AT&T or someone orders half million fiber homes

Jorge Mas CanosaMasTec gets $250M contract for 2015, 2016. "We were awarded a contract for approximately a quarter of a billion dollars of 1-gigabit fiber deployment work," CEO Jose Mas announced. Fiber opportunities "are much greater than people quite understand. I think we are in for an incredible cycle in that business" http://bit.ly/1p3ic4t He added "Every time you pick a publication in the telecommunications sector, it’s got a carrier talking about building out 1-gigabit capabilities and what you are seeing is, you’re seeing multiple markets today where you have multiple carriers building in the same markets.... We’re going to be working 1-gigabit work for multiple customers over the next couple of years.

     That this probably is AT&T is my conclusion. Mas carefully provided no information on who the customer was, despite being pressed by investment analysts.

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China: 60M Fiber home connections 135M homes passed

Possibly as many as the entire rest of world and soon pulling ahead. Government owned and controlled Chinese telcos are building more fiber home than the entire rest of the world the last few years. The 60M homes connected are not far from the total fiber lines in the entire rest of the world. The OECD includes most of the developed world and counted 56M homes with fiber at the beginning of 2014. There's a fair amount of fiber in places like the UAE so I'm guessing "ROW" remains slightly ahead of China. That won't be true for long.

     Dell'oro, one of the top research houses, reports "PON revenue in Q2 reached a record level, with strong growth both in China and the rest of the world." By revenue, 60% of the sales were in China, up 25% over last year. Since Chinese prices are lower, an even larger % of the ports went to the Middle Kingdom. GPON in China is taking over, with EPON sales flat. Strength in China made Huawei and ZTE the world leading vendors. 

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Gig for $25/month in Bakersfield, CA

Attractive real estate come-on. Rent any of 224 apartments in a new real estate development and automatically get connected at a gigabit. Natural prices for a gigabit are $40-$100, Google's $70 +- $30. Gigabit Internet is a very attractive amenity. One proponent believes "fiber to the home increases the value of a $300,000 home by $5,300 to $6,500," (below)

A $40/month discount is a modest marketing concession on apartments that rent for $1100-$1400. Bakersfield is 120 miles and 3 hours by train north of Los Angeles. It's a desert town dependent on imported water and probably a hard place to sell apartments in a drought.

Randall Stephenson literally 10 years ago told the street that AT&T was already installing fiber in all new developments. After all, glass is cheaper than metal. It was the right thing to do even back then but in practice AT&T was doing nothing of the sort. Carriers without high speeds are just leaving themselves open for folks like this to jump in.

George Soros has put £50m behind Hyperoptic, an English company doing the same. 

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10 Gig - repeat, 10 gig - to 800K apartments in Hong Kong

Bruce Lee's Hong Kong statueSoon, the cost to the telco for 10 gigabits will be little different than the cost of ten megabits.  1 gig service over fiber costs the carrier very little more than 10 or 100 megabits. Equipment going in today is almost all ready for a gig. There's rarely any savings using obsolete gear that tops out at lower speeds. PCCW's Hong Kong telco has now upped the ante, bringing a ten gig - presumably XGPON - to all 800,000 fiber customers. Trials have begun and they expect to cover nearly all 800K by the end of 2015. 

Hong Kong consumers are among the luckiest in the world. Despite wages often as high as the U.S., prices both for wired and wireless service are typically half what they are in the states. Pricing for the gig service isn't announced and will be determined by what the market requires. Even with the low revenue base, HKT is going fiber or vectored VDSL to nearly all the city while investing less than 10% of revenue. Their LTE is going to 300 megabits.

Hong Kong HKT's cost should be somewhere between $400 & $1,000 per home - probably closer to $400.

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