Also in this roundup: Calix chosen for Oklahoma rollout; German altnet hits fiber milestone; Broadcom under the EC spotlight; the road to DOCSIS 4.0; and a 5G/FTTH home gateway.
In the UK, Virgin Media is trialing a microwave backhaul link to explore the opportunity to take high-speed broadband services to remote locations that are not currently connected to a fiber backbone network. The cable operator has used Ericsson gear to set up a 10 Gbit/s point-to-point 3km microwave link to connect the UK village of Greenham to a POP (point of presence) on its transport network. The microwave site in Greenham is then linked to a distributed access architecture (DAA) node that currently links to 12 homes with a fiber connection, which Virgin Media says enabled downstream speeds of 1 Gbit/s and upstream speeds of 150 Mbit/s. The 10 Gbit/s backhaul link could support services to up to 500 homes, according to the operator, which adds that using microwave backhaul is about 90% cheaper than laying physical fiber to a small remote village such as Greenham. For more, see this press release.
What a dish!! Virgin Media is looking at microwave backhaul as a way to extend its transmission network to remote areas in the UK.
East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (ECOEC) is deploying AXOS GPON gear from Calix as part of a broadband network rollout that will involve supporting roles for Calix Professional Services and broadband consultancy Conexon. ECOEC plans to offer services ranging from 100 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s to its 35,000 members across 3,000 square miles in seven counties.
1 & 1, a division of German network operator United Internet, says it has now passed 2 million homes with fiber connectivity, building on the fiber access network built (and still being expanded) by Versatel, which was acquired by United Internet in 2014 for €586 million ($666 million). United Internet isn't just focused on fixed broadband: Its 1&1 Drillisch subsidiary just acquired 5G spectrum in the German auction. (See Germany Raids Telcos for €6.5B in Epic 5G Auction.)
Following from the announcement that the next iteration of cable broadband specs development is underway, Light Reading's cable guru Jeff Baumgartner has charted the evolution of the DOCSIS specs. (See The Road to DOCSIS 4.0.)
Chinese vendor ZTE has announced what it claims to be the "first 5G/FTTH dual-mode home gateway." The gateway supports WiFi 6 for connections at up to 6 Gbit/s within the user's premises, and also supports Bluetooth and Zigbee to help deliver smart home connectivity to multiple devices. While ZTE notes that the device houses "an advanced antenna array so that different RF signals, including 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee, do not interfere with each other," it doesn't mention which 5G spectrum bands are supported.
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading for Broadband World News
Facebook says it has developed a 'technology solution' that enables fiber to be deployed along electrical grid infrastructure in a very cost-effective way and has licensed that solution for free to startup NetEquity Networks.
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.