the company said. The vendor works with more than 1,000 technology partners in "all areas of compute from the chip to the cloud," it added. For continuing coverage of this story, visit Light Reading.
In related news, BT is in core network trials with Cisco, Ericsson and Nokia as it looks to replace Huawei, BT's chief technology and information officer Howard Watson told Light Reading at EE's 5G press conference earlier today. EE, which BT acquired in 2016, uses Huawei products in its core network -- which goes against BT's policy and flies in the face of laws, policies or government concerns in the US and a growing number of other nations including the UK, wrote Light Reading's Iain Morris. Said Watson:
It will pilot during 2019 and we will start to do deployment probably in the middle of 2020. That new core will be 4G, 5G non-standalone and 5G standalone -- it will have the capability to do all three -- and we will have to migrate our 4G customers onto that. We'll take most of 2021 doing that.
Some Belgian villages may hold onto the past, but Proximus is bringing their connectivity into the future-ready, deploying fiber around the European nation, according to its ten-year plan.
Proximus began deploying fiber in Vilvoorde, with plans to make first connections later this year. The Belgian provider announced a decade-long €3 billion ($3.35 billion) fiber investment in 2016; to date, it's begun fiber projects in nine cities and expects to add another seven, including Vilvoorde. The city, historically known as Filford in English, already has six industrial zones served by fiber; Proximus will deploy fiber broadband to most of the region's residential and business customers, working in conjunction with the city and offering all residents the chance to connect to fiber at no cost even if they are not a Proximus customer, the operator said. To reduce disruption (and costs), fiber will be wall-mounted, not trenched, when possible, Proximus noted. (See Proximus Plans €3B Fiber Splurge.)
As politicians in Washington, DC, battle over a national broadband plan, local politicos continue to unveil their own strategies for state coverage. The latest is Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who released some details about the Arkansas State Broadband plan during his weekly web address. Speeds match those the FCC ordained as adequate: 25Mbit/s downstream by 3 Mbit/s upstream. "The goal of the plan is to provide high-speed broadband to every area of the state with a population of at least 500 people by 2022," said Hutchinson. "This is ambitious but doable."
A California man this week received a 20-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to threatening the family of Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, after the agency repealed net neutrality rules. The 33-year-old, Markara Man, emailed these threats hoping they would convince Pai to reverse his position, the Justice Department told Reuters.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
The lack of an accurate broadband map means states and counties are tackling this issue themselves – and sometimes finding big disparities in the data – before spending their residents' money on deploying infrastructure.
Next year many operators must decide whether to invest more in HFC or go all-in to fiber, pick their PON and choose their managed-WiFi path, writes analyst Dan Grossman, who also recommends providers bundle managed WiFi and analytics to best serve residential subscribers -- and operators' own businesses.
Public-private partnerships, investor interest, self-help in rural areas and incumbents' return set the scene for a busy year of broadband deployment in the US countryside in 2020, writes Analyst Dan Grossman.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.