Also today, Italy's top regulator turns on TIM, Netflix gets friendly with AT&T, Virgin Media's Prime pact and a tale of two CEOs.
Liberty Global wants to create a wholesale fiber network joint venture to compete with CityFibre, BT Openreach, Hyperoptic and regional wholesalers like MS3 Networks of Hull, the Financial Times reported (subscription required). Liberty Global's Virgin Media would then extend full-fiber beyond metro regions by leveraging Openreach's ducts and poles, and potentially make infrastructure available to other operators to accelerate broadband deployment across the UK and increase competition, the article said.
Putting one national fiber network under Telecom Italia's control would be a "backward step," the head of Italy's Communications Regulatory Authority, according to Angelo Cardani, Reuters wrote. Last week, Italy's regulatory agency rejected TIM's proposal to spin off its fixed networks business into a separate, wholly owned division. And the two major shareholders within TIM want different futures for the operator: One wants TIM to keep network control, the other wants a split or merger with Open Fiber.
Hands-On for OTT
Netflix signed a partnership with hold-out AT&T.
Looking for growth in new ways, Netflix seeks content bundling partnerships with pay-TV, broadband and mobile providers across its worldwide footprint. Under a new partnership with AT&T in the US, Netflix will be integrated into AT&T's new set-top box, Alan Breznick wrote in Light Reading today. This follows other pacts with Comcast, Charter, Altice USA, Dish Network, Verizon and T-Mobile: Among the heavy-hitters, only AT&T had been absent, Breznick said. No longer. (See Netflix Thinking Inside the Box.)
Speaking of OTT and choice-overload, Virgin Media subscribers now can access Amazon Prime Video directly via Virgin TV. The app was automatically downloaded to all Virgin TV V6 boxes in the UK, and members of Amazon Prime Video may log into the app using their existing account information, Virgin Media said.
Jonathan Spalter will stay on as USTelecom CEO for at least three more years, following a contract renewal. Spalter, formerly chair of Mobile Future, succeeded Walter McCormick when he joined the organization in January 2017.
However, Ofcom needs a new CEO after Sharon White decided to leave the top spot to take over the corner office at UK retailer John Lewis. Those under consideration, according to the paywalled Financial Times: Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the Competition and Markets Authority, and Christopher Woolard, strategy and competition director at the Financial Conduct Authority.
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.