Also today, Verizon and NEC smarten up rush-hour traffic, DT dances with Netcracker, MediaKind sweeps in Broome as CTO, Comcast promotes Strauss, Ethiopans get their own TV and Wray Castle Group buys Wray Castle Holding.
US officials have considered issuing credit to Huawei's European rivals, including Nokia and Ericsson, to help them match the "generous financing terms" Huawei offers customers by leveraging its multi-billion-dollar lines of credit at Chinese banks, the Financial Times reported Monday. Congress also is considering whether to shell out "hundreds of millions of dollars" to encourage rural and small operators to rip and replace Huawei gear. And the Trump administration continues to seek an American all-in-one alternative to Huawei, encouraging Cisco and Oracle to expand their portfolios to include offerings in gaps like radio transmission products -- something both vendors rejected, FT reported.
In a proof-of-concept field trial, Verizon and NEC made the streets of an unnamed city smarter by using the operator's existing fiber optic cables and newly designed NEC optical sensors equipped with AI to gather data on traffic patterns, speeds and density. The fiber-sensing system co-existed with Verizon's existing Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) communication channels on the same fiber used to transmit data at 36.8 Tbit/s. Verizon plans to add 1,400 miles of fiber each month to the hundreds of thousands of miles it already has in place nationwide, it said. (See Verizon & NEC Drive New Smart-City Traffic Uses for Existing Fiber.)
After considering more than a dozen competitors, Deutsche Telekom chose Netcracker's Network Domain Orchestration solution delivered collaboratively through Agile methodology for its network and service automation initiative, the vendor announced today. This combo will allow DT to automate multi-domain network discovery and visualization; multi-layer traffic optimization; IP and optical backbone provisioning and multi-vendor network orchestration, Netcracker said. As a result, DT is poised to cut costs and complexity, automate many complex processes and gain end-to-end network insight.
Longtime Comcast exec Matt Strauss was promoted and is now chairman of Peacock, the NBCU streaming platform and service that's expected to debut in spring 2020. He also will lead NBCU Digital Enterprises group, reporting to Steve Burke, NBCU CEO.
Comcast Execs on the Move
Matt Strauss is now chairman of NBCU's Peacock streaming platform and service, as well as head of the NBCU Digital Enterprises group, while former Comcast exec Allen Broome is the new CTO at MediaKind.
MediaKind hired former Comcast exec Allen Broome as chief technology officer, after he consulted to the video software and services firm earlier this year. It's good timing, wrote Light Reading's Jeff Baumgartner, as MediaKind plans to craft a virtualized, SaaS model for the OTT video and pay-TV service provider market. (Find out more: Former Comcast Exec Named CTO of MediaKind.)
Ethiosat -- a collaboration of the Association of Ethiopian Broadcasters (AEB), Ethiopian Broadcasting Channel and satellite operator SES -- is being called the country's first dedicated TV platform. SES's NSS-12 satellite serves more than 30 channels, including 12 in high-def, direct-to-home via a local satellite antenna. Previously, most of Ethiopia's content was broadcast from an orbital point that also served up content to the Middle East and North African countries, creating an "often confusing mix of content," said Amman Fissehazion, AEB chairman, in a statement. Consolidating Ethiopian content onto one orbital position will fuel TV growth -- content, audience and advertising, he said.
New holding company Wray Castle Group today announced it acquired telecommunications training provider Wray Castle Training, a unit founded in 1958. Wray Castle Group, managed by a former exec from Saudi Telecom and one from Zain Saudi Arabia, is divided into three divisions. They include telecommunications training; consulting to service providers on issues including strategy, regulation, MVNO, IoT, network deployment, planning and optimization and 5G; and
business transformation. That latter division has "successfully tackled some of the most difficult corporate transformations in the telecommunications sector," said Andrew White, CEO of Wray Castle Group in a statement.
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.